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Teenager starts yoga class for her peers after recovering from spinal surgery

Posted October 11, 2019 4:55 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2019 6:46 p.m. EDT

— Teagan Crawford-Greene holds up an X-ray of her spine showing what she calls a "pretty intense curve."

Years of scoliosis coupled with a sudden growth spurt caused the now-16-year-old to need surgery in 2016. It was a long recovery and a tough time for an active teenager who was a serious dancer and enjoyed Crossfit.

"After the surgery, I really had a downfall in my mental health and my physical health because I had to completely relearn how to walk and before that I was a very active person," said Crawford-Greene.

During her recovery, she discovered yoga. She learned it was a good way to calm her mind and to return to some form of physical activity.

"Yoga was a therapeutic way for me to get back into what I would consider a pretty healthy state mentally," she said.

She fell in love with yoga and quickly got on track to earn her teaching certification. Now she is teaching a class for other teenagers so she can pass on what she feels is a great practice for the mind and the body. She recognized the need while talking to classmates suffering from anxiety and sleep depravation.

"It can sometimes be very off-putting for teens to have an adult tell them, 'Oh you should go do this thing that is good for you,'" Crawford-Greene said.

She thought she might have a better time passing that message along as a peer.

The class starts with a short conversation about the stresses that come up for teenagers. They talk about friends, school and chores at home. It's a time to relate and ease into the space.

Crawford-Greene then teaches the students basic yoga poses before ending with a few minutes of simple breathing and meditation.

"I really liked it because it helped me pull myself together and collect myself," said Julia Carolan, a student in the class.

"It's really just about what you need for you, and I think society doesn't always give us that space," said Crawford-Greene.

She is hoping the class grows to reach as many teenagers as possible, giving young people an outlet that may not have considered. Right now she is teaching the Yoga for Teens class at Republic of Yoga in Cary.

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