Yoga + Autism = Natural Calm
YogaKids ABCs that he must have watched a hundred times. He memorized every pose within a few days and I eventually had to hide the movie because I was getting so sick of hearing that woman's overly soothing voice sing the alphabet song. But to this day, he remembers a lot of the poses from that video that I can add to our morning practice and he knows exactly what I am talking about!
As of today, we do Yoga every morning at 8:45 to kick off our "Morning Work" block of instruction. I used to have it at the end of this segment of time, but it seemed more logical to start off our school day with a calming and focused activity. We follow up our yoga time with a Bible devotion and then do some outloud reading before finishing up with some quick "Daily Math" and handwriting practice. All these activities are meant to kick start his brain and body so he is ready for the rest of the day. It takes us about 45 min to do everything.
|We begin with Jackson setting up both our mats|
|The first series of poses we do are called "Sun Salutations" and they include the Downward Dog|
|Each Sun Salutation includes poses like the Warrior 2, Triangle, Side Angle, Twists, Plank, and Updog|
|The cobra pose is done in the middle of this "Vinyasa" which the style of Yoga that we do.|
|We end our Sun Salutations with Child's Pose - a favorite of his!|
|Next we do some mat work that includes Cat, Cow, Peacock, Table and other fun poses|
|We both enjoy rolling our backs out after all this work!|
|I try to make sure each yoga session includes some stretching because he is pretty inflexible at this point.|
|I finish each practice with a balancing pose like Tree or Eagle. He needs to hold it for 30 sec without falling. This ensures he settles his mind and mouth long enough to focus. This more than anything helps create calm for him.|
|Traditional closing yoga pose, Namaste: May the light in me salute the light in you.|
|Jackson always puts both our mats away when we are finished. Such an awesome helper!|
Homeschooling Jackson has opened up so many new and exciting doors for not just his education, but for all his developmental areas. Yoga provides him with more than just physical exercise, it helps him connect himself to the world in a way that nothing else can. It provides him with the framework in which to learn and practice being calm and still. I enjoy listening to his deep breathing, watching him find his center of balance, and seeing him beam with pride when we say Namaste and he knows he has done something challenging and he has done it well. Then he typically tackles me and knocks me over because he is a young man now, and no longer my little J-man who used to climb under my downward dog all those years ago at Ft. Bragg.