January 25, 2014
Yoga is well known for its significant mental and physical health benefits, but many are not aware that this is as true for children as for adults. What's even better is that yoga has been shown to be an effective non-drug treatment for ADHD.
ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects approximately 8 to 10% of school aged children.
Kids with ADD and ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive and have trouble focusing.
Yoga helps kids reduce anxiety, aggression and obsessive behaviors by helping them feel more calm and comfortable in their bodies.
An estimated 2.5 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 take prescribed drugs for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
However, ADD and ADHD medications only help the symptoms temporarily and they come packaged with long warning labels and a list of side effects.
Yoga, on the other hand, is a long term endeavor which is NOT a temporary fix. It is a natural alternative to medications, and is actually good for children as it increases the amount of oxygen that the body receives.
Children who practice yoga can get many of the same benefits that medications provide without the common side effects.
The benefits of yoga for kids with ADD and ADHD include:
- improved breathing and balance
- increased attention span
- greater listening skills
- better relationships with others
- better concentration and focus.
ADD/ADHD medications are not a cure, in that if children stop the medications, the symptoms return. Even while taking the medication kids can still have symptoms, though reduced.
Yoga, on the other hand, is a natural way for children to get exercise and release energy, while at the same time learning to relax and de-stress. Additionally, yoga costs less than medical intervention.
In sum, the practice of yoga can boost concentration and focus in kids while reducing impulsive and hyperactive behavior.