It is no secret that life is stressful for children. Peer pressure, academics, and trouble at home, coupled with a busy extracurricular schedule, scarcely give kids a second to breathe, let alone decompress. Stress builds up overtime, and very few children are actually given the tools to deal with the stress of school and being an adolescent.
Yoga provides a perfect outlet for stressed-out youngsters, and gives them the tools to deal with stress in the other facets of their busy lives. At the very least, it is a time out of a given day to focus on their own physical and emotional well-being and put negative feelings on the backburner.
Many parents feel athletics are a good stress reliever for their child, and in many cases they are, but oftentimes the competition from other players and their coaches only adds to stress. Yoga is a non-competitive way to do a healthy physical activity without adding stress.
Yoga also provides the tools students need to deal with stress outside of the studio. They learn to meditate and learn breathing exercises for calming. Students can learn to find a quiet classroom and perform these rituals to take a second for themselves, away from all the pressures of school, academics, and other students.
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Students who learn yoga and its ways of dealing with stress get a head start in life. A large part of the battle of growing up is learning how to manage oneself in a healthy manner that strikes balance and finds ways to achieve emotional and physical well-being. A healthy body inspires a healthy mind, and vice versa. The lessons learned in yoga will be ones seldom found elsewhere — teachers do not have the time to teach stress management in their classrooms, which are already stressful environments, and guidance counselors are overloaded and often undertrained.
Yoga classes offer something schools cannot: a true peace of mind, and a way to return to this peace of mind amongst times of stress, disorder, and unease. Yoga gives children a leg up by teaching them how to release complex emotions, ones made more difficult by the sheer act of being inexperienced in the world. The teachings of yoga are time-tested and have been helping adults manage their stress; now, it is time for children to receive the same tools.