The Best Yoga Poses for Special Needs Kids

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Many people may not know this, but I love yoga! I was always hesitant to try it, but when my husband deployed for the first time in 2011, I knew I needed something to do for myself. Yoga has helped me slow down, breathe, and it has helped me with so many of my back problems.

Now that I have two special needs kids, I realize how much yoga could benefit a special needs child. Cassie Brewer emailed me about some of the best yoga poses for special needs kids and wanted me to share some of her tips. I think you’ll find that the benefits of yoga for kids are amazing!

Yoga for Kids

Yoga Poses for Kids

Yoga is an ideal way for kids with special needs to move their bodies without strenuous exertion. Although parents or practitioners might need to make a few adjustments to the routine—depending on a child’s needs—yoga’s postures help children stretch their muscles and feel confident.

When introducing yoga, parents should keep a few helpful hints in mind to help make the routine less stressful for children with disabilities or special needs. PBS Kids recommends using a sticky mat (to avoid slipping) and using props to encourage children to give children a little bit more independence during their routine.

Many children with autism also need their routine to stay consistent, so parents or teachers should ensure that the yoga practice has a clear beginning and end.

PBS also advises partnering with children during their yoga routine and also PBS also advises partnering with children during their yoga routine and also allowing kids to modify a position for their body’s unique needs. Perfection is not the goal!

Many children with autism also need their routine to stay consistent, so parents or teachers should ensure that the yoga practice has a clear beginning and end. PBS also advises partnering with children during their yoga routine and also PBS also advises partnering with children during their yoga routine and also allowing kids to modify a position for their body’s unique needs. Perfection is not the goal!

Yoga benefits children (and adults!) in many ways and these benefits go beyond the physical body. According to an article titled “More Than Just a Game: Yoga for School-Age Children” by Marlynn Wei, psychiatrist and a senior editor of Harvard Health Blog for Harvard Medical School, “a growing body of research has already shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behavior, and can even reduce anxiety and stress in children.”

The mindfulness of yoga teaches children to also focus on the moment. And the postures of the practice help improve flexibility and strength. Autism Parenting Magazine noted that, for children on the spectrum, yoga also may improve self-positivity, and increase body awareness. Yoga practice may also help children with autism to become more conscious of emotions.

Parents who want to integrate a yoga practice into their child’s daily activities may do so at home or at a professional studio. There are many yoga practices that specialize in helping children with special needs.

For parents interested in at-home practice, check out the infographic for the best postures for children. Remember, you can allow kids to modify these postures!

Yoga Poses for Kids

What about YOU? Do you like yoga? What are your favorite yoga poses for kids?

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3 Comments

  1. Hey kathryn, Nice Post. Thanks for sharing the lovely information. You are right that Yoga is an ideal way for kids with special needs to move their bodies without strenuous exertion. I also joined the yoga classes in Rishikesh with AYM yoga center to my kids and seriously it is very beneficial. Thanks again for sharing the info. 🙂

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