The Benefits of Yoga in US Schools – Wall Street Journal article

Namaste. Now Nap Time

Article from the Wall Street Journal.

By EMILY GLAZER

A three-year-old doing a downward dog? A four-year-old doing a cobra—and then helping a stuffed animal stretch into the same pose?

Yoga for children is taking off in studios, hospitals and schools across the country, as parents look for new activities that can help motor skills development and even behavioral problems.  Yoga isn’t just good exercise for adults. A growing number of schools, hospitals and studios say it can also be a boon to kids, helping them relax and focus, and improve their flexibility.

A 2003 study by California State University, Los Angeles found that yoga improved students’ behavior, physical health and academic performance, as well as attitudes toward themselves. That same year, Leipzig University reported that yoga reduces feelings of helplessness and aggression, and in the long term helps emotional balance. The benefits of yoga are particularly strong among children with special needs, research shows.

‘A Different Language’

Now thousands of schools across the country—as well as yoga studios and hospitals—are adding programs that teach children to do the exercises.

In January, Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Southern California added yoga to its curriculum for 650 students at $20,000 a year. Principal Adriana Chavarin says she has seen how calm and centered students are after practicing the techniques. At a recent assembly, students were getting restless as they sat on the floor. Then a few sixth graders spontaneously led the rest in yoga poses and breathing exercises.

“Every kid in the audience quieted down,” says David Miyashiro, the district superintendent. “It’s a different language they all speak now.” .  .  . To read the complete article click here. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703386704576186463216602684.html)

Includes a video: http://online.wsj.com/video/why-more-kids-are-learning-to-say-namaste/ECD9C1A6-5087-4784-8887-7FA1B3BD84A4.html

Orginal source: Wall Street Journal

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