Yoga generally involves movement sequences, breath regulation, and various techniques to improve attention. Yoga has helped adults and youth with low self-regulation (SR) and emotional regulation (ER) significantly improve in their ability to confront adversity with greater resilience. It has been postulated to exercise the neural connections involved in having children more efficiently engage in reflection before acting. These findings suggest that yoga helps develop the SR and ER necessary for emotional well-being. Despite these benefits, there is paucity of literature examining the effects of yoga on younger children, and prior studies have seldom involved teachers. This is a problem, as children’s behavioral difficulties may initially have their greatest negative impacts in the context of challenges faced in the classroom. Thus, there is a need for more research on the effects of yoga during the early years. To meet this need, this project examines eight weeks of systematic yoga practice on SR and ER among 4 to 6-year- old students and qualitatively explores its effects on student classroom engagement. This mixed methods study accounts for experiences that reports and direct assessments could not capture. Findings may inform a set of evidence-based guidelines for feasible, developmentally appropriate yoga treatment.

Roxanne Rashedi

University of California – Davis


Currently a Ph.D. Student in Education at UC Davis, I am interested in cognition, the body, and embodied contemplative practices. I am investigating the effects that a school-based yoga intervention … MORE