Yoga is the best medicine for mental peace and physical fitness. If you are thinking about yoga practice at a young age then it is an ultimate benefit. It is important for kids to focus on their mental health. And yoga is more of a therapy for kids with autism.
Few kids don’t develop body awareness, social skills and they do repetitive behaviour. If you notice your child has autism then you must start the yoga sessions.
Yoga is a good path from tinder age which becomes a practice for future as well. It is more crucial for kids with autism to overcome any kind of barrier to be a strong personality. Further we will let you all know all the benefits of yoga for kids with autism. Also see the poses that work to fight autism in kids.
Brief About Autism In Children – What Is It?
Autism is a spectrum disorder of the nervous system. It is generally displayed in the kids at toddlers age. While they grow, they find it difficult to communicate and interact. Other signs of autism in children are repetitive behaviour and obsessive interests. This impacts the kids in various ways like emotionally, socially and physically.
Autism causes vary from child to child. The common causes include genetics, viral infections or any allergic reaction. Kids develop the symptoms of autism from pregnancy (as foetus) or due to premature birth. The symptoms will be shown in later stages as the child grows.
Which Yoga Poses Help Children To Overcome Autism?
You have different yoga poses from which you can pick the simple ones for your beginner child. Kids may find body balance and breath patterns difficult at first. So, your guidance while practicing is needed. Go throught the benefits and steps for kids to overcome autism with regular yoga practice.
Read from here: 24 Must Read Important Facts On Autism
1. Cat pose
Cat pose is a gentle massage for kids. The simple stretch that kids can practice playfully. If you have a few yoga poses in a row for your kids with autism then cat pose is similar to a warm up. It includes the breathing patterns that increase mental stability and presence of mind as well.
The pose is simply imitating the cat stretching. As kids bend and hold the pose, it also strengthens the muscles. It makes the hands and ankles stronger with regular practice.
Steps to do:
1. Ask your kids to come to his fours on a mat.
2. He must place the palms on the mat and knees to toes should touch the floor.
3. Spread the hands and legs wider while pressing them into the mat.
4. Band down your head and continue with further steps.
5. Take a deep breathe in and stomach to be tucked in.
(This forms a arch at stomach pose which is similar to a standing cat)
6. Hold the pose for 3 counts and then move onto the next pose.
2. Cow pose
Cow pose is another one that kids can practice to warm up their body to continue the yoga session. As breathing in and breathing out patterns are part of this pose, it helps kids to understand how the body and breathing connects. This is to calm the mind and put out the unknown emotions like fear, sadness.
It is also a good yoga pose for all children who are facing autism. And moreover, your kids will love to practice this easy yoga pose. Kids can do playful moos while practicing the cow pose.
Steps to do:
1. Ask your child to come on to his fours.
2. Then instruct him to inhale and look up to the ceiling.
3. Ask him to press the palms and toes into the floor.
4. Slowly exhale and look down normally.
5. Let them relax for a few seconds and repeat the pose for 3-4 times.
3. Downward dog pose
Kids’ stress is not known to parents until they keep a strong eye check on their little ones. Your kid may seem happy and smiling after school or play time. But there could be something behind their normal face. They could be going through stress at school or with friends bullying. You must extract and listen to your kids. Make time for them and ask them how their study is going or about their friends. Kids with autism go through stress even more.
When you notice your kid is unhappy or stressed due to any reason then you must direct them to yoga that includes downward dog pose. The pose calms their mind and allows them to relieve the stress they hold. This relaxing pose is also great for fitness as it allows to stretch the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands.
Steps to do:
1. Guide your child to come to his fours.
2. Then ask him to open the legs wide and stretch out.
3. Stretch out the hands and need to raise the body to form a “V’ shape.
4. Palms and toes must be still touched to the floor.
5. Keep the head between the arms and hold the pose for 5 seconds.
6. Then lower your knees and relax.
7. Repeat the steps for 2-3 times.
4. Tree pose
Kids with autism who lack focus and awareness on self need this pose. Tree pose helps increase the concentration in kids. It is a wonderful pose for mental health and to stay active everyday. Not only for mental stability and concentration but it also strengthens the ankles, calves, and thighs.
Steps to do:
1. Ask your kid to stand straight and take a deep breath.
2. Then look at any object on your front and focus on it.
3. Instruct him to breathe out gently.
4. Now slowly lift the leg and bend the knee to place the foot on the inner right thigh.
5. Again breath in and bring the hands to sides for support.
6. Then breath out. Join the palms and place the joined hands on the chest.
7. Instruct your kid further- to slowly lift the joint hands over the head.
8. Now, he needs to hold the pose for 2-5 seconds.
(Toddlers can only stand for fraction of seconds)
9. Ask your kids to relax from the pose and repeat the steps again.
5. Warrior pose
Parents must make a practice for kids to be focused and concentrate well in their studies, sports or any other extracurricular activities. The kids with autism face challenges to do these things. They may be a little slow and take time to understand things. If parents are noticing their kids facing such challenges, then they must teach their kids the warrior pose. They gradually overcome autism with warrior pose and few other poses.
Steps to do:
1. Give your child a comfortable standing instruction.
2. Ask him to spread the legs of shoulder width apart.
3. Next step is to turn the body towards the left and bend the left knee.
4. Also turn the face towards. Extend the right leg on the right side.
5. Stretch out the arms parallel to the ground and hold the pose for 5 seonds.
6. Relax and continue the same steps switching the sides.
6. Breath in
Breathing exercise which includes belly breathing and abdominal breathing shows effective results in various ways for kids. It relieves the stress and tension that kids hold knowingly or unknowingly. It is also a simple technique that you can easily teach to your children. Slowly with practice, you will see a positive change in kids with autism.
You can ask your kids to practice at the end of the yoga session.
Steps to do:
1. Instruct your child to lie on his/her back.
2. The following step is to close eyes and breathe normally.
(this helps move the body parts when the kid breathes)
3. Then ask your child to place one hand on the chest and other hand on the stomach.
4. Meanwhile your child needs to pay attention to all the body parts.
5. Ask your child to breathe the nose and into the abdomen. During this step, the hand on the stomach should move upwards and the hand on the chest should stay on the same point.
6. Your child must continue inhaling for four counts.
7. Then hold and exhale out from the stomach. Then the hand placed on his stomach will move downwards.
8. Repeat the same steps for 5 times with a few seconds break in between.
7. Cobra pose
The pose is a perfect beginner for kids. If you are noticing that your kids are developing anxiety and stress then, this the exercise you must ask them to practice. The pose includes slow breathing which calms the mood and mind. It is also great to increase awareness. The children whose muscles are weak must practice cobra pose. It strengthens the core muscles, back and hands.
The pose opens the heart and promotes blood circulation which is crucial for proper brain functioning. Cobra pose also elevates the mood of kids with autism.
Steps to do:
1. Ask your kid to lie on his tummy and then stretch out the legs.
2. Palms to be placed flat on the floor.
3. Help join their legs together.
4. Instruct to take a deep breath while pressing the palms into the floor.
5. Then slowly raise the upper body including chest, shoulder and head.
6. Now ask to tighten the lower body including abs, buttocks and thighs.
7. Look upwards to the ceiling.
8. Neck and arms must be straight without loosening.
9. Then the child should take deep breaths.
10. Staying in the same pose, ask him to make hiss sound while breathing out.
8. Lion pose
For your child with autism must practice this reliever yoga pose. If you kids are facing challenges of communication and easy movements or body awareness then lion pose is an effective pose. It also relieves the tension in the back and shoulder. The pose calms the little minds if you can make it a regular practice for them.
Steps to do:
1. First step for your child to do is sit on his knees.
2. Ask the child to place his palms on his knees with his finger spread wide.
3. Ask him to take a deep breath through his nose.
4. Next to open his mouth and bring his tongue out, wide opened eyes.
5. Then breathe out making a roaring sound like a lion.
9. Happy baby pose
If you kids are of toddler age then you can ask them to do this yoga pose. They don’t even know they are exercising. Toddlers generally do this pose while playing on the mattress or lying on the couch. Now, you can make it a yoga pose to overcome autism for kids at a young age.
Steps to do:
1. Make your child sleep on his back on a bed.
2. Let their hips and lower back stretch in a comfortable position.
3. Open the legs wide and then ask your kid to bend his knees up to his chest
4. Hold his foot jointly with two hands.
5. Guide him to pull his legs in while holding with hands.
6. The child’s down part raises automatically. Then he can sway slightly side by side.
7. This stretches the back and hips.
8. Now he can relax from the pose and do it again for 3 times.
10. Frog pose
Animal poses are kid’s favourite as it is part of fun activity. The tightness in muscles, back and hips must be taken off with activities like hopping and running. Kids with autism are not extremely active due to various reasons. So, let them come out and do the frog pose. Allow them to practice the yoga poses and then you will see them overcoming autism slowly.
Steps to do:
1. Make your kids start with a standing position.
2. Widen the legs and then slowly come into a comfortable squat pose.
3. Now let your kid place his palms on the floor in between the space of foot.
4. Hold the pose for 4-5 seconds and relax.
5. Repeat the steps for 3-4 times.
6. You can ask your kids to hop a step forward and again come back to frog pose.
Parents are the start and end source for a child’s health and well being. If you are finding any sign or symptoms that your kid has autism, then yoga is the best practice to overcome it. Help them to build physically fit and mentally strong.