We have talked about several interventions and rehabilitation methods to empower the differently-abled and integrate them with the mainstream. But, all talks of offering special education and treatment therapies may turn futile if learning is not made fun for children. It is believed that our senses are able to grasp more if the lessons are interesting, and are imparted through visuals. And, for education with entertainment, the best way to teach is through the extra-curricular activities.
Yoga is not just an extracurricular activity but a therapy that addresses the learning and developmental limitations in people with special needs. It is generally used for addressing such challenges like Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Sensory Processing Disorders. This therapy has several physiological, cognitive, socio-emotional and sensory-motor benefits.
At Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), our charitable school for children with special needs, kids are taught through experiential learning to apply-
- BREATH in improving self-control, modulation and supporting respiration for better language
- MOVEMENT to enhance motor planning, balance, strength, co-ordination and flexibility
- RELAXATION to de-stress and gain an attentive mind
Yoga offers therapeutic variations that go hand-in-hand with physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy to address specific disorders.
It demonstrates poses, breathing techniques and meditation to facilitate attention, relaxation and focus.
Read further about Yoga exercises for the union of body, mind and spirit.
Anulom Vilom Pranayam
It follows an alternate nostril breathing method. Close your nostrils alternatively through second and third fingers as well as the right hand thumb. Keep your palm in front of the face but above nose to breathe freely through nostrils. The exercise keeps us calm, and enhances memory and concentration. It is effective in ADHD.
It involves breathing exercise while making a sound like buzzing bumblebee. It is effective in soothing nerves when facing behavioural problems like anxiety and restlessness. Invariably, it helps increase attention span, motor co-ordination and the capacity of learning and acting on instructions. This works wonders to cure ADHD and enable sensory processing in autistic kids.
It is mostly effective in curing ADHD by enhancing concentration.
Lie down on back while your feet are apart. Now, bend your knees and let your feet fell flat on the ground. Then, bring your palms under the shoulders with fingers pointing towards them. Thereafter, lift your head and shoulders off the floor while straightening your arms. Your body must look like a semi-circular arch. This is Chakrasana, the wheel pose that improves the body stance.
Dhanurasana has the same purpose. For this, you need to pose like a bow.
Sarvangasana is the shoulder stand pose which improves the circulation of blood and oxygen through our brain.
Yoga contributes a lot as a therapy for both physical and mental well-being of a differently-abled person. But, it is equally beneficial for all who go through slightest of the behavioural issues – anger, depression, anxiety.