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OurKids.net lists after-school programs focused on yoga for teens and kids in cities across the country. Find your city in the list below and find programs near you.
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The benefits of yoga for teens and kids
Children entering middle school and high school are embarking on a phase of their lives that’s challenging physically, mentally, and socially. Many changes are happening both internally and externally, and for some it’s an anxious phase of life. That anxiety can be mitigated by practices like yoga and meditation. Yoga teaches mindfulness through the regulation of breathing, allowing practitioners to exercise more control over their emotions. Below, we explore that and other ways kids grow and improve through time at yoga class.
It develops self-discipline. Through yogic practice, teens and kids develop a deeper awareness of their inner monologue, giving them a healthy means to process negative emotions. Their increased self-awareness encourages them to be more patient and reduce impulsiveness. It also improves their focus. Teens who attend yoga classes regularly will behave more calmly and rationally.
It helps kids manage and reduce stress and anxiety. As noted above, it gives kids tools to deal with stress and anxiety. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, mental illness affects 1.2 million children; 70 % of people with these illnesses develop symptoms before the age of 18. A review of over 80 studies shows clearly that there is “reduced anxiety after a yoga intervention.” Yoga decreases stress and depression by lowering cortisol levels. Kids and teens learn to control emotional reactions, thus also learning to exacerbate stress less through their controlled reactions.
It improves physical health. Yoga improves kids’ balance, flexibility, and coordination, and even improves their core stamina. As they take on more advanced yoga poses, such as headstands and other advanced inversions (for example) they increase their physical awareness. As a low-impact physical activity, you can couple yoga with other physical activity, but it may be suitable as the only form of disciplined exercise you get. One related health benefit for children and teens is that it also makes them more mindful of food and nutrition.
It improves concentration and memory. Yoga is all about mindfulness, giving kids techniques that allow them to focus better. They learn to shut out distractions to focus on their breath and achieve poses. This increased focus has been shown to give practitioners improved cognitive functioning, as well as better personal discipline. In addition, at least one study has shown that yoga helps with ADHD.
It increases self-esteem and confidence. Yoga encourages teens to love their bodies by strengthening their internal awareness. The heightened connection between body and mind results in kids’ caring better for themselves. It’s also helpful that yoga is a low-impact, non-competitive physical activity in which anyone can participate, no matter what your body type.
It teaches them to overcome challenges. Yoga involves various poses of many difficulty levels, some of which might be challenging to overcome. Children learn how to persevere while perfecting yoga poses that take practice.
It improves sleep quality. High levels of stress teens face during their academic and personal lives usually result in insomnia. Through yogic breath work and relaxation techniques, as well as physical activity, kids can learn to get to sleep faster, sleep more deeply, and avoid insomnia.
Other kids' programs that encourage consciousness growth
After-school yoga programs are just one way to boost your kids’ consciousness and mental wellbeing. We also list other kinds of camps and kids' programs that encourage personal growth.
Yoga camp focuses on this ancient discipline in a week-long immersion that can truly begin a lifelong practice.
Meditation camp offers guided meditation, teaching kids and teens techniques that manage stress and develop patience, compassion, and other healthy traits.
Nature camp is an ideal accompaniment to yoga. Kids who are interested in personal growth will recognize the benefits of a closer relationship with nature. Many yoga teachers believe natural settings are the best setting for practice.
Overnight camp offers immersion in nature, an ideal setting for yoga practice.
Sources and further reading
"More than just a game: Yoga for school-age children." Marlynn Wei, MD, JD. January 29, 2016.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many Yoga programs are there?
There are 7 programs offering yoga as an activity. Use the filters to narrow by age and program type, then click on matched programs to see daily activities, dates, rates and registration information.
What are the fees to attend Yoga programs ?
Fees for programs offering yoga as an activity range from $12 to $21,000 per program (program types and lengths vary). Use the filters here to narrow programs by age and type.
Where can parents meet with Yoga programs ?
Meet with program directors and staff at the Our Kids Camp & Program Expo. The Expo is held annually in February, and is a fun and informative day for parents, kids, and teens. Find event details and free tickets here.