Yoga Routines for the Young and Restless

The routines in this section have been specifically designed for teens. When done carefully, they also work for men and women well into their 30s, but we don't recommend them for the typical middle-aged person over 40. A lot of what group Yoga classes across America (especially in health clubs) offer today was originally designed for lightweight teenage boys in India whose lifestyles involved a lot of squatting. Middle-aged beginners often jump into that kind of Yoga in a competitive way and end up with injuries to show for it because it's just not built for them (or they for it).

Most professional athletes are usually at their highest physical prowess from their teens to early 30s. Then the body starts to change, and so should the training program to prevent injuries. I (Larry) call the first stage "Yoga for the Young and Restless." Many of the popular styles of Yoga, such as Ashtanga Yoga, some components of Iyengar Yoga, and modern flow Yoga, were inspired by the teachings of the late Sri T. Krishnamacharya of Southern India earlier in his life, and were originally intended for younger practitioners. The unpublished routines in this section were passed down to me (Larry) by Sri T. Krishnamacharya's son (and my teacher) T.K.V. Desikachar.

These routines are meant to be challenging. However, always keep in mind Yoga's fundamental principle: "Do no harm." Trust your inner teacher. If your body says it's time to rest, rest (even if others are still in their poses). Trusting yourself in this way is an important step towards becoming a balanced adult.

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