New York Hospital Opens Door for Kids Yoga

Kids are surrounded every day by computer screens, cell phones, video games, and much overstimulation. Beth Israel Medical Center in New York says they have found an effective anti-dote to help ground kids and settle their often hyperactive minds: Kids Yoga.

Kids at Hospital Practice Yoga

Originally designed to help kids dealing with developmental and behavioral issues, Kids Yoga has opened its doors to all children between the ages of 4-13 in need of a little stress relief. The program, run by Dr. Asma Sadiq and in-house yoga expert, Jillian Friedman, focuses on the integration of mind and body through breath awareness and movement. The aim is to encourage students to have fun while practicing yoga to increase focus, balance, spatial awareness, coordination, and relaxation.

Beth Israel Medical Center started the kids’ yoga program for 4- to 13-year-olds diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and autism, but as they found the health effects of yoga beneficial for all kids, the program’s directors said they decided to transition to an all-inclusive program.

The yoga instructors focus on proper yoga poses and breathing techniques in their weekly classes. The main goal is giving kids a fun and interactive way to blow off some steam and have a place to relax. They also get a chance to know themselves better. As Dr. Sadiq suggests, “You are competing with yourself and getting a sense of who you are.”

Benefits of Kids Yoga

So far the integration of mind and body through yoga practice has had a powerful affect on the students. It increases their ability to focus, and helps bring them into their bodies. This attention placed on their physical and inner selves has pulled them away from the endless static of technology and distractions surrounding them. “They’re aware of their bodies and the boundaries of their bodies, and what they’re capable of.” – Dr. Asma Sadiq

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