Yoga is an ancient Indian science of toning the muscles to enhance balance, stability and improve body and mind coordination. The practice of yoga asanas has profound benefit on improving confidence, motor skills and sensory integration.
Yoga technique uses postures which are meant to stretch different body parts and muscles. Various studies have shown that yoga is considered to be one of the most effective alternative therapies for the management of a wide range of mental, neurological and locomotor disorders.
Yoga is also considered to have profound benefits in improving organ functioning and treat ailments related to digestive tract disorders and endocrinal disorders like diabetes. While there is little evidence, there are several claims about Yoga poses being useful in the treatment of autism.
Benefits Of Yoga For Children With Autism
Yoga has several health benefits which range from improving muscle tone to improving sensory integration. Yoga asanas help in the treatment of autism and have several benefits which include,
- Autistic kids are known to suffer from delay in motor development and yoga can help in regularizing motor develop by enhancing stability and balance and improving coordination.
- Yoga improves confidence and boosts the self-esteem of autistic children. Yoga teaches a lot of self-control and self-calming skills which help the child improve their social and interaction skills.
- Yoga improves sensory integration by allowing nervous energy to be released in a more organized and controlled manner and restricting the episodes of uncontrolled behavior, outburst and nervous movements.
- Yoga also helps improving the coping ability in both the parents and the child. It also allows the two to share a meaningful time together.
- Yoga also helps create self-awareness which is important to improve the ability of the child to cope with autism.
Yoga Asana Poses For Autism
There are different yoga postures that are considered useful in dealing with different kind of challenges faced by autistic children. Certain postures like triangle pose, child pose and downward dog pose help improve coordination while warrior pose helps in improving balance and gain control.
- Virbhadrasana or the Warrior Pose: This posture helps improve breathing, promotes circulation to the brain and rejuvenates the body.
- Stand erect with your hands down and feet pointed forward.
- Move your right foot gradually sideways, so that both of your feet are about four feet apart.
- Now turn your right foot such that it is at an angle to 90 degrees from your left foot. Now turn your left foot about 45 degree towards the right foot.
- Gradually rotate your body towards the right.
- Now bend your right knee and make sure that the angle at the knee joint is exactly 90 degree and exactly above the feet. Bending too much can be harmful.
- Now gradually return back to the resting phase. Repeat this with the other side.
- Downward Dog Pose: This pose helps improve balance across the different muscles of the body.
- Stand erect with your feet pointing forwards. Gradually spread your legs apart.
- Now gradually bend forward so that your hands touch the floor. Note that in doing so keep your shoulder and head straight. About 30 degree angle will be created at the torso. Hold this position for a couple of seconds.
- Gradually return back to the original position.