How to Use Yoga to Reduce Anxiety in Children

How to use yoga to reduce anxiety in children

The rate of anxiety in children has been increasing over the last several years.  Previous research has indicated that yoga can help reduce anxiety in children.  A recent study examined how to use yoga to reduce anxiety in children.  The study looked at the effects of 10 minutes of daily yoga on the anxiety levels of children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.  Anxiety can hinder a child’s ability to focus and learn therefore it is important to address it at an early age in young students.

Benefits of Yoga for Children

A review of the literature indicates that yoga helps children to:

  1. reduce anxiety.
  2. lower their anxiety levels at a greater rate than cardiovascular exercise.
  3. increase GABA (a neurotransmitter in the brain that reduces anxiety) after one month of yoga.
  4. cope with emotional issues. 

Implementing Yoga in the Classroom to Reduce Anxiety

In the study mentioned above, the yoga program was implemented for 10-minute sessions, 5 days a week for 16 weeks.  To begin with, the teachers received yoga instruction.  For each session, students warmed up and cooled down.  The yoga poses included the following:

  1.  Mountain
  2. Tree
  3. Warrior I and Warrior II
  4. Down Dog
  5. Plank
  6. Table Top
  7. Half Boat
  8. Child’s Pose
  9. Lying Twist
  10. Chill Pose
Yoga for Kids from Your Therapy Source

In order to determine the benefits of yoga to reduce anxiety in children, the researchers used the Screen for Child Anxiety-Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) either through parent report (children under 8) or self-reporting questionnaire for older children.

Results of Using Yoga to Reduce Anxiety in Children

Following statistical analysis, the 10 minutes of daily yoga practice had a significant impact on the anxiety levels of children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.  For children who scored in the Significant School Anxiety range, there was no significant decrease in anxiety.  It was concluded that implementing yoga in the classroom settings can help many children to decrease anxiety levels.  Further research needs to be conducted with larger sample sizes.

Reference:  Rosenberg, M. (2018). Reducing Anxiety in Elementary School Children by Implementing Yoga.  Retrieved from the web on 8/15/18 at

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How to Use Yoga to Reduce Anxiety in Children