An Early Start On Yoga Fitness

9 years 6 months 4 days ago July 16, 2007 Jul 16, 2007 Monday, July 16 2007 Monday, July 16, 2007 4:24:56 PM CDT in News
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Parents say it's helped their children in their commitment to be fit. For one boy, it's served as an alternative to medication.

Jake Ferguson, an 11 year old boy with his legs over his head, is  smart, mature and charming. He takes yoga mixed with other focus enhancing exercises in an attempt to overcome occasionally severe anxiety, and it's working.

"The focusing, and the breathing and the tension," were improved by the exercise, he said.

He and his mom credit instructor Jeff Farrell for the success. Farrell has studied all over the world, taught at Yale and for the French government. He says yoga, tailor made for individual kids, can improve focus, control breathing and reduce anxiety even outside of the studio.

"They have the tools to take this to school, to take this with interaction with friends, with their own personal decisions," he said.

Jake's mom, Liz, first took Jake to a psychiatrist who wanted to put him on medication, but that made her nervous.

"I didn't want him to change his personality, very outgoing, has lots of personality," she said. 

So far, Jake's doing great and looks forward to yoga almost as much as basketball. This result has Farrell convinced that yoga can be a good alternative to pills for kids.

"Oh, this is the future," he said. 

Reported by NBC's Brendan Higgins.

Area yoga instructors say they've tried kids programs but their hasn't been much interest. Some do offer private lessons. The Little Gym in Columbia does incorporate yoga in some of their classes and does offer a baby yoga class.

Gene Linked To Diabetes

New research identifies another gene that raises the risk of type-one diabetes.

This latest research adds to four genes already identified for the disease in which the immune system attacks cells that produce insulin, making patients dependent on insulin injections.

The newly-discovered gene appears to be active in immune cells.

Autism Research Raises Concern

A British doctor who was the first to claim a vaccination was linked to autism is under fire for his research techniques.

In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield presented research stating there were connections between the mumps-measels and rubella vaccine and autism. Now, Wakefield and a fellow researcher are being accused of ethical violations and dishonesty. The alleged misconduct happened in 1996 and '98.

Investigators say Wakefield paid children at his son's birthday $10 for blood samples.

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