The White House has wholeheartedly embraced yoga as a worthy physical activity and a possible solution to the childhood obesity epidemic in America.
Both First Lady Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga are avid yoga enthusiasts, and here are the 3 things that they want your child to know about yoga.
- You can get a medal from the President for doing yoga
- Yoga can help you get better grades in school
- Yoga improves your health and overall well-being.
The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenges children to commit to a daily physical activity, including yoga, for 6 out of 8 weeks to help them get off the couch and to receive a medal from the President as well.
The rates of childhood obesity and inactivity in the United States are dramatic. According to the Center for Disease Control Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled over the past thirty years.
This increase correlates with the boom of computers and video games since the 1980s. Before that, kids were playing outside sports and burning calories instead of sitting inside playing sports video games on the computer.
We have a generation of youth that has to make an effort to be physically active. Children of all ages and sizes and varying degrees of athletic ability can practice yoga, a non-competitive form of exercise endorsed by the White House.
Secondly, yoga increases the ability to concentrate and focus, helps kids feel empowered, and helps them stay calm (even kids with ADD or ADHD). All told, this translates into better performance in school.
Achieving that mind-body connection allows children to maintain their cool while coping with anything from tests to peer pressure.
Lastly, yoga improves the health and overall well-being of children.
Our nation, including our youth, is under siege by obesity and diseases like diabetes that stem from a poor diet and lack of exercise. Yoga for kids will create good habits and a foundation for well-being.
Jane Young, Principal of Preschool – 4th Grade at St. Matthew’s Parish School in Pacific Palisades, California states “I see our young children benefiting from the engaging activity of yoga. Practicing simple yoga poses supports and enhances learning, health, and personal responsibility.”
Both Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga agree that all that stretching, bending, breathing, pushing, pulling, twisting and turning will improve the overall health of children and set them on the right path for life.