In the study, published in the journal Psychology Research and Behavior Management, researchers worked with third-graders at a public school in New Orleans, adding mindfulness and yoga to their daily program. Students who had symptoms of anxiety at the beginning of the year were split into two groups: 32 got the standard care—including counseling and activities from an employee—and the other 20 participated in yoga and mindfulness activities—like breathing exercises, guided meditation, and yoga poses.
After analyzing the students' quality of life, psychological conditions, and emotional well-being throughout the eight-week program, they found that the yoga and mindfulness really paid off.
"The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students, as compared to their peers who received standard care." —lead study author Alessandra Bazzano, PhD
"The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students, as compared to their peers who received standard care," said lead study author Alessandra Bazzano, PhD, in a press release.
While this study was small, and more research is need to deduce firmer conclusions, introducing kids to yoga and mindfulness at a young age likely won't hurt their mental health. According to Dr. Bazzano, many kids expressed anxious feelings in third grade due to their work becoming more complex, so learning how to handle these pressures sooner than later may promote healthy skills throughout life.
Who knows? You might see some wellness-centric classes popping up on kiddos' curriculum soon.
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