Mindful Yoga in Schools

Stress reduction following a mindful yoga intervention in schools.

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Young people today are exposed to increasing stressors and pressures. Shockingly, self-harm and suicide rates in young people have grown considerably in the last seven years, with female teenagers being more likely to self-harm and male teenagers being more likely to attempt to take their own lives. Depression and anxiety are also growing in this section of the population. Clearly something needs to be done to support our young people....and fast.

The linked study here looks at students' perspectives on the effects on stress levels of a school-based mindful yoga intervention. In order to explore youths' own perspectives on stress, stressors in youths' lives, and perceived changes in responses to stress post-intervention, researchers conducted focus group discussions with 22 middle school students from low-income urban communities following a 16-week mindful yoga intervention.

Wonderfully, the following three themes emerged from the study : (1) youth correlated stress with negative emotions; (2) peer and family conflicts were common stressors; and (3) youth reported improved impulse control and emotional regulation following the mindful yoga intervention. We continue to hope for, and work towards, mindfulness and yoga being offered in schools as a matter of course and invite you to join with our efforts. Wishing you a peaceful and mindful weekend everyone.

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS