With Michelle Obama aiming to get rid of child obesity in a generation, with her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, ‘childhood obesity’ in the US has become quite a celebrity. While the Obama administration has announced addition of more green vegetables and fruits to the government subsidized school meals, along with reduction in the amount of fat and salt usage; the introduction of yoga in schools may be the answer to the alarming statistics of childhood obesity in the US.
About 32% children and adolescents in the US are obese or overweight according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids are therefore in the frontline for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
A closer look at childhood epidemic afflicting the nation reveals that physical inactivity is one of the major causes of the situation along with consumption of processed and junk food. So, can we push our children enough to ride a bike to school, or take a walk to the next block. Might sound easy, but believe me it is NOT. Lack of enough physical education in schools, and increase in sedentary activities like watching television and playing video games have to be addressed seriously.
If you want to get your kids off the couch, you need to make a change in their lifestyle. Just pushing them to do some physical exercise once in a while may not be enough. You need to introduce and inculcate the feeling of well being they would experience, if they indulged in some form of physical training.
Yoga fits the bill perfectly. There are a myriad of poses that a child can do, without too much of strain and the best part is that yoga can integrate mind with body. Studies claim that therapeutic effects of yoga would enhance a child’s level of understanding and comprehending manifold with regular practice. Again, just providing a few kids with yoga classes might not solve the problem completely. If you want to cover maximum children, schools are the best place to begin this intervention. Many schools in the US are already looking in the right direction with initiation of yoga programs and communities for students.
Many of us consider yoga to be a passive activity. This is far from the truth. Yoga can be extremely engaging. It is safe, physical and can encourage balanced and healthy living in children. It engages the mind and whole body through naturalist, intuitive, kinesthetic, visual, and musical awareness. Students experience a calming, self-acceptance that helps them feel whole and connected.
Maybe, childhood obesity would meet its match with Yoga…