Guest Post by Sawoni Chowdhury
Yoga is a proven form of exercise that is fit for people of all ages and helps reduce the risk of various diseases. It’s a 5000-year old practice with universal popularity for improving overall health and well-being. Above all, practicing yoga can keep fit all the three elements – body, body and spirit.
However, not many people may know that yoga can also be effective among children with autism (ASD) – a developmental disorder that impacts the ability to communicate and also affects behaviour. Children with autism face not only developmental challenges but also emotional ones. Plus, there is not much of awareness about this disease which can strike across the world.
At present, there is no specific standard remedy or treatment for autism, although the use of therapy is found effective in boosting children’s symptoms and ability to function. While the exact benefits of yoga in autistic children are not known, experts do believe that there are lots of benefits that can happen to the body when it’s done.
When children with autism do yoga, it can help in many ways, including –
- Reduce anxiety in them
- Boost their overall level of focus & concentration
- Improve body awareness
- Instil a positive sense of self
- Ensure better social connectedness
- Reduce impulsive and obsessive behaviours
- Help control aggressive streaks
Clearly, yoga does have lots of positive effects on children with autism and even though research does not confirm all this, it’s still worthwhile to practice it and benefit when there is developmental disorder.
It’s however also important to know different yoga poses that are good for children with autism so that the best benefits are achieved. Since there are hundreds of poses in yoga and not all meant for autistic children, it would always be beneficial to talk to experts and know what poses or asanas can work in case of autism.
Here are some of effective yoga poses of children with autism –
- Tree Pose
Tree Pose is very beneficial for children with autism and can help develop concentration and improve balance. It can also help strengthen the thighs, ankles and calves. The pose is easy to follow – the child just has to stand straight with a mountain-like pose with the arms extended away from the body on both the sides. After that, the right knee has to be bent and the right foot placed on the left thigh with the face upwards and towards the sky. This pose should be held for a few breaths and then repeated on the other side for benefits.
- Warrior Pose
The warrior pose is great for strengthening the core together with boosting balance and increasing focus. Doing this pose can help stretch different muscles in the legs, chest and shoulders to relive any pain. Plus, it can also boost self-confidence when done regularly. The pose is easy – the child can stand on the floor with their feet wide apart and then has to turn to right by taking the right foot outwards. After that, the child has to bend at the knees with the left foot turned inwards and arms raised and held straight across at shoulder length. Then, the child has to breath for 2-3 minutes by keeping the back erect.
- Ragdoll Pose
Ragdoll Pose is quite affective for children with autism as it can help relieve the stress and calm the mind. To do this pose, a child can just stand with their legs placed together and arms raised slowly and then bend at the waist. While keeping the knees relaxed, the arms need to fall to the floor amid deep breath. After a while the back can be raised.
- Cat Cow Pose
This pose is quite beneficial in stretching the neck and massaging the spine and internal organs. To start this pose, the child has to kneel on the floor on their knees and hands alongside keeping the knees below the hips and hands below the shoulders. After that, the child has to inhale and allow the belly to fall to the side of floor, quite like a cow and then look up and make the cattle sound. When the child exhales, he/she has to get arched back like a cat and the look down and meow.
- Lion’s Breath
The Lion’s Breath pose is quite helpful in relieving tension as it symbolises the release of needless emotions. Doing it will feel like letting negative thoughts go away. To do it, the child has to kneel down and cross the ankles. Then, he/she has to place their hands on the knees and tighten the palms against the thigs. Then, the fingers have to stretch to resemble the claws of a lion and then inhale and exhale with sounds like a roar. You can join one of top special needs schools and get a chance to do these poses regularly.
Sawoni Chowdhury is an aficionado of writing. She is an expert writer and blogger and shares her views and opinions on a range of topics such as Lifestyle, Business, Entertainment and lot more.