Therapeutic yoga uses movement, breathing, mindfulness exercises and meditation techniques to bring children to an awareness of what is happening in their bodies and minds and to provide them with specific tools they can use to regulate themselves. Games, music and other fun yoga-based activities are incorporated to engage children and teach targeted skills.
The yoga/ mindfulness approach to treatment is:
- Holistic: Promoting general physical and emotional health, rather than narrowly treating specific symptoms;
- Safe: Free from negative side effects;
- Enduring: Benefits have been shown to be long-term, not transient as with many medications;
- Empowering: Participants gain insight into their own physiological states and emotional experiences, and learn strategies to increase their own success and well-being.
Millions of people around the world practice yoga for its physical and emotional benefits, and to seek a peaceful respite from the busy modern world. Backed by a growing body of research, yoga is increasingly expanding its reach beyond studios and health clubs into classrooms and clinical settings.
Yoga, meditation and other mindfulness-based practices are gaining recognition as effective treatments for conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, anxiety and depression. Perhaps prominent Duke University Psychiatrist P. Murali Doraiswamy summed it up best when he stated:
“If there was a drug that could mimic the effects of yoga, it would probably be the world’s best-selling drug.”
The body of research supporting this approach is growing every day. For links to some excellent articles, see below.
Sessions are designed to work with the learning style of each individual child and to be appropriately engaging and fun in order to promote active participation.
Many children respond better to the body-based approach used in therapeutic yoga than to traditional talking-based therapies. This approach can be especially powerful for kinesthetic learners and those with language processing difficulties.
Links to Therapeutic Yoga Articles
Attention Deficit Disorders
ADHD & Parenting: 4 Mindfulness Techniques to Curb Stress
Yoga Helps Children with ADHD
Anxiety and Depression
Cure Your Anxiety Naturally: How Yoga Helps in Recovering from Anxiety
A Mindfulness and Yoga Trifecta – Flash! They’re Really Good for Kids, too!
Yoga May Have Positive Effects on Major Psychiatric Disorders