Should yoga be taught in schools?

Should yoga be taught in schools?

Can doing yoga ten minutes a day energize your child and enhance their ability to learn? According to one study, published in The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, the answer is yes.

Researchers evaluated the mental health benefits of yoga on middle school students. Students were randomly assigned to either a regular gym class or to a “Yoga Ed” group that had 11 weeks of yoga sessions. The adolescents that were part of the yoga group reported positive mood and attitude changes, increased energy and an improved ability to relax.

Yoga, a form of mediation rooted in Hinduism, focuses on breathing approaches and moving the body into specific positions. In adults, long-term benefits include greater flexibility and strength, improved health and even weight loss.

By introducing yoga to kids, the study found they were not only strengthening their muscles, but strengthening their mind as well.

“Physical activity for children is something which is essential in this day and age of technology. Not only is physical activity important for the body, it is also linked to positive self-image, socialization – encouraging teamwork and problem solving- mental stimulation and overall healthy lifestyles,” says Kristen Turner, the site lead at Advocate Lutheran General Fitness Center.

So, should yoga be taught in schools?

Benefits include:

  • Breathing: it’s essential for life and helps us manage our stress
  • Confidence: yoga focuses on individual strength; there is no competition between children
  • Mindfulness: engages the imagination and stimulates senses
  • Mobility: prevents prolonged sitting and gives students a chance to refresh their bodies

Dr. Cathy Joyce, a new adolescent medicine physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge adds, “the benefits of yoga for children are endless: (1) improvement in self-confidence, social confidence with teachers, communications with peers, improvement in attention; (2) reduction in depression and anxiety scores in children and adolescents; (3) helps in decreasing eating disorder symptoms, and improvement in medical disorders—such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes.”

Some examples of “child-friendly” poses include:

  1. Happy hopping tree balance: children balance on one leg with the opposite foot pressed above or below the knee of the balancing leg; Reach the arms out like branches and take three small hops
  2. Dog at fire hydrant: children will get on hands and knees and straighten limbs to make an “A” shape in the air; Lift one leg in the air for ten seconds and then switch legs
  3. Butterfly flight visualization: children will sit on the floor with the soles of their feet together forming a butterfly wing shape; once in position, close the eyes and visualize yourself flapping your wings
  4. Magic carpet mediating: children lay on mats or blankets with eyes closed. Visualize that they are flying on a magic carpet and can choose their destination

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Comments

4 Comments

  1. Hinduism?
    Separation of church and state?

  2. Yoga is the introduction to idol worship. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism. After the problems of life do not disappear by the bodily movements promoted through yoga, individuals will look for deeper explanations, leading them to worship false gods.

    Interestingly, children had no problems with obesity, paying attention, behaving normally etc. in earlier generations. Kids could not wait to get outside and run around at school and at home. there was discipline in the home and in the schools and children were taught and commanded to respect. However, there was a greater fear of God in America during those days. This has long since dissipated.

    Yoga already promotes becoming one with the environment and the universe, things which the Lord told us not to do (read your Bible). Yoga further promotes self worship. However because of its toning and stretching attributes, people have flocked to it as though it were free gold.

    You want to get in shape? Walk, jog, do step aerobics, swim, ride your bike.
    You want peace, self purpose, order, joy and stability in your life? Give your heart wholly to the Lord (be Born Again). That is the only way.

  3. ?? Really?? This article is about the health benefits of yoga, published in a newsletter belonging to a health organization. A faith-based health organization, by the way. Not related to the “state” or government in any way.

  4. Fred you’re an idiot. Yoga is good for you plain and simple. You should try it and maybe you’d worry less about evangelizing the world. The way you talk about religion is the unhealthy thing here. Some people don’t believe what you believe and that’s perfectly fine.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.