Violence seems to be a common occurrence among children of all ages in many schools and homes around the world. Unfortunately, violent behavior is a trait that comes naturally for some children. In most cases, violent behavior is the result of environmental factors or a lack of coping skills. Taking the necessary steps to curb violent behavior is a method that parents and school faculty members can use to avoid much more serious problems down the road due to negative behavior displayed by youths on a daily basis. Interestingly, western data about the range of health benefits from practicing yoga training is not abundant, especially when concerning studies about how Yoga and meditation can help lessen the occurrences of violent acts among children.
Granted, working with chronically angry children does take time and patience in order to help them lead a more calm, productive life. So, gathering evidence in studies has been slow. However, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health have enough evidence that favors the positive effects of Yoga and meditation when they conducted a three month Yoga program with 97 fourth and fifth graders back in 2011.
According to the study, researchers found that the students who practiced Yoga showed overall improvement in their ability to focus and demonstrated better behavior overall. Moreover, Yoga participants were less likely to harbor and brood on negative thoughts that are related to anxiety and depression than those who did not participate in the kids Yoga program. Yoga training is a healthy, simple, and natural method that can help children of various age groups develop better coping skills through stressful situations by relaxing and breathing (pranayama). Meditation and Yoga have been shown to help regulate and activate the relaxation (parasympathetic) neurons and calming the flight or fight (sympathetic) neurons, breathing techniques offer an alternative to how kids respond to disagreements, disappointments, anger and anxiety on a daily basis.
Since children have a shorter attention span than adults, Yoga teachers can incorporate music, songs and games to help children see yoga as a fun activity while engaging in different poses (asanas) that will give them an overall sense of well-being. Yoga can teach children the importance of positive social behavior, such as teamwork and compassion because Yogic methods and philosophy work systematically toward creating happier and healthier children. For children and adults these life skills are valuable tools for maneuvering through life’s many challenges.
When you consider the alternative option of medicating children with mood altering drugs to correct their behavior, Yoga training is a natural solution without mental and physical side effects. Any parent who wants to play an active role in their child’s life can learn how to teach Yoga to their child or get their child involved in a local kids Yoga program. The mental and emotional benefits are just as important as the physical cross training benefits.
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