Monday, February 8, 2016

Using Yoga Poses in the Classroom

One of my teachers for high school students with autism has been using her background in yoga to help her students with self regulation and physical fitness.  I've been begging for photos and one of her wonderful instructional assistants, Kerry J., took these illustrative photos today:

When I perform this position as a beginning yoga student I feel quite a bit of extension in my lower back, which feels good after sitting for long periods.  Also, I remember to elongate my cervical spine so I'm not putting too much pressure on the back of my neck.  If your student has any precautions with neck flexion/extension or other vertebral precautions you will probably want to avoid this position.
Child's pose, with adaptations. All that nice weightbearing of the trunk on the upper legs and the forehead on the mat. Placing the arms alongside the body works if you have good balance and trust that no one will touch you when you're not looking.

If your student has extremely poor balance you might want to provide a sturdy chair in front of  each of them, to permit them to hold on to a stationary object (or maybe stand inside an open door frame so they can catch themselves if they wobble).  One-legged balance is great for general balance and trunk stability.  Wonderful proprioceptive activity.


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