Today in the United States, yoga and meditation are more popular than ever.  As people continue to seek out alternative methods for personal health and happiness, these ancient technologies move ever closer to mainstream view.  As popularity grows, several major international universities have conducted research into how yoga and meditation might benefit today’s youth.
A July, 2013 article in Forbes Magazine revealed how yoga increases student retention rates in public schools by teaching healthy coping mechanisms against stress.  With the national dropout rate between 25% and 35% (and as high as 50% among inner city school), mindfulness techniques give students the capacity to cope with stress and provide a sense of self-empowerment, helping students to overcome obstacles that may have seemed impossible before. (1)
In 2007, two doctors from Purdue University and the University of Indiana conducted a study relating to student achievements rates after the introduction of a school-based yoga program.  They found that “yoga has a significant positive effect on the academic achievement, general health, personal attributes and relationships of students in Kindergarten through 5th grade.” (2)

A 2003 study conducted by California State University, Los Angeles, concluded that participating in a yoga class for two hours each week helped students’ improve their self-esteem, classroom behavior, and physical health.  The study showed a 20% increase in the number of students who reported higher self-esteem, and a 6% increase in improved classroom behavior.  The research results also showed a “statistically significant” link between yoga participation and better grades. (3)

 

In our increasingly fast-paced and technologically advanced society, it is absolutely vital that young people learn the necessary techniques for dealing with stress, anxiety, self-esteem, self-expression, peer pressure, anger, depression, and countless other issues they may face in the coming years.  The studies mentioned above show that participation in a school-based yoga program can work wonders for children of all ages, from kindergarten to high school.

In as little as two hours per week, enhanced self-esteem, self-determination, mental clarity, patience, improved grades, kindness, and emotional balance were some of the benefits listed for having participated in yoga.  
Helping to cultivate young people who are healthy and happy in mind, body, and spirit can only have a positive impact on our society and the world at large.
Thank you for helping to support Y.O.G.A. for Youth in our mission to provide these benefits and more to young people who need it most!