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Zen Challenge

What is it?

10am every day, we broadcast live from Facebook (reaching 3k followers) on our TeenYoga Mindfulness page.

The offering includes

1/  simple yoga for everyone to do at home.

2/ wellbeing tip (gargle with salt water, drink a little apple cider vinegar, self-massage, planting seeds…

3/ challenge: Yesterday – identify a vulnerable person living alone near you or in your virtual community Today – teach them over the phone how to access video conferencing on their phone or tablet (FaceTime, Skype, zoom) Tomorrow – have conversations with them, get them to teach you how to make soup, you teach them how to download games and play with them and so on.

Further down the line – helping with essential cleaning duties (eg cleaning doorknobs, teaching younger siblings about bacteria with the soap test….and so on.)

Then the young people are encouraged to take a photo (with parental consent) and post it to the Facebook Page and also to ask questions or for tips and eventually we hope to create a community. There will also be a Wellbeing Bingo- 6 in a row and you become the zen challenge champion of the day.

How you can help? Firstly, you can send the below information to your schools and contacts:

Every day, the Teen Yoga Foundation is offering some fun for teens on their facebook page ( live and from the 30th of March from the Yoga in Schools you tube channel.

We will be encouraging young people to move their bodies, while managing emotions with breath techniques, specially developed to help young people. We will also be sharing simple wellbeing techniques every day that are easy to follow and require no extra equipment.  Moreover, we encourage the young people to enter the #zenchallenge by helping out a vulnerable person.

When they have managed 6 zen challenges they win the champion award.

Please tune in at 10am every weekday to find out more. The session will last between 30 minutes to an hour and will be lead by insured, accredited and trained staff of the Teen Yoga Foundation, guided and supported by founder, Charlotta Martinus and intended to continue for as long as schools are shut.

To find out more, please check our facebook page above!

Thanks for supporting the charity which empowers young people through yoga.

If you would like to support the work of this charity, please donate here:

Secondly, you can also contact us to get involved by filming a 30-60 minute clip providing the above yoga, wellness tips and raising a challenge for the young people. Please email us at if you would like to take part. 

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Help moving your classes online


Below I have written an outline for how to bring a class online and also a suggestion for a teen class – I am no expert but I thought it might be useful.

I will also be uploading short classes and videos on the Teen Yoga You Tube channel in the next few days and weeks. If anyone of you would like us to upload your videos there too, we are happy to do that, we have over 100 subscribers now.

All my love


GOING ONLINE for TY teachers

Teen Yoga You Tube Channel:

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Yoga for Teenagers in Australia and beyond

Currently, yoga is more popular in Australia than pilates or aerobics, with 2.18 million practitioners. Accompanying this steady increase it has started to be introduced as a health toolkit for all, including teenagers who are battling more than ever with their mental health. According to GP News (October 2019) there has been a 5.5% increase in mental health issues among young people since 2012, which means that 1 in 4 are now suffering.   Every year, Mission Australia conduct a survey of young Australians to find out their values, aspirations and concerns.  Just over 25 000 young people aged 15 – 19 completed the survey in 2019. The respondents identified the top three most important issues in Australia today to be mental health (36%), the environment (34%) and equity / discrimination (25%).  The respondents reported that their top three personal concerns included coping with stress (45%), school or study problems (34%) and mental health (33%). More than twice the number of females reported they were extremely or very concerned about coping with stress (58% compared with 26% of males.)   There are plenty of examples of school teachers, physiotherapists and psychotherapists across Australia, looking to use alternative techniques such as mindfulness and yoga to support these young people.   Over in the UK, the Teen Yoga Foundation, has been researching the impact specifically on young people for the last 17 years and most recently was funded by the European Union to develop and pilot a yoga programme for disadvantaged youth across 5 different countries and contexts, spanning Italy, Belgium, Norway, Spain and the UK. To find out more about the results and outputs of the programme, please click here: The project produced the largest research sample so far outside India, and the results showed that yoga has significant effects on mental well-being, stress, quality and length of sleep, as well as increasing concentration and focus.   Against this background it is increasingly important that yoga is delivered by well trained and experienced yoga practitioners who can help the students find exactly the type and style of yoga that is right for them. The Teen Yoga Foundation now offers online courses that do this. For more information please see here.  

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Yoga, Teens & Bravery

Last week, I asked Jim (17) what the bravest thing he’d ever done was and he said, “tell someone I was sad”. Nick (19) said something very similar, “to let someone know I wasn’t coping”. Boys are traditionally seen as brave, whereas girls were always considered needing protection. This gender stereotype has all but disappeared for the young generation, where mental health issues are rife and where there is little or no support. This has meant that many young people are supporting each other in various ways. They are learning to become less judgmental and better listeners. They are also becoming well versed in different issues and how to help.

Many young people are turning to yoga to help them with their mental health. This week (Childrens Mental Health Week), we see 50,000 subscribing to our daily videos on yoga and mental health in their school. These videos help students understand their emotions (in the case of primary schools as well as secondary) and form strategies for dealing effectively with them, for themselves and others. To find out more about this for your school, head over to our social media accounts.

Bravery has moved from saving the damsel in distress, to being able to cry, let go and ask for support. With too many young men committing suicide in our vicinity, we need to re-educate our boys about emotional bravery and help them form a new idea about what coping mechanisms they can use, apart from drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships or addiction to work or porn, the norm for many men in the past. I see a bright future for yoga in schools for young men to help them become more emotionally intelligent and literate. Let’s support this development where we can.

We are actively looking for funding to provide free, tailored classes of this kind in schools that have had their budgets cut by 30% in the past few years. If you would like to help, please go to our website, and donate there or pop us an email at

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Results from EU Hippocampus Project Unveiled at Instill

Nick and Charlotta recently reported the encouraging results from the 2 year study involving schools in 5 different countries at this year’s Instill. These can be accessed here in PowerPoint format for you to use in your approaches to schools and institutions. In time we will also have an infographic for you to use as well.TYF Instill Hippocampus presentation Nov 19 (1)  It’s an inspiring project and well worth a read.

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Teen Yoga Ambassadors

As climate strikes pepper the land, it strikes me how one little person from Sweden has inspired millions to speak up about what they are passionate about – Mother Earth.

I had the privilege of spending Monday evening with 8 hand-picked young yogis in London. They had all been through a selection process and were chosen for their passion and experience in yoga.

Inspired by Greta Thunberg and the influence she has had in the world, young people are gathering together to offer their solution to the worlds’ problems. These young people have all practised yoga for many years already. Two of them were on the autistic spectrum. They came to be trained to share yoga with their peers in the new programme run by the Teen Yoga Foundation.

Again and again we hear the cry from the young – we are experiencing a mental health crisis,  but what can we do about it?

These brave young souls will be marching forth into the arena of mental health, equipped with specific training to help others, multiplying the wellbeing effect in their school and other contexts.

In yoga we learn how to lift ourselves up, by controlling our minds, by lifting and opening our hearts, we learn how to be well on every level. Part of being well is recognising our interdependence with the planet and each other. Once we recognise this, we can only support others.

There is no separation between us – this profound truth is experienced in meditation, one young person at a time, finding their feet, finding their way, finding their wellness, lifting themselves and others up into light and hope.

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Charlotta contributing to Virtual Yoga Summit 9th-10th October

  • What does inclusivity mean within yoga?
  • How does language influence your teaching and therapy practice?
  • How do you approach students and clients dealing with chronic conditions?
  • How can prisoners benefit from yoga?
Charlotta has been invited to contribute to Singing Dragon’s first-ever Virtual Yoga Summit, exploring the theme of Inclusive Yoga across a host of virtual channels throughout two content-packed, educational and interactive days. From social media Q&As and webinars, through articles and podcasts we will be exploring a wide range of topics around inclusivity, and inviting you to participate in the discussion. Highlights include:
  • An article on hosting an LGBTQ+ friendly class from Lana Skrypnyk
  • A live Q&A on body positivity and fighting against the biases in yoga with Donna Noble
  • A webinar from Heather Mason on social prescribing in the UK
  • A live class with Sian O’Neill, which you can follow from wherever you are through our live stream!
  Join us on the 9th and 10th October 2019 by registering for the event. The Virtual Yoga Summit is brought to you in association with our amazing partners: the Minded Institute, the British Council for Yoga Therapy, Yoga Campus, the Life Centre, the Prison Phoenix Trust and Network Yoga Therapy, all of whom are fighting the good fight for more inclusivity and accessibility in yoga.  

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New Mentoring Service Launched

We’ve listened to your needs and are happy to announce our new mentoring service for graduates of the Teen Yoga training. Four highly experienced Teen Yoga teachers are available to you via Skype or Zoom to discuss any issues you may have setting up classes or questions specific to teaching. Suggested donation of £40 per hour for this service, £5 of which goes to the foundation.
Mentor bios below in order to help you choose the best mentor for you:

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World Peace Day 21st September 2019

Support the work of the Teen Yoga Foundation on World Peace Day, 21st September 2019. Here’s how:  
  • Talk to a school about a taster day for World Peace day
  • Mention the evidence that yoga increases social cohesion within a school and in a community.
  • Send out a press release to your local press and let your local MP know.
win – MP looks good and he/she gets involved in our cause in parliament   win – press get a story   win – we raise money   win – you get into a school   win – your work gets noted in the local press, ie best advertising!   Let us know how you get on. Good luck!

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