Kids around the country might be trading their video games in for a session of yoga soon. Instead of reciting rap lyrics and watching music videos on YouTube they’ll be standing in line, mat to mat, chanting “OM” like it’s going out of style. Between homework, juggling a full schedule of activities and not to mention this entire bully epidemic going on in our schools, sometimes even children need a good yoga pose or two to wind down from a stressful day. And that’s exactly what they’re getting.

According to the Mayo Clinic yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood as well as reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Hospitals, gyms, physical trainers and community-based organizations are beginning to open their doors to a new crowd of yoga-goers in an effort to combat childhood obesity, help kids focus and increase physical, emotional, mental and energetic wellness in kids and families.

The Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City started a yoga program for kids age four to 13-years-old diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and autism but is also open for all children. Bobbi Hamilton, a celebrity fitness trainer who’s worked with have Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! LA Organization recently launched the Phresh Mat, an eco-friendly exercise mat in school gyms, studios and private gyms available in the Los Angeles area. With plans to expand nationwide the Phresh Mat features the Flow & Phreeze Game cleverly combining flow yoga poses and break-dance freezes that gets kids excited about the ancient practice while incorporating a little bit of dance.

Zumba, the popular high-energy dance-incorporated cardio classes that swept the nation for adults, is also now being customized for children. Zumba creators created Zumbatomic for kids packed with kid-friendly routines and all the music kids love like hip-hop, reggaeton, cumbia and more. Classes increase focus and self-confidence, boost metabolism and improve coordination.

Have you considered getting your children involved in yoga activities?

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  • I think this is absolutely an excellent idea. I remember when I was young, I would be in all types of physical activity (dance especially,) which was always fun and good for my health. These days, parents will just plop their kids in front of a video game and consider that an activity, so not cool. Video games are ok once in a while but that shouldn’t be the only activity kids know. Nice job with the yoga and zumba for kids and these are things (especially zumba) that they will actuall enjoy.

  • LaNubiana

    Why not just give them balls to play soccer, American football, basketball, baseball etc… and let them have at it? Despite Western people’s obsession of Yoga, I personally don’t believe it’s for kids as the long term practice of Yoga specially by a non formally trained individual could cause serious spinal cord, joint fractures and brain injuries.

    • Maeby

      “long term practice of Yoga specially by a non formally trained individual could cause serious spinal cord, joint fractures and brain injuries.”

      All forms of physical exercise are potentially very dangerous. Have you never seen injuries that occur in team sports? With Yoga you need to warm up first and move into each position slowly. If it hurts you should stop and/or relax the position. You do this long term, the positions become easier and you become more flexible (plus the other health benefits mentioned).

      These kids aren’t going to be doing anything intense. It’s probably just going to be some simple stretches (like you do before sports), breathing exercises and balancing on one leg.