Yoga helps ADHD
In Kalma Juniors teacher training many new teachers often look puzzled or laugh at the ‘OM, RAM and LAM’ noises we teach in breathing. Not realising we make these crazy vibrating noises because they have physiological benefits. It vibrates the vagus nerve, which calms the nervous system. The science yoga has behind it is pretty impressive, yet why do more of us not take the time to do it with our children?
If you know the science then many of you won’t be surprised at the difference it can make in children with ADHD. Yoga can help ADHD hugely. ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, can have many signs and whilst it’s normal for children to occasionally forget their homework, daydream during class, act without thinking, or get fidgety at the dinner table signs such as inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity can be signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). ADHD can lead to problems at home and school and affect your child’s ability to learn and get along with others. Take a look at some benefits of teaching g yoga to your child to help:
Breath control can help children feel more in control of their brains and bodies, a big benefit to a child with ADHD. Most of us take shallow breaths, so when we concentrate on breathing deeper, the extra oxygen gives our bodies a kick. Some of the benefits include a sense of well-being, increased energy levels (the good kind), anxiety reduction, and less irritability.
Breathing Exercise: Take five slow, deep breaths through the nostrils, rest for five normal breaths, then take five more deep breaths. Repeat for 5 rounds practice each day.
Yoga improves concentration and attention span in children, while teaching focus. When a child concentrates on their breath or feels a stretch in their arms, this helps them recognise being body aware. It is also an element of mindfulness teaching them to keep their minds in one place, instead of all over the place. The self-control eventually spills over to the classroom and home, where they can enjoy the benefits of less stressful homework and classroom time.
Tree pose: standing tall shoulders down focus on a spot on the wall. Raising the right foot on exhale take it into the calf placing the sole of foot against it and hold. The arms can fly out to the sides to help with balance. Or Inhale the arms above the head. Repeat on other side for 4 rounds.
We watch the children in our Kalma Junior classes gain so much confidence by trying new postures and developing new skills. By mastering self control and self-calming techniques, they are likely to grow confident in interacting with other children.
Lion pose: sitting in Japanese style back onto shins, get the children to take deep breaths in and out. Try practicing silent lion roars. Inhale sit tall on exhale raise hands to roar like a lion and acting up face to imitate a roar! The children LOVE this one.
The routine of yoga can be relaxing for children, especially when they practice a regular routine or sequence of postures and become confident doing them. For example our sun salutations are practice each session in a typical Kalma Junior class. Holding a pose is hard work, both mentally and physically, especially for children! Start with deep breathing and then pick eight easy postures or a sequence like sun salutations to practice. Once the children get those, add in a few new ones as a challenge. If possible, practice the postures in the same order every time for consistency. Learn more about our school sessions.
Child’s Pose: Kneel down and sit on the feet with the knees separated. Place the forehead on the ground in front of the knees, curving the spine. Arms can extend forward or be placed back beside the body. Keep those hips down! Relax and breathe deeply for two to five minutes.
We challenge you to try it on your house with the children in some yoga into your life. You may be pleasantly surprised and proud when you see your mini-yogi drop down and practice a pose or breath instead or a tantrum on the floor! Check out www.kalmababy.co.uk.