Yoga has a calming effect on the central nervous system and helps develop self-regulation and body awareness. Yoga also fosters coordination and balance and improves motor skills.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological disorder that causes difficulties with processing information from the five senses. It also impacts the vestibular system (balance and movement) and proprioception (awareness of body position). For a child with SPD, the brain receives sensory information, but it is processed in an unusual way that causes distress, discomfort, and confusion. Children with SPD often have problems with motor skills and other abilities needed for school success and typical childhood activities.
Better body awareness is one of the greatest benefits of a Yoga practice for Children with SPD. They get excellent proprioceptive and vestibular input through asanas like downward facing dog and triangle pose. Twisting poses that compress the muscles also provide joint compressions. Standing and balancing poses help develop stability, strength, and coordination. Moving from backbends to forward bends to twists gives the vestibular system rich input, which helps a child feel calm and grounded. Pranayama, or breath control, is helpful for calming the central nervous system. By using correct breathing techniques, a sensory seeking child can be calmed. Deep breathing also helps with self-regulation and improving self-awareness, both key components to helping sensory avoiders be at peace in their bodies.