Many adults use yoga to help manage emotions and stress loads that can build up, but kids can benefit from it too. On Friday, 25 students from Mater  Academy, which largely serves at-risk youth, learned some techniques to help release their emotions in a healthy way. 

Tara Snow, with Align Physical Therapy--the group who hosted the free lesson for the students, explains, "This will teach the kids ways they can relieve stress, deal with anxiety, anger, grief."

These techniques allowed the kindergartners and first-graders to learn the importance of healthy emotional outlets, something that can never be taught too early. 

Sabrina Summers with Align Physical Therapy explains, "Early childhood trauma that is unresolved and when people don't have an outlet, leads to a change in the nervous system, PTSD, in other words."

Students were taught breathing techniques, posture, and ways to self-regulate their negative emotions. Everett Hand, one of the students told us what he learned, "To do yoga, like breathing, to help you get calm when you're mad or sad."

Summers added, "These traumas get stuck in the physical body." She says yoga is a way to move that harmful energy out of the body, in a safe way. 

Techniques learned during this class will help them cope with emotions, not only today, but later down the road in their lives. Summers explains, "By how their relationships are, whether they get into addictions, whether they think taking a gun and hurting someone is okay."

By encouraging positivity and simple movement, helps bring these kids a feeling of peace and control. Summers noted, "His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, made this comment--'If every 8-year-old were taught meditation, within one generation, we could end violence."

Align Physical Therapy says they hope more teachers will reach out so they can continue giving back to the children in our community.