Pediatric Yoga: Enhancing the Mind, Body and Soul

Yoga means "unite" and the practice itself unites the psychological, physical and spiritual components in people. It's a mindful, dynamic and purposeful exercise that awakens the creative potential you have from within. In essence, it is a total being activity.

A 2008 survey published in the journal Psychiatry estimated 15.8 million (6.9 percent) of individuals in the U.S. practiced yoga. And, four of the 10 complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices children use most often are yoga practices.

Yoga benefits everyone, particularly children and even more so, for children who have a sensory processing disorder.

The benefits are countless and are directed towards the body, mind and soul while helping children to:

  • Develop left/right brain coordination
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Provide physical coordination and exercise
  • Gain inner spirit awareness
  • Gain self-awareness

Some other reasons to have your child practice yoga include the following:

Attention

Yoga helps improve your little one's attention through predetermined durations of sustained poses. When your child holds the same pose with a still and steady body it challenges but focuses their attention.

Motor Planning

The poses in yoga can vary in complexity. As your child turns and twists their little body, they're creating motor plans that are stored for these movement patterns in their brain. This "creating and refining" of the plans are helping your child improve their overall coordination.

Social Skills

Your child may find yoga a very challenging type of exercise, however, it’s fun. They can perform yoga with friends and classmates which promotes social skills helps with turn-taking, active listening, identifying their individual role in group activities and participating in group classes.

You can talk with their pediatric occupational therapist for different yoga poses you can have your child try at home.

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