Preschool Yogis: A Pilot Study to Determine the Feasibility of a Structured Classroom-Based Yoga Program
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility (i.e., acceptability) of a yoga intervention implemented within a preschool with typically and atypically developing children.
Participants: 29 children between the ages of three and five years that are currently attending the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College Preschool.
Methods: Children participated in eight ~15-20-minute yoga sessions consisting of an opening circle, breathing, mindful movement, and a closing circle with relaxation time. Parents completed weekly homework assignments and surveys about the homework. Parents and teachers both completed daily behavior logs to track their child’s number of outbursts, mention of yoga, and use of yoga. Additionally, parents completed a post-intervention survey to determine overall satisfaction.
Results: The Preschool Behavior Questionnaire paired t-test results did not demonstrate any significant differences in pre-intervention (M=13.00, SD±7.55) and post-intervention (M=11.95, SD±6.92) scores, t(17)=0.94, p=0.36. There were no visible correlations between outbursts and use of yoga as reported by parents, but the use of yoga increased with the number of outbursts as reported by parents. Overall, parents felt the sessions had a positive effect on their child’s behavior and felt their children enjoyed the sessions.
Conclusion: Implementing classroom-based yoga programs could be an acceptable, realistic option to manage and prevent negative behaviors in preschool children.