Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Evaluation of an Afterschool Yoga Program for Children

Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Evaluation of an Afterschool Yoga Program for Children

Article excerpt

Byline: Chia-Liang. Dai, Laura. Nabors, Rebecca. Vidourek, Keith. King, Ching-Chen. Chen

Sir,

Children have engaged in low levels of physical activity (PA) and may face increased risk for negative health outcomes. [sup][1] Afterschool programs are an appropriate avenue to improve levels of PA and fitness among school-age children. [sup][2] Yoga is a PA that can be practiced over the course of a child's lifespan. [sup][3] The purpose of the current study was to examine the impact of an afterschool yoga program on children's perceptions of yoga and ability to practice and recall yoga poses. A total of 33 participants, mean age was 6 years, were recruited from an afterschool program at a local school. The majority of students attending this school were from low-income families. Children participated in a 3-month, twice per week, yoga program. A typical session started with a meditation session for approximately 1-2 min, and then was followed by instruction on 6-10 yoga poses. Yoga poses that were used in the intervention were the tree, mountain, warrior, dancer, cow, cat, boat, upward-facing dog, and downward-facing dog poses [Table 1]. Data were collected before the program began, mid-program, and at the end of the program. Baseline data indicated that 64% of children reported they had never practiced yoga. At the mid-intervention survey, 83% of the children reported multiple positive benefits of yoga practice, such as feeling happy, having fun, feeling relaxed, and feeling stronger after practicing yoga. These findings were consistent with positive findings of other yoga programs. [sup][4],[5] Children demonstrated increased self-efficacy for performing yoga by the end of the program. …

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