Yoga Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis
The first impression one may have of toddlers doing yoga may be equally humorous and
disastrous. After all, remaining still and focused is hardly what young children are known for.
However, this is precisely why yoga is so powerful. A comprehensive ABA program needs to be
based on individual child needs and offers modalities that target each area of development,
including motor functions.
While “downward dog” is the popular image conjured up when thinking of yoga, the reality is
that children respond well to following instructions, mimicking peers and the instructor, and
developing coordination that comes with lifting one leg off the ground. Yoga is an opportunity
for balance between body and social awareness. Simple breathing techniques are added to
help teach calming, when upset.
All adults were children at one point, and the life skills adults use today were learned then.
Yoga creates connections between the motor cortex of the brain and the frontal lobes, where
emotional control is located. Deep breathing helps calm by providing oxygen to the brain that
stimulates the “calming” portion of the nervous system. Increased oxygen also allows anyone
to think more clearly!