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Your Healthy Family: Yoga helping children with more than flexib - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Yoga helping children with more than flexibility

COLORADO SPRINGS -

Getting a child to focus and calm down can be a struggle for parents, and children can have a hard time coping with their emotions. But some say yoga can help kids with these issues and improve more than just their flexibility.

"Through those exercises they learn, "Hey, I don't have to scream and cry over this situation, I can take a deep breath and be cool with it,'" Jenny Holliday, Hope Montessori Academy yoga instructor, told News5. "It gives them body awareness, space awareness, and that's something I believe children with some behavioral issues and also developmental issues can benefit from."

Yoga can also help kids that struggle with stress, nerves, and anxiety, Holliday said. Incorporating yoga into a child's routine can teach them how to focus better in these situations.

"What we're starting to notice in the field of psychology is that one thing that seems to come across almost all mental health diagnoses: a problem with mood. They don't know how to control their mood, or if they get stressed or depressed, it triggers whatever their symptoms are," said Michelle Fury, Children's Hospital Colorado yoga therapist.

Once children find that ability to control their mood, their confidence goes up, and negative behaviors go down.

"What we see with kiddos with sensory integration is they process more slowly. So, if you give them a structured way to follow instructions, it gives them a sense of mastery," Fury said. 

"I see the results. That just brings love to my heart to see a child go from really crazy at the beginning of class, to this peaceful being on their yoga mat," Holliday said. 

And let's not forget about mom. 

"When mom is relaxed, baby is relaxed. So it's a great opportunity for moms to take a deep breath. And the more deep breaths we can take as mommas, the happier our babies are," Emilie Jimenez, mom to six-week-old baby Isa said.

At Villasport Athletic Club and Spa, Jimenez and her daughter Isa practice yoga for some bonding time.

"To feel a little less lonely, a little less isolated, to ease you back into normal everyday life with your baby, you can still exercise, you can still get to the gym, you can still connect with other people who are going through what you're going through," Jiminez said.

Aside from benefiting moms and children's behavior, instructors said "baby yoga" can also help strengthen a child's neck and crawling muscles.

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