Benefits of Yoga for Kids & Teens

“Children who practice yoga may not only be better able to regulate their emotions, manage stress and calm themselves, studies now show that they may also choose better foods to eat and engage in more physical activity than children who do not.” ~ Binzen, Mira “Yoga for Children–Now Proven Effective!”

 Children’s Yoga

  • School yoga has been shown to reduce problem behavior, test anxiety, and anger. It has also been shown to increase self-regulation and focus. At all grade levels, from preschool through high school, students have shown improved academic and behavioral performance when yoga has been introduced in the school. ~ NCPAD. Yoga in the Classroom: A New Kind of Education.
  • Mental Health Benefits of Yoga in a Secondary School, Khalsa et al.
  • Benefits of Yoga for Psychosocial Well-Being in a US High School Curriculum: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial, Noggle et al.

Health Benefits:

1. Controlling Asthma

  • Breathing exercises used in yoga have been found to help some asthmatics control breathing and reduce stress, a common asthma trigger. Breathing techniques and improved control of breathing by yoga may contribute to the control of asthma symptoms in some people. Breathing exercises emphasized in yoga have the potential to improve lung function and quality of life in persons with asthma. “Yoga For Asthma”
  • Since stress can exacerbate asthma attacks, reducing stress is an important intervention for prevention and management of asthma. Yoga practice is shown to reduce stress and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Felicia M. Tomasko. “Asthma: Ease the Wheeze”

2. Combating Obesity:

  • According to the CDC, being overweight or obese places children and adults at risk for a myriad of health problems.  Overweight and obese children and adults frequently suffer from low self-esteem, decreased quality of life, and mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and binge-eating (a newly-recognized eating disorder). Yoga, as a treatment for obesity and overweight, has been shown to be an intelligent, gentle, effective, preventative and therapeutic tool. “Yoga For Kids Helps Combat Obesity and Increase Levels of Confidence”
  • For children battling obesity, Yoga can prove very beneficial…Yoga exercises involve a lot of stretching and bending, pushing all the muscles in the body into action. In addition kids also learn to breathe properly, utilizing complete lung capacity, improve posture and build self confidence. The meditative aspects of yoga helps children cope with stress and anxiety. It enables the child to control binge eating in the face of anxiety or boredom. Yoga for Childhood Obesity | Prevent Child Obesity

More Research on Children’s Yoga:

  •  Researchers at California State University recently examined the correlation between yoga and academic performance, discipline, attendance, and self-esteem. The study showed a 20% increase in the number of students who felt good about themselves and a six percent increase in classroom discipline, indicating that students who had high participation in yoga class also had fewer referrals or discipline problems. These research results also showed a “statistically significant” link between yoga participation and better grades. ~ Slovacek, S. P., Tucker, S. A., & Pantoja, L. A Study of the Yoga Ed Program at The Accelerated School. P2, 10.
  • 48 fifth-graders who showed abnormal test anxiety were divided into a control group of 27 and an experimental group of 21. The experimental group received 60 minutes of yoga instruction on 15 different occasions, while the control group received none. The subjects were evaluated before the study, immediately after the yogic training, and 3 months after the conclusion of the study. The students who received yoga instruction had an increased emotional balance in the long term and showed reductions in fear, feelings of helplessness, and aggression. ~ Bonari, Alex. Studies Show how Yoga Improves Stress Management, Spatial Memory, and Body Control in Children.