How yoga and mindfulness can help your child

written by Meena Azzollini

Young girl sitting in a lotus pose doing yoga

Credit:123RF

Children also feel stressed and anxious as they get older and face various life transitions. They often exhibit this through tantrums and mood swings.

Just as yoga and mindfulness has been known to help adults reduce stress and anxiety, a study from Tulane University reports that participating in yoga and mindfulness activities in school helps children improve their emotional health and wellbeing.

To assess the impact of a yoga curriculum in an elementary school on student quality of life researchers worked with third graders at an elementary school in New Orleans.

The study found that yoga and mindfulness improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students in the intervention group compared to their peers who received standard care.

The study also assessed teacher and staff perception of potential barriers to such a curriculum and investigated the benefits of introducing yoga and mindfulness into the classroom.

The children were randomised into an intervention group of 20 students who participated in yoga and mindfulness activities for eight weeks.

A control group of 32 students received care as usual which included counselling and other activities led by a social worker.

Students were screened for symptoms of anxiety at the beginning of the school year.

Teachers were invited to participate in two professional development sessions about introducing yoga and mindfulness into the classroom, and completed a survey following each of the sessions.

The intervention group attended the group activities at the beginning of the day. The sessions included breathing exercises, guided relaxation and several traditional yoga poses appropriate for children.

The researchers used the The Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale-Peabody Treatment Progress Battery version to assess life satisfaction, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess psychosocial conditions and emotional well-being at the beginning, middle and end of the study.

Third grade is a crucial time for transition for the children as academic expectations can be high, making them anxious and stressed.

The study found that yoga and mindfulness improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students in the intervention group compared to their peers who received standard care.

Teachers and staff also reported using yoga more frequently in the classroom following the second of two professional development sessions.

The study shows that yoga and mindfulness sessions may improve anxiety in students.

Adding yoga and mindfulness in the school curriculum can help facilitate stress management and can complement social and emotional learning as well.

Yoga and mindfulness practice can see your child transition through tough periods of their life in a healthy and peaceful way.

Source: Psychology Research and Behavior Management


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!