Posts In: Yoga

Yoga and Childhood Anxiety

September 3, 2019

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, anxiety is the leading health issue among children, even elementary school children. Sara Dimerman, a Toronto-based psychologist, told the CBC that school environment, peer pressure, and parental decisions may be at the root of increasing childhood anxiety.

What can parents do to support their child and reduce their anxiety? One study suggests that yoga may help.

Studying Yoga in Children with Anxiety

The study compared two groups of anxious third-grade children. One group received normal care for their anxiety, which included counseling from a social worker and other activities.

The second group of children received mindfulness instruction and participated in ten sessions of yoga for forty minutes before the start of school, over the course of either the fall or spring.

Results indicated that yoga had a positive effect on the children. Those third graders who participated in yoga and mindfulness had, on average, higher emotional quality of life and scored better on a psychosocial questionnaire than their peers who did not participate in yoga.

Researchers also engaged with teachers to discuss the benefits of yoga. Teachers found yoga to be a useful tool in the classroom. According to the study’s authors, teachers “reported using yoga more often each week, and throughout each day in class, following the professional development component of intervention.”

Other research has found that children receive similar benefits from yoga and mindfulness practices. Children with ADD or ADHD, Asperger’s, and depression may all see symptom improvement after yoga. Research also indicates that the emotional benefits of yoga and mindfulness may last for the long-term.

Yoga for Your Child

In the study, researchers designed a yoga program which included, “breathing exercises, guided relaxation, and several Vinyasa and Ashtanga poses appropriate for third graders.”

Our Hatha and Restorative yoga classes fit the bill, with gentle and calming movements that are meant to reduce anxiety and stress. Our yoga instructors can adjust these programs to be achievable for young children. You may also maximize the benefits of yoga by having your child attend classes at an especially stressful or challenging times in their life.

Generally, children tend feel more anxiety at the start of the school year, as well as when they transition into key school years such as grade three, six, and nine. The study’s authors chose grade three students precisely because this year is a challenging transition.

“Our initial work found that many kids expressed anxious feelings in third grade as the classroom work becomes more developmentally complex,” Bazzano said. “Even younger children are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, especially around test time.”

If your child is struggling with anxiety, or facing a challenge or transition, signing them up for a yoga class may help them self-regulate their mood and flourish. Contact us today for more information on our yoga programs for children.

At Absolute Pilates, we offer both Pilates and yoga classes, so we often get asked about the difference between the two. While it’s true that they are quite similar, these workouts are different enough that most people have a strong preference for one over the other.

Here we’ll take a look at the key differences so that you can decide which type might be best for you.

The Core Differences

Pilates and yoga are both full-body workouts that focus on improving strength, flexibility, balance and breathing. However, Pilates focuses on the strength aspect, while yoga usually focuses more on flexibility and breathing. Most of the time when you’re in a Pilates class, you’ll be on the ground. In a yoga class, you’re more likely to be switching from standing to ground work, depending on the style.

Another key difference is that many people choose to practice yoga as part their spirituality. Even if you don’t choose to do that, you will still find most yoga classes are meditative and help you focus your mental energy on your goals. Not as many people consider adding their spiritual practices to Pilates, which tends to be more intense. Plus, Pilates involves counting reps and keeping track of sets, which doesn’t leave as much room to think.

You can learn even more about the differences between Pilates and yoga by reading about the specific kinds of classes we offer.

Pilates Classes

We offer several different Pilates classes which all offer something a little different: 

  • Osteo-Pilates: If you’re looking to add a little of that yoga flexibility and balance into your Pilates class, this might be right for you. While the class is designed to decrease the risk of fractures for those with Osteoporosis, anyone can participate and reap the benefits of better balance and bone health.
  • Stretch and Lengthen: This class also focuses on stretching more than your average Pilates class but has fewer bone health benefits than the Osteo-Pilates class.
  • Matwork Challenge: If instead you want to lean into the benefits of Pilates and improve your strength and endurance, this class will challenge you and even boost coordination.
  • Mom and Babies: After you give birth, you might be drawn to Pilates because of its focus on the core muscles, which need to recover and strengthen after your pregnancy. This class allows you to bring your little one and is a bonus bonding experience for both mom and baby!

Yoga Classes

Our yoga classes focus on those benefits that yoga does best, including breathing, focus and flexibility.

  • Hatha yoga: When most people think of yoga, they imagine Hatha yoga. It teaches beginner poses and focuses on breathing and calming to reduce cortisol and improve your focus.
  • Restorative yoga: This class is designed to align your body and mind with slow, purposeful movements that activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The benefits include lowered blood pressure and heart rate, lessening chronic pain and anxiety, and increasing oxygen levels in the blood.

There’s much to be said for the benefits of practicing both Pilates and yoga as you need both strength and flexibility to be healthy. If you’re ready to sign up for a class, feel free to register here.

Baby

Being a Mommy to a new baby is a demanding job! From managing feedings and nap time, to comforting them when they cry, to soaking up all the beautiful moments – it can be difficult to find time to focus on your health.

Are you struggling to find enough free time for yourself to exercise? Do you often feel tired and sluggish from not getting enough active minutes in a week? Are you hoping to put your health first? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you ABsolutely need to try one of our Mommy and Me Pilates classes!

At Absolute Pilates, our Mommy and Me Pilates Class is specifically targeted to women who have recently had a baby. The best part?! Your baby will have just as much fun as you do.

FitnessExplore the Many Benefits of a Mommy & Baby Pilates Class

Our Mommy and Me Pilates class is all about making Moms from all walks of life feel confident and comfortable. We do this by offering a program that is geared towards different ability and experience levels.

Whether you were a Pilates pro before you got pregnant or have never tried it before – our classes are geared towards your unique ability level.

Your post-natal body is a representation of the beautiful little being you created and we aim to help you stay healthy and active while achieving your individual body goals, whatever they may be. Our class is designed to safely target areas that new moms are usually most interested in working on (like regaining strength and muscle tone in the pelvic floor, back, and abs).

Our experienced instructors are moms themselves – they know that having a baby is a 24/7 job and can help you meet your fitness goals through safe, post-natal exercises in an accepting and fun environment. Need to take a break to feed? Or change a diaper? No problem! You’ve got our full support and understanding.

Meet Other Moms

In addition to the fitness component, our Mommy and Me Pilates class is a great way to get out in the community and meet other new moms. Being a new Mom can sometimes be an isolating experience, especially during the winter months, but our class is a warm, welcoming place to meet other women with shared experiences.

Your child will have fun too and enjoy the opportunity to interact and meet other babies. Mommy and Me Pilates is sure to brighten your spirits during this cold and grey weather!

Model Healthy Habits

Demonstrating healthy habits to your child from a young age is important. Children who see their parents valuing and prioritizing their health and fitness are more likely to do so themselves.

Love Your Body

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! Our goal is to help you fall back in love (or stay in love) with your body. With a diverse range of exercises, our overall focus is on health and wellness through a participatory and adaptable approach.

Get started on your path to a healthier, happier lifestyle for you and your little bundle of joy. Contact us today to register in our Mommy and Me Pilates Class. We look forward to meeting you and your little one.

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