Did You Know Yoga can Help ADHD and other Special Needs?

January 31, 2012 by FloMoDiva  
Filed under FMF Blog

Yoga can help kids with ADHD, Down Syndrome, Autism and more.Children with special needs can benefit from consistent yoga practice. Yoga is particularly helpful for those students diagnosed with ADHD – attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. The self awareness strategies, self control, and concentration helps with attention and focus, enabling the ADHD student to succeed in the learning environment. Yoga helps the children have self-control, rather than waiting for an adult to control them.

Children with Down Syndrome have delayed motor development and low muscle tone. Yoga poses can help to stretch, tone, and strengthen the entire body. The practice benefits the internal organs and can help revitalize the endocrine glands. Children with Down Syndrome tend to become overweight as they get older. Yoga can help keep the body slim and flexible. The breathing exercises can affect the nervous system and help with concentration and memory. These skills are vital for any child with a developmental disability.

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects motor areas in the brain affecting muscle tone and the ability to control motor function. Yoga promotes deep relaxation and can help to reduce high muscle tone, which is often a problem faced by children with Cerebral Palsy. By holding a yoga pose, the muscle and tendons are given a relaxing stretch, releasing overall tightness and stress around the joints and throughout the muscle structure. The poses can actually improve both high and low muscle tone problems and can help realign the spine. As more space is created between the vertebrae, pressure is reduced on the disks and nerves. This can help develop a greater range of movement and coordination as well as greater independence for children with cerebral palsy.

Students on the Autism spectrum greatly benefit from the practice of yoga. It can create a bond between the teacher and student developing a mutual trust and friendship. A combination of poses, deep relaxation, and breathing can provide sensory integration, promote social interaction, and aid the development of body awareness and concentration. Children with autism are often withdrawn, relating better to objects than people. Poses such as Mountain, Tree, or Down Dog may be more engaging for them. Breathing techniques and guided visualization can teach coping strategies, reduce stress, and provide a sense of calm, as well as releasing pent-up energy that is typical of the autistic child.

Article written and provided by Liza Doll

Yogi Kids
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  1. [...] Did you know Yoga can help kids with special needs such as ADHD, attention deficit, hyperactiviey, autism and more?  Read owner of Yogi Kids, Liza Doll’s, article. [...]

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