International Journal of Yoga
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 250-254
The benefits of yoga in the classroom: A mixed-methods approach to the effects of poses and breathing and relaxation techniques


1 Department of Education and Wellness, Elon University, Elon, NC, USA
2 Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, The University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Correspondence Address:
Erica M Thomas
Department of Education and Wellness, Elon University, Elon, NC
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_76_19

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Background: Disadvantaged youth in the United States are disproportionately likely to be more sedentary and obese and experience more stress than their counterparts with higher socioeconomic status. Yoga and breathing and relaxation techniques have positive effects on stress levels, physical activity levels, and behavior of school-aged children. Aims: Using social cognitive theory to examine behavioral, personal, and environmental factors, the purpose of this pilot study was to examine the multilevel influences of a yoga-based classroom intervention on urban youth. Methods: Using a mixed methodological quasi-experimental design, this pilot study included the third grade students (n = 40) at one urban elementary school. A survey contained stress, yoga behavior, and aggression scales. In addition, individual student interviews, a teacher interview, and classroom observations were conducted. Results: Paired and independent sample t-tests showed pre/post differences in yoga participation both in and out of school for the intervention participants (P < 0.01). Qualitative analysis revealed three main themes: (1) increased use and enjoyment of yoga techniques, (2) behavioral changes both in/out of school, and (3) impact on personal factors. Conclusions: Findings suggest that urban classrooms should include yoga and mindfulness training as it contributes to daily student PA and also can be stress relieving, fun, calming, and easy to perform outside of school.


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