Connecting Mind and Body: Yoga + Smoothies

By Deban Becker


Teens will stay connected by uniting the mind and body through the practice of yoga and the making (and drinking) of smoothies. Participating in yoga and honing healthy eating habits has a variety of benefits for teens. Teens will be interested to learn that yoga is a wonderful way to enhance their overall muscle tone and flexibility, as well as improving sports performance. Yoga can help teens deal with hormonal mood swings, perfect their mental focus to do better academically, and boost their self-worth. Making smoothies is an enjoyable activity that uses tasty ingredients hungry teens will enjoy. Overall, this program will introduce teens to a healthy way to relieve stress and feel refreshed.

Books to Share

Diet Information for Teens: Health Tips About Diet and Nutrition, Including Facts About Nutrients, Dietary Guidelines, Breakfasts, School Lunches, Snacks, Party Food, Weight Control, Eating Disorders, and More by Karen Bellenir
Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs by Rozanne Gold
Fitness Information for Teens: Health Tips About Exercise, Physical Well-Being, and Health Maintenance Including Facts about Conditioning, Stretching, Strength Training, Body Shape and Body Image, Sports Nutrition, and Specific Activities for Athletes and Non-Athletes by Lisa Bakewell
Get Strong! Teenage Guys Guide to Building Confidence, Muscles, and a Great Future by Jake Steinfeld
I Love Yoga: A Guide for Kids and Teens by Ellen Schwartz
Strike a Pose: The Planet Girl Guide to Yoga by Karen Birkemoe
Um, Like... OM: A Girl Goddess' Guide to Yoga by Evan Cooper

Books to Show or Booktalk

Breathe: Yoga for Teens by Mary Kaye Chryssicas
Girls' Yoga Book: Stretch Your Body, Open Your Mind, and Have Fun! by Micheala Caldwell
Real Men Do Yoga: 21 Star Athletes Reveal Their Secrets for Strength, Flexibility and Peak Performance by John Capouya
Twisted Yoga by Pilobus Dance Theatre
Yoga for Teens by Mary Kaye Chryssicas
Yoga for Teens: How to Improve Your Fitness, Confidence, Appearance and Health and Have Fun Doing It by Thia Luby


Yoga + Smoothies Display

In a glass display case, place a blender, old-fashioned glasses with accordion-type straws, plastic fruit, empty yogurt containers with lids, a water bottle, and a small hand towel on top of an unfurled yoga mat. Add books from the library's collection on yoga and smoothie recipes to the display.


Relaxation Eye Pillow
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Flax seeds, small beans, or rice
  • Dried lavender flowers
  • Soft, smooth fabric
  • Medium size funnel
  • Measuring cups
  • Bowls
  • Spoon
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins
  • Thread
  • Needles or Sewing Machine

This craft can be made using a sewing machine, but it is also simple enough to hand sew. In advance, measure the fabric and pre-cut the material into 8-inch by 6-inch pieces. Each teen will need two pieces of the precut fabric. Cut thread for the needles and, if time allows, pre-thread the needles.

Pin the sides of the fabric, print sides facing each other, so that the sides are even. Leave a 1½ inch opening on one side. Using a needle and thread, sew the pieces together about ½ inch from the edges, removing the pins as you sew. Be sure to leave the opening un-sewn. Turn the fabric inside out. Combine the dried lavender flowers, flax seeds (or the beans or rice), and lavender essential oil in a bowl and stir well. Scoop a cup at a time into a funnel and pour the mixture into the opening of the fabric. Fill the fabric enough so that your pillow is flexible, but still weighted. Pin the opening closed and tuck in any extra fabric. Sew the pillow closed. Place the pillow over your eyes and relax!

Yoga Mat Carrier
  • Cotton fabric (such as vinyl or canvas that is durable and weather-resistant)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Thread
  • Needles or sewing machine
  • Safety pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Ribbon or braided cord

You will be making a cover for a store-bought yoga mat. If possible, choose durable, weather resistant fabric such as vinyl, mesh, or canvas. Roll up the yoga mat and measure it to find its length and circumference. Cut the amount of fabric needed to fit around your yoga mat. For further instructions, see Craft Bits,

Games and Activities

Yoga Demonstration and Practice

Allow the teens to experience the benefits of yoga first-hand. Host yoga practice in a large program space at the library. Dim the lighting for ambience. Consider hosting the program outside in a grassy, shady area if the weather permits. Ask the teens to bring a mat or large beach towel to the program and to wear comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement. Invite a yoga instructor to perform the yoga demonstration, or demonstrate the yoga moves yourself.

Tropical Smoothies

Tropical Smoothies can be made in conjunction with the Yoga Demonstration and Practice as an activity and for do-it-yourself refreshment. Depending upon the size of your group, have a row of blenders set up on top of tables. To make it more economical and to conserve time, consider using recipes that call for similar ingredients, such as plain yogurt, milk, orange juice, etc. Search for healthy smoothie recipes at Eat Better America, Print out and post the recipes for three or four different types of smoothies on the wall behind the blenders. Provide the various ingredients buffet-style on a table alongside the table of blenders. Since the blender can hold more than one serving at a time, invite the teens to choose a partner or team up if some of them want to make the same recipe. Allow the teens to choose a recipe and follow the instructions to make their smoothies.

Alternately, invite a local smoothie business to demonstrate some of their smoothie recipes. The smoothie barista can then allow the teens to try some recipes on their own and sample several different flavors.

Web Based Activities

iEmily – Health and Wellness Site for Girls – Videos And Games
iEmily is a health and wellness site just for girls. Learn about sex and your body, explore alternative exercise like yoga and tai chi, find out about healthy eating choices and chat about it all with other girls.

Nutrition and Fitness Quizzes
On-line quizzes for teen girls on nutrition and fitness are provided by the Center for Young Women's Health, a department of the Children's Hospital of Boston.

Strawberry Smoothie / In the Kitchen Video Channel / Family Fun
This Family Fun link features a step-by-step video on how to make a strawberry smoothie and frozen smoothie bars.

Guest Speakers

Contact the local YMCA or city/county Parks and Recreation department and invite a yoga instructor to your program.

Invite a local health food store operator or the produce manager from a local grocery store to talk about different fruits that can be used in smoothies and to provide samples for the teens to taste.


Teen Yoga: A Complete Yoga Program for Teen Health, Strength & Beauty (55 minutes)

Web Sites

Young Men's Health – Nutrition & Fitness
This site provides health information for teenage boys from the Children's Hospital Boston.

Professional Resources


A Year of Programs for Teens by Amy J. Alessio and Kimberly A. Patton
Cool Teen Programs for Under $100 by Jenine Lillian

Web Sites

ALA/Get Active Programs - GET ACTIVE Use Your Body - Fiction
Based on the ALA 2006 Teen Read Week Get Active @ your library theme, this link features a teen fiction booklist related to the "Use Your Body" theme.

ALA/Booklists – GET ACTIVE Use Your body – Nonfiction
Based on the ALA 2006 Teen Read Week Get Active @ your library theme, this link features a teen nonfiction booklist related to the "Use Your Body" theme.

ALA/Get Active Programs – Get Physical @ Your Library
Based on the ALA 2006 Teen Read Week theme, Get Physical @ your library with Performance and Exercise offers program ideas to keep teens active. It includes two related program ideas: "Yoga @ your library" and "Get Healthy @ your library".

EZ Program Details – Fitness Programs for Teens
Mid-Hudson Library System's web site offers details on various fitness-related library programs.

Teaching Kids Yoga: Yoga for Boys – Does Bribery Work Or Is It Silly?
This blog includes an entry on ways to promote yoga to young males.

Their Own Om – Yoga for Teens
This web article features stories of the rising popularity of yoga among teens and how a group of high school football players practices yoga regularly.

Yoga for Teens
Features information and photographs of teen yoga programs presented at the Skokie Public Library in Skokie, Illinois.

Yoga Mat Bag – DIY Craft Instructions
On-line instructions for making your own yoga mat bag.

Yoga Minded – Keeping Yoga on Your Mind
YogaMinded is an on-line resource committed to helping teens finds yoga resources, including videos of yoga poses, books, and more.

Page last modified: August 15, 2011