Yoga is increasingly practiced by people all over the world to improve their physical fitness, as a stress reliever, to improve concentration and lastly to enhance the spiritual experience. But, the extrapolation of yoga therapy to the treatment of a myriad of diseases has only surfaced in recent times.
Asanas (Body positions/ postures & physical exercises) for autism:
In practice, asanas may be difficult to perform for children with autism. This may be due to their inattentiveness, hyperactivity, inability to sit at one place and follow sequences of complex commands. However, some children with autism have exceptional imitation abilities and the following asanas may be beneficial.
A few asanas are listed below:
- Yastik asana
- Eka Padasana
Benefits of yoga therapy:
- Yoga develops motor skills: Kids with autism frequently experience delayed motor development, which can be improved as yoga tones muscles, enhances balance and stability, and develops body, self in space and in relation to others.
- Yoga improves confidence and social skills: By learning self-control in interacting with other hildren can refine their social skills. Learning to work together in a yoga class can also increase confidence within group settings.
- Yoga provides sensory integration: Yoga’s natural setting of dim lights, soft music, smooth mats, and “inside” voices creates a comforting environment largely protected from unknown or aggressive stimuli in which calming down becomes enjoyable. Yoga’s physical poses allow nervous energy to be released from the body in a controlled manner, also leading to a calming sensation.
- Yoga engages the emotional brain. We all know that yoga is far from purely physical and this combination of movement, music, breath work and storytelling activates the brain’s emotional region. This encourages children to develop awareness of their emotions and those of others, as well as keeps their attention in the class.