UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- Ohmmm…

Instead of socializing before class, some local middle schoolers are opting for silence with a side of downward dog. At Weddington Middle School, one class is practicing yoga before they even open their textbooks.

It’s called “Moga,” or middle school yoga. Students practice breathing, relaxation, even meditation. After all, nowadays you're never too young to be stressed.

"We started it up, (and) it was really slow at first, but then we started to get a lot of people," said WMS student Grace Powell.

Powell and Mia-Marie Santos started the idea as a project for Girl Scouts. The sixth-to-eighth graders start each Tuesday and Thursday with "sun salutations" at 7:45 a.m. The sessions last for 45 minutes. Both girls say they're already seeing benefits, too.

"It definitely helped me feel relaxed and helps me throughout the school day," Powell said.

Parents, listen up! There’s some science behind it, too. According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, yoga offers three major health benefits:

  1. Stress reduction
  2. Improved fitness
  3. Management of chronic conditions

Meaning yoga could ultimately enhance your child's mood, reduce their anxiety, and even help them sleep! Teacher Ashley Dimeo is even noticing the change in her students.

“It gets them centered and focused and ready to handle any stressers that come their way," she said.

With their sights set on high school, these kids say they'll continue to ‘Namaste’ their way through those often difficult transition years.