Yoga could be good for teen health

Yoga is a discipline that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. This is reflected by the fabulous range of yoga clothing now available. It is even possible for consumers to purchase gorgeous items of yoga wear for babies.

Meanwhile, a recent study conducted in America suggested that these exercises can have psychological benefits for high school students. Conducted by a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and reported in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioural Paediatrics, the research found that yoga may serve a preventative role in adolescent mental health.

In total, 51 teenagers were involved and two-thirds of them were randomly assigned to Kripalu yoga classes that incorporated physical exercises as well as breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques. The remaining third were assigned to regular physical education (PE) classes.

Before and after the ten-week course all the participants completed a range of psychosocial tests.

According to the authors, the individuals that had donned their yoga clothing to take part in these sessions scored better in several of the psychological tests.

Meanwhile, the students rated yoga fairly high, with nearly three-quarters stating they would like to continue going to yoga classes.

Commenting on the findings, researcher Dr Jessica Noggle and her colleagues wrote: “Although not causal due to small, uneven sample size, this preliminary study suggests preventive benefits in psychosocial well-being from Kripalu yoga during high school PE.”

They added: “As an acquired skill, there is an expectation that this will serve to maintain mental health characteristics over the long term, if these practices are continued.”

Dr Noggle and her team went on to suggest that larger studies are needed that would involve multiple schools and would track teenagers for several years into adulthood. This would provide greater insight into the impact of yoga on people in this age demographic.

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