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Teenage Girls Find Inner Peace with Yoga

Girls enjoying the yoga therapy

"Yoga for teenage girls?" was the dubious response of some of the ESRA Netanya Committee when I requested funding for an end-of-year activity. "Wouldn't Zumba or Kickboxing be more appropriate?" they asked.

In truth, that, too, was my initial response when Moran, the Bayit Cham's counselor talked to me about her year-long "make-a-wish" for the girls, that didn't happen during the year.

"Yoga therapy," explained Moran, (herself a yogi), "is a holistic, mind-body therapeutic approach that uses the philosophy and techniques of yoga practice to restore the mind and body to a state of balance, serenity and inner strength, thus releasing the inherent, self-healing powers of the body. It is the process of empowering individuals to progress towards improved health and well-being."

"How fabulous" I thought to myself a month later as I listened and observed the 15 girls who participated in the three sessions of Therapeutic Yoga at the Bayit Cham in Kiryat Nordau, move from their usual hyperactive, noisy state to an unusual quiet and concentration.

Just meeting and getting to know Limor Myers, the experienced Classical Yoga teacher, therapist and Yoga Doula, was a rewarding experience. Limor exudes tranquility and optimism. With her big smile, soft- spoken, musical, yet assertive voice she, effortlessly, created an atmosphere of cooperation and acceptance that neutralized the initial acting–out and testing behavior. She got the girls to follow her instructions as she moved them from one position to the next, explaining the significance of each and its benefit to their daily lives. 

The therapeutic session is a meeting of East & West with the latter contributing the idea of dialogue, and the former focusing on internal contemplation via movement, breathing, meditation and total relaxation.

"What? That's it? Can't we have more?" could be heard in the babble of the girls' voices at the end of the third session, as they roused themselves from a deep relaxed state. The sense of a "high" was palpable. "So what did you enjoy the most? What are you taking away from your experience"? I asked. 'The quiet', 'the relaxation', 'I had never felt such inner peace', 'tension release' were unanimous responses. I felt a growing inner glow as I listened to the girls and finally understood Moran's insightful words.

"What a wonderful way to end the year's activities and how wonderful it is to be part of an organization such as ESRA that can make it happen," was the thought I took home with me.

This thought lingered throughout the summer and turned into a deep sense of satisfaction and joy on being told by the staff, that we are continuing in this new school year where we left off; that Yoga therapy was chosen to be the main activity in the first semester program for the girls.



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Monday, 26 September 2022

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