Various studies conducted across the world on the benefits of yoga suggest that this ancient Indian art could help in easing a wide array of health issues, including obesity and mental illnesses. Now, according to a research, yoga could be beneficial for children with autism. Autism is a neurological disorder that leads to developmental disabilities. Let us take a look at how good is yoga for autism.
Yoga and Autism
According to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy in 2012, autistic children who practiced yoga showed a remarkable improvement in sustained attention and school performances. Read on to know more about the benefits of yoga to children with autism.
1. Perks Up Confidence And Social Skills
Autistic children lack social skills and confidence as they have poor coordination skills. The self-esteem of such kids are negatively impacted. Learning to keep themselves under control and calm via yoga helps the kids to interact with others in a better way and improve their social skills.
2. Helps In Developing Motor Skills
Delayed development of motor skills is a common aspect of kids with autism. Regular practice of various asanas could help in toning the muscles, developing an awareness about the body, improve the balance, and develop coordination.
3. Helps In Better Management of Sensory Stimuli
Autistic children are highly sensitive to bright lights, loud sounds, strong flavors and aromas, and extreme textures. Yoga is generally practiced in a setting with dim lights, smooth mats, and calming voices that help in creating a sense of protection and care. In the process, it helps in calming down the aggressive stimuli, helping them manage those in a better way.
4. Helps In Creating Self Awareness
Kids learn self-regulation with regular practice of yoga. They get an opportunity to know more about their bodies and breathing patterns. Once they have this awareness place, they find it easier to cope up with the situations where anxiety troubles them. This is one of the key reasons why breathing techniques and poses focused on calming and creating self awareness are the primary lessons of yoga for kids with autism.
5. Improves The Mood
Various yoga poses along with Pranayama techniques and meditations help in improving the secretion of the endorphins. These chemicals help in elevating the mood and warding off depression in such children. The autistic kids, who are hyperactive, can make use of various asanas and breathing techniques to induce a restraint on their activity levels.
[ Read: How To Avoid Chemicals Linked To Autism ]
Here Are Some Poses That Could Help The Kids With Autism:-
1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose:
This works towards improving the balance and concentration while helping the child to develop self-awareness. Stand straight with the feet touching each other. Inhale and sweep the hands over the head. Close the eyes and focus on the breathing. Allow the child to find his equilibrium. Guide him gently to stand still.
2. Cat Cow Breathing:
It massages the neck, shoulders, and spine, while improving the digestion and circulation. Come on all the fours, knees and palms kept at shoulder distance. Inhale, allow the belly to fall towards the floor, and look up. Exhale, concave the back, and gaze at the floor. Do it about 20 times.
3. Balasana – Child’s Pose:
It massages the back and thighs, while giving the digestive fire a boost. It is also a wonderful way to help the child calm down. Sit on the floor with knees bent and buttocks resting on the heels. Inhale and sweep the hands over your head. Separate the knees, exhale and stretch, resting the upper body in between the thighs. Let the tummy touch the floor. Lie down as long as you want.
Yoga alone cannot do miracles. But when done in conjunction with other treatments, it could definitely improve the quality of life of the autistic child!