Teenage students perform better overall, and in separate subjects, when they take a comprehensive yoga class regularly, according to a study from the MGN College of Education published a 2009 issue of the International Journal of Yoga.
Teens don’t have to spend more time studying to earn better grades. Instead, they can increase their test scores when they reduce stress by taking yoga classes. The inspiration for this study came from two previous studies. One showed even a small or moderate amount of stress negatively affects memory and ability to perform daily tasks. The second study showed that doing yoga can reduce stress.
Increase Student Achievement with Yoga Classes
Teens face pressure from their families to obtain the highest levels of academic achievement. In this yoga study, researchers wanted to find out if taking yoga classes would increase in student achievement as a result of stress reduction. To do this, they first administered the Bisht Battery of Stress Scale test to determine the stress levels of 800 boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 15. According to the test results, the researchers placed the students into a high stress or low stress group. Each group was then divided into a treatment group and a control group. Next, the researchers determined the student’s base level of academic performance by administering pre-tests in Math, Science and Social Studies.
The Yoga Class for Teen Stress Relief
The student participants attended a one-hour yoga class every morning for seven weeks. The yoga class had four components: yoga poses, yoga breathing exercises, meditation and prayer. Unfortunately, the details of the study did not reveal the yoga pose sequence, the types of breathing exercises nor details about the meditation practice.
Results Show Yoga Classes Increase Teen’s Test Scores
The results of this yoga study show both the low stress and high stress students that took yoga classes significantly outperformed the students that didn’t do yoga in academic post-tests. In fact, the average post-treatment academic performance scores of high-stress students was about 12 points higher than the high-stress control group. The average post-treatment academic performance scores of low-stress students in the yoga group was about 8 points higher than the non-yoga, low-stress group.