When one thinks of yoga, they traditionally think of adults, and specifically, women.

However, recent research has shown that yoga could be beneficial for children as well.

Stress relief

Although stress is something normally associated with adults, a key study by the Office of National Statistics found that one in ten children now suffer from mental health problems including stress, anxiety and depression.

YoungMinds, the children's mental health charity, claims that the problem is a growing one, and is dealt with by over a million children in the UK.

Gavin Baylis, a spokesman for YoungMinds, commented: "In the past 20 years, mental health problems have got worse, they are being shown in younger children and they are getting more complex."

The reasons behind this are varied, from academic worries to home problems.

There is a way to tackle this anxiety, according to Susie Lopez of Bent On Learning, a US-based charity that advocates Yoga for kids.

"Yoga provides a firm yet flexible foundation for developing a healthy body and mind, for life," she explained.

"School days can be long and challenging; peer pressure, stresses at home or in a busy social life can build up and debilitate even the most grounded of students. Yoga is a guide to life and its lessons can be ascribed to any goal; as I like to remind my kids, 'focus your mind, count your breath in time, practice every day and all will come your way.'"

Weight loss

Yoga is a fantastic way for children and adults to remain healthy, and lose weight if they need to.

Latest figures from the National Child Measurement Programme show that 19.2 per cent of children in Year 6 (aged 10-11) are obese, while a shocking 14.7 per cent of reception aged children also are.

Yoga is a gentle and easy exercise for children to partake in - losing weight and getting healthy without even noticing it.

It can be done at home supervised by parents, or in a child yoga class.

Posted by Freya Harper