The Benefits of Yoga for Autism

The Benefits of Yoga for Autism

 

Yoga is a promising therapy as it directly addresses the symptoms of Autism in children. It helps to increase body awareness, improve motor skills, helps with transition and to develop self esteem and communication skills. There is good evidence that exercise can provide similar benefits for children and adults on the spectrum. In particular, studies have shown that exercise reduces problem behaviors such as repetitive behaviors, off-task behavior, mouthing, self-injury, disruptiveness and aggression in those with autism. As a complement to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), yoga can be introduced to guide and teach them how to calm and de-stress themselves. By adding family members into the mix, they have the chance to partner in yoga poses and breathing exercises while learning effective de-escalation strategies to use at home. Parents also get a moment to focus on their own minds and bodies. 😉 Reduces stress.

Yoga provides a calming atmosphere, allowing children to slow down. Breathing strategies help reduce irritability, regulate heart rates and release difficult emotions. Mindful breathwork also serves as a self-soothing tool and potential replacement behavior for other obsessive, aggressive or self-stimulatory behaviors.

Improves concentration and balance.Along with breathwork, practicing yoga poses encourages children to focus on the task at hand. Guided imagery can also help within the class as the act of listening and mentally acting out scenes can help build cognitive skills and concentration overall. Increases strength and flexibility. It’s no secret that these are included in the physical benefits of yoga postures and stretching, but with these often come enhanced coordination, sensory tolerance and reduction of pain. Improves gross and fine motor skills . Yoga builds body awareness, bringing attention to different types of movement. This includes postural skills, which can even support children in learning to sit up straight in chairs.Encourage peer and social interactions. Following the lead of the yoga instructor, repetition and listening to one’s own body and mind can aid in developing emotional, language and communication skills, which can be translated to other social interactions.Leads to better sleep. Less stress often paves the way for better sleep, since relaxed minds and muscles are more open to rest.

Builds confidence.

Maybe best of all, yoga can create a positive sense of self. For kids with autism, the fun and powerful poses can make them feel successful. This is true for individuals of all abilities since there are modifications that can be built upon over time.

There is good evidence that exercise can provide similar benefits for children and adults on the spectrum. In particular, studies have shown that exercise reduces problem behaviors such as repetitive behaviors, off-task behavior, mouthing, self-injury, disruptiveness and aggression in those with autism. As a complement to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), yoga can be introduced to guide and teach them how to calm and de-stress themselves. By adding family members into the mix, they have the chance to partner in yoga poses and breathing exercises while learning effective de-escalation strategies to use at home. Parents also get a moment to focus on their own minds and bodies. 😉 Reduces stress.

Yoga provides a calming atmosphere, allowing children to slow down. Breathing strategies help reduce irritability, regulate heart rates and release difficult emotions. Mindful breathwork also serves as a self-soothing tool and potential replacement behavior for other obsessive, aggressive or self-stimulatory behaviors. Improves concentration and balance. Along with breathwork, practicing yoga poses encourages children to focus on the task at hand. Guided imagery can also help within the class as the act of listening and mentally acting out scenes can help build cognitive skills and concentration overall. Increases strength and flexibility. It’s no secret that these are included in the physical benefits of yoga postures and stretching, but with these often come enhanced coordination, sensory tolerance and reduction of pain. Improves gross and fine motor skills . Yoga builds body awareness, bringing attention to different types of movement. This includes postural skills, which can even support children in learning to sit up straight in chairs. Encourage peer and social interactions. Following the lead of the yoga instructor, repetition and listening to one’s own body and mind can aid in developing emotional, language and communication skills, which can be translated to other social interactions. Leads to better sleep. Less stress often paves the way for better sleep, since relaxed minds and muscles are more open to rest.

 

 



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