Student research on creating ‘happier and healthier’ children gains international recognition

Student research on creating ‘happier and healthier’ children gains international recognition

Student research on the benefits of yoga for children in early years has been published by a website for educators and parents - followed by practitioners from all over the world.

The dissertation project written by final year Childhood Studies degree student Danielle Norwood explored changes in the emotional, social and physical wellbeing of children following the breathing, meditation and body posture exercises, adapted for children aged two to five years.

Danielle found that after just 15 minutes of yoga, parents reported an increase in children’s confidence and communication. They were better able to share their feelings with children appearing “calmer, happier and less stressed”.

Danielle, who worked at Juice Nursery in Altrincham while studying for her degree, said: “My research into the results of practising yoga with children in early years was striking, particularly for one little boy I did one-to-one yoga sessions with at my nursery whom I mention at the beginning of the study. It really seems like such a useful tool to help children relax.

“This is what is great about this kind of yoga, you can do class or one-to-one exercises, as a longer session or in a short burst, and tailor it to children’s needs. It’s great for calming children down or creating a happier mood and atmosphere. It’s also an incredibly useful tool to use as an anger management technique.”

A survey Danielle quoted in her research, that included yoga practitioners in the early years, showed 97% of 468 respondents reporting positive changes in children’s behaviour with 96% seeing improvements in children’s ability to focus.

Danielle carried out her research at College under the expert guidance of Childhood Studies lecturer Dr Controllah Gabi, whose experience and book 'The Dissertation' proved instrumental to her success.

Danielle, who plans to teach Early Years, said: “I’m still overwhelmed that my research has been published. I think it is important for me to have shared this for the help it might give parents and other nurseries thinking of introducing yoga. Controllah was a huge support throughout the process, teaching us writing and research techniques. The course at College really supports people who want to gain that qualification while they are working.”

You can read Danielle’s research on the front page of the Mini Me Yoga website here:

Founder of Mini Me Yoga Dr Kate Bartram Brown said: "I loved reading the dissertation that Danielle wrote. It was clear and fun to read which impressed me. She clearly had done a lot of work, she took the time to understand the program and how it worked with the little ones. It was our pleasure to put her research paper on our website. It is a shining example of what can be achieved when implementing our program in nursery settings."