There is overwhelming evidence from numerous studies – both qualitative and quantitative – that demonstrates that the practice of yoga can provide enormous benefit to children – positively impacting academic performance, discipline, attendance and improved attitudes about themselves (1).

Yoga provides two things children desperately need: physical fitness and emotional nourishment (2). It provides children with the skills to be calm, compassionate, strong and resilient.  And studies have shown that it provides a profound impact on education, violence prevention and improved public behavior.

Studies Prove the Benefits of Yoga for Children

Multiple studies demonstrate the efficacy and benefits of yoga among children:

  • Better performance in academics (Kauts and Sharma, 2009)
  • Improved test scores, increased participation in class, improvements on emotional response (Siar, 2004)
  • Dramatic decreases in violence and aggression. One study saw a 93% decrease in hitting. (Marie, MA, SYT, 2008)
  • A 4.5 hour exposure to yoga has been shown to result in a 93% decrease in aggressive behavior among 4th and 5th grade children (Marie, MA, SYT, 2008)
  • Reduction in maladaptive behaviors, including irritability, lethargy, social withdrawal, hyperactivity and noncompliance (Koenig, 2012)
  • Regulates the nervous system by increasing body’s ability to respond to stress (Streeter, MD, 2012)
  • Increases parasympathetic activity (the relaxation response) and heart rate variability
  • Builds strength, flexibility and balance
What the experts have to say

“…study reports that movement and stimulation of balance greatly assist attentional disorders and improve reading. “
— Dr. Hilde L. Mosse, The Complete Handbook of Children’s Reading Disorders (1982)

“Exercise is really for the brain, not the body.  It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being” – John J Ratey, MD, Harvard Medical School; Smart Moves

“…movement activates the neural wiring throughout the body, making the whole body the instrument of learning.”
— Carla Hannaford, PhD, Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head (2005)

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