As an ND, I recommend yoga a lot. It's a great activity that is low impact, easy on joints, wonderful for tight muscles and stretching and will improve flexibility. However, it's positive effects don't just end there, it doesn't just improve physical health parameters, it has also been shown to improve mental health parameters. This is especially true in children. Recent studies have shown yoga can benefit a child's mood, tension, stress, anxiety, self-esteem and memory!
There are even some preliminary studies that suggest benefit with ADD/ADHD. Here are some examples:
- Journal of Attention Disorders May 2004: [data] suggest that yoga may have merit as a complementary treatment for boys with ADHD already stabilized on medication, particularly for its evening effect when medication effects are absent.
- Early Childhood Development and Care 2005: study showed that the [Training of Relaxation with Elements of Yoga for Children] training increased emotional balance in the long term and reduced fears. Feelings of helplessness and aggression were clearly reduced. Beyond this, the participants transferred the learned breathing techniques and self‐instructions to situations beyond school, in order to relax after the lessons, to improve well‐being and to control negative feelings. The effects found out here indicate that yoga is suited for children as an independent control method.
- Medical Daily- Kids With Anxiety Disorders ‘Significantly’ Benefit From Mindfulness Exercises By Changing Brain Activity
- The effectiveness of body-oriented methods of therapy in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): results of a controlled pilot study: The findings from this pilot study demonstrate that yoga can be an effective complementary or concomitant treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine- Are There Benefits from Teaching Yoga at Schools? A Systematic Review of Randomized Control Trials of Yoga-Based Interventions: Effect size was found for mood indicators, tension and anxiety in the POMS scale, self-esteem, and memory when the yoga groups were compared to control.
Even though yoga is a relatively safe exercise, there are still some things to be mindful of while practicing. Here are some tips from Elena of Fearless Heart Yoga who teaches the children's class:
~The Coach House Team~