Excited and honored to be featured on KIT – Kids Included Together blog!! Asanas for Autism and Special needs will be collaborating with KIT in the near future. Stay tuned!
Today I practiced yoga with the children in our special ed program. Fridays are our “yoga” days where we get to practice yoga by playing games,making our bodies into animals and objects and releasing difficult emotions like fear, anger, worry and frustration through fun and interactive breathing strategies. The children shared what makes them feel afraid and we did breathing to release fear and show our courage. They shared what makes them feel angry and we talked about how when we get angry we feel hot, like a volcano and sometimes feel like we want to explode. We became volcanoes and released our anger and frustration through our breath…visualizing the heat and anger coming out of our mouths like hot lava and steam. It is incredible how we can release tension and emotions we store in our bodies through these types of fun and playful breathing strategies. Teaching children to release tension and difficult emotions in non-intimidating ways allows them to feel ok with expressing themselves and helps them understand that we all feel these emotions and we can learn ways to express them, release them and let them go. Children with language processing deficits in particular struggle with expressing their emotions. In many cases the struggle of trying to find the words or language to communicate how they feel becomes an even bigger frustration and can cause meltdowns, outbursts and distress over communicating their feelings. Specific breathing strategies can allow the child to release physical tension and stress from their bodies when they are feeling difficult or challenging emotions. Think back to a time when you were upset and just felt like you needed to let it out in some physical way. The visualization of letting the emotions out supports children in letting emotions go rather than holding on to them, releasing tension in the mind. The breathing strategies help children release tension and stress in their bodies in order to support better sleep, mood, behavior, digestion and overall physical and emotional well-being. Give it a try…the next time you become angry and feel like you want to explode…become a volcano…breathe out your anger…let it go. We can all learn so much from these amazing young people if we take the time to listen and pay attention. TGIF and Happy Breathing!
Did you know that there are several benefits yoga offers to children with Autism, ADD/ADHD, Fragile X, Prader willi, Down Syndrome, anxiety disorders, language processing deficits and sensory integration dysfunction and other related disabilities? By incorporating the practice of breathing strategies and yoga poses in fun and interactive ways such as using games, visuals and guided imagery, children can learn new vocabulary, self-regulation skills and strategies to calm their nervous systems and release difficult or uncomfortable emotions. The practice of yoga increases flexibility, strength, motor-skills, body awareness, balance, concentration and self-esteem.Take a look at what PBS Parents has to say about yoga for children with disabilities…
Yoga for kids with disabilities
There are several studies coming out emphasizing the benefits of yoga for children with ADHD. Teaching children with ADHD mindful breathing as well as poses that calm the nervous system, support the child in self-regulation and increase focus and concentration is being discussed as a an alternative and complimentary therapy to medication. Check out what Yoga Journal has to say about it…
Focus on ADHD
I am over the moon excited to be sharing my first blog post! It’s my desire to share my passion and knowledge for health, wellness and mindfulness with parents, families and caregivers of children with autism and special needs. This blog will provide suggestions and information on yoga poses, breathing strategies, nutrition, health and wellness for children with special needs as well as the families and caretakers who support and encourage them. It is my hope that this blog will encourage readers and their children to breathe more, worry less, connect to their bodies, embrace their circumstances, find laughter and live happier, healthier, more balanced lives. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy sharing with you! Much love ~ Shawnee