BEACHWOOD, Ohio– There are many health benefits to practicing yoga, such as improving flexibility, strength, and balance. While many classes offer yoga for adults, it can be good for kids, as well.
Cleveland Yoga in Beachwood offers a yoga class for kids ages 7 to 12. Yoga instructor Halley Firstenberg teaches kids breath work, meditation, and skills that can they can use outside of the yoga studio.
“With a regular yoga practice they can quickly go from a scattered mind to a less scattered mind, it’s not always perfect, but i see a shift,” said Firstenberg.
Firstenberg has been teaching yoga for adults for 12 years and started teaching yoga for kids about six years ago.
“Yoga, for me, equals ease, yoga equals self-inquiry, yoga equals positivity.”
Studies show yoga and mindfulness improve both physical and mental health in school-age children. Research even indicates it can help children with ADHD. Yoga can also offer psychological benefits, such as improved self-esteem and academic performance.
“I just started this year; I love it. I feel like it’s more like focused, paying attention and anxiety,” said Ian Nelson, 9-year-old yogi.
“There are times in school where I think that they’ve learned breathing techniques that give them ways to relax and feel a little bit better when days are stressful,” said Jennifer Minks, mother.
Some schools are now integrating yoga in physical education classes. Firstenberg teaches it at Shaker Heights High School.
“I had one student come up to me and literally say that he scored higher on his ACT once he started a regular breath and meditation practice,” said Firstenberg.
Firstenberg said although there was push back at first, yoga for children is becoming increasingly popular and proving benefits beyond physical fitness.
“To see a kid come week after week and maybe the first week they were able to take three deep breaths before fidgeting or before becoming disconnected, and then you see by the eighth week they’re in it to win it, the focus is on.”
For more information about kids and teen yoga classes, click here.