We all know that kids and teens are more stressed than ever.
These days, it's hard to find a kid or teen who doesn't struggle with some form of anxiety. With so many things happening in their lives (and in the world), it's easy for kids and teens to feel overwhelmed.
But there are ways to help them relax and cope with stress—and they don't all have to be expensive!
Here are some relaxation strategies for your neurodivergent kids and/or teens without breaking the bank:
Yoga is a great form of exercise for all ages, including children and teens. It can help with stress, anxiety, concentration issues & sleep problems.
Below are some of the benefits of yoga and the different types of yoga poses for your young ones.
Benefits of Yoga for Neurodivergent Kids and Teens
The gentle stretching of yoga can help kids with autism, ADHD, and other conditions to calm down. It helps your child to calm down as it can lower blood pressure and lower heart rate.
Yoga is also great for kids who are anxious about school or other stressful situations.
Yoga can enhance your child's mood and overall sense of well-being.
To get the most out of yoga techniques, make sure that you and your child remember to practice on a regular basis. Guide your child through a beginner's program.
Practicing yoga may lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion, and strength which your child also needs to keep a healthy body and mind.
Just focus on having your child move his/her body from time to time and try not to be too worried about his/her poses.
Ensure your child’s safety first as well. Give him/her enough space and if you are doing this with him/her, avoid bumping his/her head or stubbing his/her toes with yours. Allow them to wear comfortable yoga clothes to make the activity more inviting and fun.
You may try to modify the poses for your child's level of skill and comfort. To make it more fun and less overwhelming for your kids, try to ask them to imagine the yoga poses and pretend to be a surfer, tree, skier, dog, and owl.
When your child is familiar with the poses and the sequence, you can begin to ask him/her to recite affirmation sentences, I'd like to call them the “I am…” statements e.g. I am strong; I am calm; I am enough, etc.
The Different Types of Yoga Poses for Your Neurodivergent Kids and Teens
Here are my "I am..." yoga poses:
“I am strong.”
Pretend to be a surfer (The Warrior 2 Yoga Pose)
Ask your child to stand tall then, step one foot back, and place the foot so that it is facing slightly outwards. Ask your child to raise his/her arms parallel to the ground, bend the front knee and look forward; let your child pretend to be a surfer catching tricky waves.
“I am kind.”
Pretend to be a tree (The Tree Yoga Pose)
Let your child stand on one leg, bend the knee, place the sole of the foot on the opposite inner thigh, and maintain balance. Sway like a tree. Think of the kind trees around us, giving us shade, oxygen to breathe, and homes for the animals.
“I am brave.”
Pretend to be a skier. (The Chair Yoga Pose)
Let the child stand tall with his/her feet hip-width apart, bend his/her knees, and keep a straight back.
Ask your child to hold his/her hands out in front, pretending to grasp ski poles as he/she flies down a ski run like a brave and fearless skier.