Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts

Yoga and Flamenco for Every(body)

Teaching yoga to kids on the PDD-NOS Spectrum:

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I have something I love to do. Teach yoga to kids. All kids! Both typical and non-typical kids alike, although those “monikers” seem so irrelevant because all kids are typical and non typical. I love working with kids. The students in Ms. Sand’s room are the older kids on the autism spectrum. This was my third class with them and I can feel we are developing a foundation of collective trust and friendship. I continue to introduce some of the basic Yoga poses and breathing exercises that will help to bring these children out of their shells and into the group interaction of the yoga class. The students are becoming familiar with these introductory poses, and I am progressively adding more poses to our routine, as well as slightly longer deep relaxation section at the end of class. This combination of poses, breathing and deep relaxation will help to strengthen their nervous systems, increase overall health and facilitate the development of their body awareness and concentration. Yoga therapy helps children with autism gain new motor, communication and social skills. Aside from physical benefits of yoga, these children can also experience improvements in mental and emotional health. It has been shown that yoga can have a massive calming effect on children who practice it, calming negative excitable behavior. Yoga can also help children to develop a stronger memory, will power, higher levels of concentration and improved respiration. The end result is an overall improvement in their quality of life.

Today’s Yoga-Snack:

Warm Up:

1.      3 large belly breaths (holding the belly to feel it fill on the inhale and release on the exhale)
2.       3 “Hun” breaths (like the word honey, without the “ey”, which provokes a resonance in the nasal cavity) breathe in, hands over ears, breath out saying “hunnnnnn”). Covering the ears helps to block out external sounds and the reverberations are very calming.
3.      Seated Side Stretch
4.      Washing Machine: Hands on shoulders, elbows lifted, twist side-to-side saying “whish- whish”
5.      Dryer: Forearms bent in front, held parallel to each other, circle them around each other, first in one direction and then the other
6.      Butterfly
7.      Table Top: Cat (breath in, curl spine and try to look at belly button) and Cows (breathe out curl spine down and pick chest up)
8.      Also in table top: Balance on 3 legs (first right arm up, then try left, then try right leg, then try left). Then 2 leg balance: Right arm up and left leg; left arm up and right leg.
9.      Tree Pose: both sides

Flow Sequence:

1.      Mountain Pose, hands at heart center
2.      High Mountain
3.      Fold in half and touch floor
4.      Plank Pose
5.      Cobra
6.      Downward Facing Dog Pose
7.      Dog to Lunge
8.      Feet together, fold in half
9.      Rise up to high mountain
10.  Mountain with hands at heart center

Cool Down:

1.      Child’s Pose
2.      Simple Lying twist: Lying in constructive rest, drop knees to one side, back stays on the floor, 3 relaxing breaths; Repeat other side
3.      Savasana

Namaste!

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Author: alwaysbedancing

Always Be Dancing Accessible Yoga and Flamenco for Every(body). I am committed to inclusion. I bring inclusion to school communities, fitness professionals, Pt's/OT's, yoga studios and every(body) in between through classes, workshops, professional development seminars, public speaking, and guest blogging. I can create a program specific to your needs.

2 thoughts on “Teaching yoga to kids on the PDD-NOS Spectrum:

  1. Brilliant! My 3 year old son was just diagnosed with PDD-NOS. He is a very physical and energetic kid and I was thinking that yoga would be a great outlet and learning opportunity for him as he sometimes struggles with focus/attention/calm. Would you be able to make any recommendations (ex. DVDs, books, classes, etc.) to help get a child like him started with yoga? Namaste!

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  2. http://alwaysbdancing.blogspot.com/2011/08/yoga-books-dvds-etc-for-children-with.html

    Thank you for your comment and I have compiled a list of books, DVDs, games, props, etc. I am happy to answer any questions or share ideas with you.

    Like

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