I have known for a while now that the practice of yoga is very good for body stability and for an area of your brain called your cerebellum. The cerebellum is what coordinates all of your movements and gives your body stability. So during a yoga pose you are holding a position and creating stability of your body. This is largely a cerebellar function.
Your cerebellum is a small area of the brain that is located in the back. The cerebellum has more neurons than the entire rest of the brain because it coordinates everything in the brain and body! The cerebellum is also highly involved in cognition, eye tracking, attention, and control of behaviors. The healthier your cerebellum the healthier the child is!
I came across a research article this morning that compared a 12 week yoga practice to a 12 week general PE class, and how it related to visual attention, visuomotor skills, and attention. If you would like to read the article for yourself it is titled “12 Weeks of Kindergarten-Based Yoga Practice Increases Visual Attention, Visual-Motor Precision and Decreases Behavior of Inattention and Hyperactivity in 5-Year-Old Children”.
The study was performed by having 3 different groups that performed 3 different activities for a 12 week period. The first group did Yoga twice a week for 30 minutes, the second did a PE class 2 times a week for 30 minutes, and the third did in class activities that did not require physical activity 2 times a week for 30 minutes.
They did pre and post testing of visual attention, visual-motor precision, and ADHD questionaire testing. They used all standardized tests for these procedures and they were all performed before the 12 week program and after the 12 week program in all groups.
What the study found was that the group that did yoga performed better than both of the other groups in all areas tested. It found that their visual attention (ability to fixate their eyes on a target) was better, visual-motor skills (eye tracking) were better, and their attention was better. They had improved compared to their initial testing and also their progress was compared to both the other groups and was found to be superior!
Yoga can be a very fun activity, and also challenging at the same time. It requires stability of your body, balance, focus, the ability to plan motor movements, and much more. These are also very important aspects that are needed to maintain attention and focus, and sadly are skills that are lacking in kids with ADHD.
If you have a child with ADHD you may want to think about getting them in a consistent yoga practice or a program designed to strengthen their cerebellum!
Citation: Jarraya S, Wagner M, Jarraya M and Engel FA (2019) 12 week of Kindergarden-Based Yoga Practice Increases Visual Attention, Visual-motor Precision and Decreases Behaviors and Inattention in Hyperactivity in 5-Year-Old Children. Front. Psychol. 10:796. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00796
Other Blog Articles Related to this Topic
Dietary and Lifestyle Considerations for a Healthy Cerebellum: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/limitlesschild.blog/86
Did you know your Cognitive Development is Highly Dependent on Motor Development? :https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/limitlesschild.blog/170