The ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a range of complicated lifelong difficulties that affect how an adult or a child relates to and communicates with others and how he or she perceives the world around.
It is a spectrum of the developmental disorders which first makes an appearance in the kids below the age of 3 years.
Complex neurological abnormalities are displayed by the kids as they grow making it difficult for them to concentrate, interact and communicate in a social way.
The kids who have Autism exhibit stereotypical, repetitive patterns of behaviour. They do not understand the tone of voice, facial expressions and can be self-abusive. Many-a-times the kids with this condition do not even respond to the names.
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The popularity of Yoga has been rapidly increasing over the years. It is also now being recognised as a tool for coping for the children with ASD. This seems to be an effective and suitable activity that directly addresses both the physical and emotional symptoms associated with the condition.
In case of the Autistic kids, yoga is reported to enhance balance, strength, flexibility and coordination.
Not just that, benefits like increased language and communication, social-emotional skills, self-regulation, body awareness, concentration and focus and a decrease in impulsive, anxious, self-stimulatory and aggressive behaviours have been also observed.
Here are 5 yoga poses for children with autism that have proven to be beneficial:
Cat Pose – Ask the child to –
- start at the middle of the mat on the knees and hands. Place the hands below the shoulders. The knees must be in line with the hips.
- spread the hands and fingers wide, firmly positioning them into the mat
- round the back upward after taking a deep breath whilst putting the tailbone down into the position of a cat
- hold this pose for about 3-4 breaths and then change to the next position
This is a pose that assists the child get an idea about how the body and breath connect while getting warmed up for the next poses. You can tell your child to imitate the pose of a stretching cat which will provide the kid with a visual image.
Tree Pose – Instruct your child to –
- Stand straight in the pose of a mountain
- Stretch the arms away from the body on either side
- Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the left thigh
- Look towards the sky by turning the face upwards
- For a few breaths hold the position and repeat it on the other side
Tree pose builds concentration and improves the balance. This also reinforces the calves, ankles and thighs.
Warrior Pose – Ask the child to –
- stand on the floor with the feet wide apart
- turn to the right bending the right foot outwards
- now as you bend at the knees your left foot also turns inside
- breathe for a couple of minutes and keep the back erect
- repeat this on the other side
The warrior pose solidifies the core, enhances the focus and balance. It stretches the muscles in the shoulders, chest and legs. This relieves the pain and helps to improve the self confidence as well.
Dog Stretching Downwards Pose – In this case the child needs to –
- tuck the toes like the cat pose firmly pressing the ground, then press the hands into the ground and lift the hands into the air
- spread the fingers and hands wide by pressing the ground firmly
- reach the heels to the mat
- a straight line must be formed from the shoulders to the hips
- hold that for about 5 breaths
- if this is uncomfortable, you can support the torso of the child until strength is gained
Lion’s Breath Pose – Ask the child to –
- get down the ground and cross the ankles just behind
- position the hands on the knees and press against the thigh with the palm
- then spread the fingers imitating the lion’s sharp claws
- after hat inhale deeply and open the mouth wide open and bring the tongue to touch the chin
- while exhaling make a roaring sound with a “ha” and open the eyes as wide as possible
- roar for 2-3 times for the real feel
These are just some of the yoga poses that are often part of the treatment of autism for children as they help the kids improve the attention, focus, communication, processing of sensory of information, motor control and self-regulation. These poses ultimately assist the little ones with ASD to lead a more balanced, socially integrated, healthy and independent life in the long run.
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.