Shoulder Opener Pose

This pose begins to loosen and open the shoulders. This posture may help your child increase movement to the entire upper body and helps to increase the range of motion in the shoulders. Shoulder Opener Pose also releases tension in the arms, shoulder, neck, and chest. This pose may increase the air brought into the lungs and increase circulation throughout the entire body. Additionally, this pose will make your child aware of his shoulder and neck region. Tightness in the shoulders is common....

Standing Forward Bend Pose A and B

Standing Forward Bend Poses help to bring flexibility to the hamstrings. These poses also open the hips and stretch out the back. Two versions of Standing Forward Bend Pose may be practiced. Both versions have the same leg stance. However, the arm position is different to give the body a slightly different stretch in each pose. Both poses will strengthen the legs. Additionally, the neck will be stretched and relaxed. Your child may have difficulty with the concept that his head will be hanging...

Seated Spinal Twist Pose

Twists are very beneficial in keeping the spine fluid and supple. Spinal twists move the body in an unusual way and this movement may help alleviate stress in areas of the body that are usually hidden and forgotten. Twists help to relieve congestion in the internal organs by bringing fresh oxygen to them, and by squeezing and releasing these organs. Spinal twists are similar to a massage for your organs. Since these poses will be unfamiliar to your child, they should be demonstrated to him...

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose (Figure 2.34) is a backbend that also strengthens the thighs. Your child may only be able to raise his hips a little at the beginning ofthe practice, but as strength and flexibility increase, the pose will get easier. This backbend also exposes the chest and heart to the sky. He may be instructed to think about his worries and anxiety floating out of his body through his uplifted chest. There should not be strain on any part of the body in this pose. However, the legs will feel like...

Corpse Pose

This pose (Figure 2.49) should always be the last pose of each yoga practice. It has several benefits. It is a total relaxation pose. This means that it allows the body and mind to totally relax and let go. The other important aspect of this pose is that it allows the body and the nervous systems to absorb all the benefits of the previous poses. Corpse Pose gives the body a chance to pause between the yoga practice and reentering the regular world and to rest with no pressures or worries....

Curled Tongue Breath

This breath helps to release anger and frustration Figure 3.1 . Your child may only perform this breath if he can curl his tongue. If he cannot curl his tongue, he should skip this breathing exercise and practice Lion Breath to release anger. It helps if your child imagines that he is breathing in clear, fresh air through his curled tongue and that he is expelling old, stale, angry air. The tongue acts a funnel for the anger to be dispelled. The inhalation and exhalation should be as long and...

With Autism Spectrum Disorders

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS Foreword by Louise Goldberg and Joshua S. Betts Yoga for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Strategies in the Home and Community for Children with Autism Spectrum and Other Disorders Dion E. Beits and Nancy J. Patrick ISBN 1 84310 813 5 Creative Expressive Activities and Asperger's Syndrome Social and Emotional Skills and Positive Life Goals for Adolescents and Young Adults Judith Martinovich ISBN 1 84310 812 7 Kids in the Syndrome Mix of...

Mountain Pose

Eyes Opened Facing Forward

Mountain Pose Figure 2.13 is the first standing warm-up pose in the yoga sequence. Mountain Pose helps familiarize your child with the feeling of standing on the mat in preparation for the strengthening poses that follow. Practicing this pose will help him to feel grounded by having his legs and feet press into the floor. Mountain Pose will introduce him to the idea of the lower body pressing into the earth while the upper body and torso elongate, creating a feeling of spaciousness with...

Cat Pose

Cat Pose Figure 2.3 will help make your child aware of how the movement of his body connects to his breathing. Cat Pose also helps to warm and loosen the body for subsequent poses. Specifically, the pose loosens the spine and begins to open the chest. The movement of this pose may also help digestion, as it gently massages the internal organs. Initially, the pose may make your child's arms feel tired. If so, you may need to shorten the duration of the pose. As the name of the pose implies, the...

Warrior I Pose

Warrior Kids Pose

Warrior I Figure 2.24 is a pose that generates a lot of heat and energy through the entire body. The legs are rooted into the ground and the energy is brought upwards through the arms. When performing Warrior I Pose, your child may be taught to think of himself as a fierce warrior, ready to bravely face any challenge or battle encountered. On a physical level, this pose increases strength through the legs. It also opens the hips and may release a lot of energy that is held in the groin area. By...

Butterfly Pose

Butterfly Pose Figure 2.42 opens the hips. It lengthens the spine and relaxes the shoulders. This pose does not require much muscle strength, but if the hips are very tight, the pose may be uncomfortable at first. In order to make your child more comfortable, yoga blocks may be placed under the knees. This supports the legs and allows the hip and groin area to stretch open gradually. Additionally, a pillow can be used with blocks to raise the hips to make the child more comfortable....

Easy Spinal Twist Pose

Easy Spinal Twist is, as the name implies, an easier pose than Seated Spinal Twist, because your child is lying on the mat rather than sitting in a cross-legged position Figure 2.46 . This pose is still very effective for releasing the spine, massaging the organs, and releasing tension from the body. Your child may feel tightness in the pose at the beginning, because the pose involves twisting the spine in an unfamiliar movement but, with practice, he may welcome the tension release associated...

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate Nostril Breathing Figure 3.3 is a breathing technique that is used to balance the nervous system. It is not difficult to do, but will be very different from anything that your child has ever done before. In addition, it seems very yoga like because the finger position will feel foreign at first. This breathing exercise has been included because of its effectiveness. Your child should be encouraged to become familiar with this technique, in spite of its strangeness. Visualizations go...

Downward Dog Pose

Children Dog Pose

Downward Dog Figure 2.22 is an inversion pose in which the hips are above the heart. This pose increases the blood flow and circulation to the heart. In this pose, the shoulders and arms become both strengthened and opened. The neck is relaxed and hanging, so any tension in the neck is alleviated. The heels are pressing towards the floor and the hamstrings are stretched and elongated. Also, the abdominal muscles are used to stabilize the torso. This pose requires both arm and leg strength, so...

Stick Pose

This is the first seated pose Figure 2.35 and it is not too strenuous. It is a very effective pose for getting your child in touch with his body. This pose will lift and open the chest, firm the legs, and align the spine. It helps him to feel centered and restful, although it is an active pose. It is important to keep the arms pressing down into the mat and to keep the feet active to bring energy into the pose. Children often have difficulty in believing this is actually an active pose. In...

Yoga for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents and Caregivers Dion E. Betts and Stacey W. Betts Forewords by Louise Goldberg and Joshua S. Betts Jessica Kingsley Publishers London and Philadelphia First published in 2006 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers 116 Pentonville Road London N1 9JB, UK and 400 Market Street, Suite 400 Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA Copyright Dion E. Betts and Stacey W. Betts 2006 Foreword copyright Louise Goldberg 2006 Foreword copyright Joshua S. Betts 2006 Photographs copyright Dion E....

Figure Stick Pose Seated Forward Bend Pose

Seated Forward Fold For Children

Seated Forward Bend Pose Figure 2.36 is a good pose for calming anxiety. As the head reaches over the legs and the back lengthens, the mind and body are calmed. If your child is anxious or stressed, Seated Forward Bend Pose may provide an almost immediate sensation of calmness and tranquility. This pose, although it looks like merely bending forward over the legs, may feel intense. The hamstrings and calves stretch. The back and shoulders also stretch as the body lowers over the legs. This pose...

Reclining Butterfly Pose

This pose Figure 2.44 continues to open the hips and release the spine. Some children may find this pose easier than Butterfly Pose because the hips have already begun to be open and they are already somewhat warmed. Additionally, your child may find this pose more comfortable because the body is in the supine position. The pose does not involve much abdominal or torso strength. Your child should be encouraged to breathe into his hips and try to release any tension that may have accumulated in...