Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy

Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2157-7595


A Comparison of Preschoolers' Motor Abilities Before and After a 6 Week Yoga Program

Deborah Bubela and Shanya Gaylord

Objective: While studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of yoga for school-aged children and adults, there is limited research on the influence of yoga on preschoolers’ motor abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate how young children respond to Hatha yoga training by comparing preschoolers’ strength, flexibility, coordination and balance before and after a 6-week yoga program. Method: A cross-over design was used to compare performance of two groups of preschool children aged 3-5 before and after a 6-week developmentally appropriate yoga training program. The short form of the Bruininks- Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition (BOT-2) and long jump were used to quantify strength, balance and bilateral coordination. Knee extension strength was measured with hand-held dynamometry and functional flexibility of low back and hamstrings was quantified by the Sit and Reach Test (SRT). Results: When compared to a control group, the group participating in yoga demonstrated a statistically significant increase in static balance and functional lower extremity strength with a strong effect size, (d) =1.52, (d) = 0.82 respectively. When comparing individual’s performance before and after participating in the yoga program, individuals showed statistically significant improvements in at least one measure of strength, flexibility and coordination indicating moderate effects of the yoga training. Conclusion: The gross motor development of pre-school children may be enhanced by participation in a 6 week long developmentally appropriate group yoga program.