To improve children's emotional regulation, concentration, social behavior and motor development.
From a sensory integration point of view, the practice of yoga provides the body with a high level of proprioceptive stimulation, which increases serotonin in the brain and promotes parasympathetic activation. The benefits of yoga are therefore similar to those offered to children through proprioceptive activities, including: increased self-control, enhanced concentration and reduced distractions, improved sleep, decreased impatience and anxiety, higher frustration tolerance, reduced stubbornness and fixation, clarity and flexibility in thinking, heightened body awareness, and better coordination of movement. In addition, some yoga poses involve headstands or postures that emphasize balance and coordination, which stimulate the development of vestibular function and help to improve concentration. Further, different yoga poses stimulate and strengthen the body's internal organ system and endocrine glands, thus promoting physical and mental health.
In summary, yoga for kids with special needs has the following benefits:
- Emotional: Boosts emotional stability, releases stress, helps relaxation, improves sleep, makes children happy and confident, raises sense of self-control
- Concentration: Builds concentration, cultivates calmness, allows flexibility in thinking, reduces stubbornness and bullheadedness
- Social behavior: Eases withdrawal behaviors, promotes interpersonal interaction, fosters communication skills
- Motor co-ordination: Improves flexibility of joints, maintains good posture, boosts muscle strength and endurance, promotes motor co-ordination
- Physiological health: Prevents colds, eases asthma, boosts immune system, strengthens stomach and intestines, improves digestive function, builds physical fitness
The clinical use of yoga for kids as a therapeutic option has been shown in a number of studies to have a positive effect on improving children's concentration, mood and social-behavioral performance.
KickStart has also introduced Specialized Yoga, a comprehensive and progressive yoga therapy program designed to promote the development of infants and toddlers with special needs in a safe and effective way. Specialized Yoga will choose the appropriate yoga poses to suit your child's age and level of physical impairment. It includes passive and active yoga poses to promote your child's body awareness, emotional stability and physical and motor development. As the child progresses, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques are added to the program to further improve concentration and reduce hyperactive and impulsive behavior. The effectiveness of Specialized Yoga for children with Down's syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, microcephaly, multiple handicaps, ADHD and learning disabilities is also supported by research.