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Back-to-School Yoga Helps Kids Manage Stress, Anxiety

Family | Lifestyle

It's normal for kids to feel a bit nervous about going back to school. After a long, lazy summer, the prospect of heading back into the classroom, meeting new people, and dealing with more advanced schoolwork can make even the most confident child feel stressed.

To combat back-to-school jitters, many kids are now doing yoga. We know that yoga is fantastic at easing anxiety in grown-ups, but it turns out it's an effective stress buster for kids, too!

How Yoga Helps Nervous Kids

Children who practice yoga learn how to manage their first day fears through focused movement, breathing exercises and visualization techniques. Yoga can also help with social situations, as it helps build confidence and self-esteem. One recent study suggested that mindfulness-cognitive therapy, which includes yoga and meditation, could ease symptoms in children with anxiety disorders.

The physical benefits of yoga, like improved flexibility and strength, can also help kids in their day-to-day life,

Getting Kids into Yoga

Most yoga studios have classes meant especially for children and teens, and some even offer special back-to-school yoga classes. To reap the full benefits, however, consistent practice is required. At home, children can, with adult supervision, calm their school-related nerves with poses like Tree, Mountain, Child's Pose, and Warrior III. According to some yoga experts, poses that require concentration and balance soothe anxiety the best.

Young children, however, usually have short attention spans, so getting them to stick to their practice could be a bit challenging. When practicing at home, it helps to keep things fun and interesting. Try giving yoga poses funny names, using music they like,  or telling stories related to the poses. For example, fun facts about sun and the solar system can be a way to introduce sun salutations.

Starting classes again, especially if it's at a new school, is a major life change that can seem very scary to little ones. Do you have school-aged children? How do you prepare them for the start of a new school year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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