Try Yoga to Lower Stress
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a way to stretch out your body, slow down your breathing, and relax your mind. Doing yoga can help you stay calm when life is busy and stressful.
When you do yoga, you move your body into yoga poses. Each pose is a different way to stretch your body. While you are in each yoga pose, you take a few slow breaths. It feels great to stretch, breathe, move, and relax.
How Does Yoga Help With Stress?
Two of the best ways to lower stress are exercise (moving your body) and slow, calm breathing. When you do yoga, you do both things. That’s why yoga is a great way to help your body and mind relax and de-stress.
Yoga is also a good way to be mindful. When you do yoga, you take your time. You do one thing (one yoga pose) at a time. You let your mind be on the yoga pose you are doing. You breathe slow and easy. When you’re mindful in these ways, stress melts away.
How Can I Try Yoga?
Anytime you start a new way to exercise, it's a good idea to check with a parent.
A yoga class for kids is a great way to try yoga. Yoga teachers show kids how to move and stretch safely. They show you how to get into the poses, and how to move from one pose to the next.
Yoga has lots of poses to try. Some yoga poses are named for animals — like cat-cow, or downward dog. Others are named for things in nature — like mountain pose, tree pose, or five-pointed star.
In a kids’ yoga class, the teacher might lead kids through one pose, then another, and another. They might have kids play yoga games that teach yoga poses and breathing. They remind kids to breathe, laugh, and have fun.
Kids can do yoga at home, too. You can follow a yoga video for kids, or you can try poses you learned in a yoga class. Wear comfortable workout clothes and no shoes or socks. A yoga mat can help because it cushions you and keeps your feet from slipping.
Yoga should never hurt. Go slowly when you stretch, bend, reach, and move. Only go as far as you comfortably can.
Does Yoga Help in Other Ways?
Yes! Yoga is also a way to:
- strengthen your muscles and bones
- stretch your muscles and be more flexible
- practice your balance
- feel more energy during the day
- get good sleep at night
Most of all, yoga is fun — whether you do it alone or with friends. Moving and breathing in yoga poses can make you smile, laugh, and feel great.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995- The Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth® is a registered trademark of The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
Images sourced by The Nemours Foundation and Getty Images.