The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that approximately 11 percent of children between the ages of four and 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD since 2011 – with the average diagnosis made at the age of seven.
A 2013 study published in the journal SRN Pediatrics found that yoga enhanced school performance in a group of children with ADHD. While the exact mechanisms that make yoga successful in dealing with ADHD are not clearly defined, it is suspected that it may be due to yoga’s ability to augment concentration and reduce stress hormone levels.
The Advantages of Yoga
Yoga improves a person’s ability to “be in the here and now” – a skill vitally important to ADHD sufferers. In short, yoga teaches children – and adults – to concentrate and relax at the same time. Children with ADHD benefit, as yoga:
Sets a Mood
Yoga helps to eliminate distractions as it establishes a safe, calming atmosphere. After a few stretches, especially with the addition of mood lighting, soothing music and quiet voices, a child practicing yoga begins to feel less anxious and in a better place to focus.
Deep breathing, which is a central aspect of any yoga practice, enables children to relax and gain greater control over their sense of calm. Yoga also has been shown to improve mental health and digestion in kids with ADHD.
Yoga helps children to focus on the present and, in turn, feel more focused on the task at hand. This mindfulness teaches kids to tune into their thoughts and feelings. Fostering these skills helps them to better handle stress and manage their ADHD symptoms. Positive behavior is fostered, cognitive control improves, and peer aggression and anxiety and depression symptoms are lowered.
Yoga is a great way to keep children engaged without overwhelming them. It allows kids to practice consistency and repetition, which in turns improves their ability to think ahead and plan.
As children become more flexible and balanced, they feel better about themselves – even more so as their ADHD symptoms become more manageable.
For the latest research findings and other tools, resources and information to enhance your school-based therapy career, turn to the professionals at Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services. We can help enhance your practice with a fresh outlook and strategic plan for the future – or take your career to the next level. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.