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Teens Benefit from Yoga

Yoga classes have positive psychological effects for high school students, according to new research. 

Remedies for Life Magazine Staff

Since mental health disorders commonly develop in the teenage years, yoga may serve a preventive role in adolescent mental health.

Fifty-one juniors and seniors at a Massachusetts high school were randomly assigned to yoga or regular physical education classes. The yoga classes included physical yoga postures together with  breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. Students completed psychosocial evaluations before and after the 10-week program, including tests of mood, tension/anxiety, and “self-regulatory skills”—such as resilience, control of anger expression, and mindfulness—thought to protect against the development of mental health problems.

Students in the regular PE classes tended to have increased scores for mood problems and anxiety at the end of the study, while those taking yoga stayed the same or showed improvement. Negative emotions worsened in students taking regular PE but improved in those taking yoga. Students in the yoga class gave the experience high marks, with threequarters saying they’d like to continue taking yoga.

Selected Sources: 

“Yoga Shows Psychological Benefits for High-School Students,” Wolters Kluwer Health, 4/4/12