05 Aug Yoga for Autistic Children
Yoga for Autistic Children
Today world is looking at Yoga for answers. Yoga for Autistic Children is the need of the hour. Yoga, the ancient science of living well, has been explored by various researchers for its salubrious well-being. A rising number of parents and schools are looking at yoga as a complementary remedy for children with special autism needs.
Yoga holds multiple benefits for Children with Autism
Dr. Hansa Ji, Director of The Yoga Institute, mentions that yoga improves strength, suppleness of body and increases a sense of well-being and peace for autistic children. They experience a decrease in pain, anxiety, and obsessive behaviours. Health camps conducted at The Yoga Institute campus for the past seventy years have observed firsthand how Yoga helps. The children with special needs with enough Yoga practice have greater success in making new friends and regulating emotions.
At our Institute, we teach Yoga that addresses the whole child and the brain and body connection. Yoga therapeutic benefits for autistic children are many-
Autism Anxiety and Yoga
Autistic children sensory experiences are different from other people. Their response is generally stuck in repetitive flight, fight or freeze modes. This results in blood getting diverted from the digestive system to the skeletal system. Because of this movement leads to disrupted digestion, shallow breathing and increased heart rate. This causes anxiety in them. Yoga for Autistic Children – At the Institute we teach them Yogendra Pranayamas which are simple to follow. We teach abdominal IV pranayama and other relaxation techniques like Shavasana, Nisphanda bhava. Mindfulness in doing Yoga actions and incorporating breath, it is a perfect way to create compassionate and more self-aware children and caretakers who accompany them. All these techniques help to calm them down.
Pranayamas (Breath regulation) – Yogendra Pranayamas I to IX help to regulate breath and calm emotions. Children with hyperactive movements respond beautifully to rhythmic breathing.
Yoga Asana (Postures and exercises) – Yoga postures taught improve awareness, motor skills and flexibility. Children enjoy yoga with nature stories. Tree pose, garden pose, cobra pose, downward dog pose etc. make yoga asanas fun for children.
Meditation and relaxation– These yoga techniques help to improve children’s attention span and ability to sit still. Guided meditation helps them to free their mind of clutter. Music and Songs with affirmation help them to stay positive.
Kriya like Trataka improves the eye muscle and function.
Visualisation is important
Yoga teachers know the importance of visualization, and thus various games are taught. Games like follow the leader, Yoga pose cards, Cue cards help with visualization. Using such physical models and posture actions, they are able to imitate and learn yoga successfully.
Creative activities designed for such children like painting, drawing, music helps them to express themselves and emotions better.
Seema experienced Yoga teacher of the Institute recalls “In my five years of teaching autistic children yoga, I never fail to delight at the self-discoveries children make through during yoga sessions. These children are really special to me. Yoga helps them to express their creativity and release their fears, anger and sadness. I give them the yoga tools of awareness, and they express that awareness with so much clarity and wisdom. I am in awe of the whole transformative process. More often they have shown themselves to be my teachers; with their infectious happy approach to life!”