Obesity is the most prevalent nutritional disorder among children and adolescents in the United States. Approximately 21-24% of American children and adolescents are overweight, and another 16-18% is obese. Considering budget cuts and time restraints in schools across the nation in addition to the elimination or reduction of physical education, schools are searching to find cost-effective ways to bring PE back into their schools. Yoga Recess™, observed annually on January 25th, strives to address these serious issues facing today's children.
Childhood obesity predisposes to insulin resistance and diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, liver and renal disease, as well as reproductive dysfunction. Being obese as a child also increases the risk of adult-onset obesity and cardiovascular disease. Physical exercise alone does not seem to be enough anymore. Children of all ages are more stressed than ever and yoga may be the perfect form of exercise to balance the body and mind.
A Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study showed that people who regularly practice yoga have fewer chances of gaining weight and are more likely to lose weight. Additionally, yoga allows asthmatic children to maintain a healthy lifestyle without fear of a high-intensity exercise induced asthma attack. According to the University of Indiana’s Sound Medicine, children who practice yoga, often experience healthier sleep patterns which allow them to relax more than children who don’t practice yoga. Another study conducted by the Journal of Attention Disorders found that ADHD children who practice yoga are much more likely to remain focused and are less hyperactive, which in turned reduced the amount of emotional outbursts and oppositional behavior. With millions of America’s youth on psychotropic drugs, most often potent stimulates to treat ADD and ADHD , yoga may give these families an alternative to pharmaceutical medication.
Kids Yoga has experienced unprecedented growth recently and is now seen popping up around the globe, but Yoga and its many benefits are NOT financially accessible for ALL children and families. Yoga Recess is trying to change that by providing free resources to school teachers. The goal of Yoga Recess is to bring the many benefits of Yoga and healthy living to all children and schools around the nation, regardless of their financial status. Yome Yoga offers additional free resources and full length classes that are internet accessible and open to all.
Want to know more about the benefits of yoga for kids? Just ask Denver's own Casey Feicht, a mom and kids' yoga teacher, at her 40 hour kids yoga teacher training in June, called the "3 Easy Steps to teaching Kids Yoga". For additional information about Casey or the yoga teacher training and to get your FREE Kids Yoga class online visit the Kids Yoga Guide.