Yoga for Special Needs Children
By Marcela De Vivo • March 1st, 2013 • 7010 Views
When parents think about exercise and development for their children, they may not initially think about yoga, relegating it as an activity for adults. Instead, team sports, gymnastics or karate classes are more likely to come to mind.
However, yoga can be very beneficial for all children, whether they have special needs or not. Like more traditional exercises, yoga promotes a healthy, active lifestyle and will help keep your child from becoming overweight – a serious problem that faces many children in the United States.
Yoga has other benefits as well, like improved posture, which is good for all children. Along with the physical benefits of yoga, it can also help your child develop mentally.
Benefits of Yoga for Special Needs Children
Children with developmental disorders like Autism, Down syndrome and Cerebral Palsy can benefit from doing yoga regularly. Children with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and ADHD can also benefit from participating in yoga classes.
Yoga Promotes Body Awareness
For children with disorders that affect their physical growth, yoga can help to promote body awareness. For many children, this can be a difficult issue, and more traditional athletic activities may be unsafe. Instead, low-impact exercises like yoga are preferred.
Yoga classes for children can even start at a young age, and many believe that even infants and toddlers can benefit from the body awareness that yoga can provide.
Yoga Improves Concentration
Children with attention deficit disorder, ADHD and other learning disabilities can also benefit from the improved concentration that regularly participating in yoga can bring.
While it may take some time for you to see signs of improved concentration, all doctors agree that exercise is important for children with learning disabilities.
In its simplest form, yoga is just exercise however, the breathing techniques and poses may help improve concentration more than other activities.
Teaching Yoga to Children with Special Needs
If you’re interested in teaching yoga to your special needs child, there are a few different ways that you can do it. Many parents mix techniques, especially if they have a busy schedule.
When you first start doing yoga with your child, taking a class designed specifically for children with special needs and parents can be beneficial.
There are also classes designed specifically for children with special needs that don’t involve the parents to the same extent.
Finding a class in your area shouldn’t be too...