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Yoga for kids brings stress-relief to preschool set

Across the country, children and teens are learning how to focus their minds and develop self awareness through yoga
Yoga for kids helps little ones de-stress 01:21

The stress-relieving practice of yoga is well known for its many health benefits. Now mainstream for American adults, yoga is also becoming increasingly popular with children.

That means yoga instructors are looking for ways to gear the ancient practice specifically to children. They gathered to learn new techniques and share their expertise at the first ever National Kids Yoga Conference, which was held last month at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

"We want to give our kids some tools to function in this very stressed out world that we are living in," conference organizer Pleasance Silicki told CBS News' Paula Reid.

Studies have shown yoga can be an effective way to help children reduce stress, improve concentration, and manage emotions.

Some research suggests yoga can also help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral problems.

"Yoga might be good for attention," said Dr. Gurjeet Birdee of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University. "There's also some preliminary research that yoga might be good for mood in children, so helping with stress, anxiety and depression."

The conference addressed the idea that teaching yoga to children takes a different set of skills on the instructor's part.

"A kids yoga class has more playfulness, more laughter, maybe we are shaking our sillies out before we can get into the breathing," Silicki explains.

Not only do the kids enjoy their playful classes, but they're also learning skills that will serve them throughout the rest of their lives.

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