SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. - Yoga isn't just for grown-ups anymore. The ancient Indian exercises are now being tried out by the next generation, and scientists say it may even help these little ones become better test takers and prevent temper tantrums.
Welcome to yoga, kiddie style. Even dolls are allowed in. Anastasia Underwood is introducing the pint sized to poses a-plenty.
"It increases strength in children, flexibility; it teaches them concentration, patience, and balance too," said Underwood, Yoga Leader and Librarian at the Safety Harbor Library.
But it can be a balancing act to keep the tots in tune, so she weaves in yoga related stories to keep the kids connected.
"They can't wait until I turn the page to see what kind of animal they get to be," explained Underwood.
Studies show yoga can reduce fear and aggression. It can even relieve test anxiety.
"Like bunny press and take five they can do before tests," said Underwood. "It's helpful at school."
Mother Lisa Suprenand hopes to stretch the benefits in to the home.
"I thought it would be a great way to have a little calmness. Four-year-olds have a lot of energy," said Suprenand.
It looks like the kids are finding a way to use that energy. So even though it may seem like a circus, these young yogis may have found a new way to play peacefully.
Research shows that stress management programs like yoga can help improve academic performance, classroom behaviors, and concentration.
The Basics: Yoga typically consists of two main components: poses and breathing. The poses, or postures as they are sometimes called, help people to build flexibility and strength whereas the breathing is meant to control the body's vital energy. While breathing and poses are always an important part of yoga, many different kinds of yoga exist. The various types of yoga can differ in intensity or style, but one of the most commonly practiced forms is Hatha. (Source: www.mayoclinic.com)
Benefits: The scientific reasoning behind why practicing yoga is so good for health is not entirely understood, but numerous studies have shown health benefits that can be accredited to yoga. Some of these benefits include:
- Relieving stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
- Reducing chronic pain, like lower back pain.
Kids and Yoga: Adults are not the only ones taking up yoga; many children have begun to practice yoga as well. Other than helping children deal with the increasing stress they face at school, yoga can also benefit kids' physical health. Flexibility, balance, and strength are all changing dramatically during the younger years, and yoga can helps kids hone these skills so that they develop in a healthy manner. (Source: www.yogajournal.com)
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