I'm Angel Bear and I'm here to build character and open children's hearts to nature one pose at a time.

Yoga and ADHD

The Importance of Yoga and Character Development in ADD/ADHD Children.

There are many people who recognize the importance of movement when trying to gain the attention of children suffering from ADD/ADHD. Physical movement seems to be a defining factor when dealing with active children who learn from movement. As kinesthetic learners, these children must be allowed to move in order to maximize their thoughts and not feel trapped. This behavior is typified by shifting in their seat, tapping their foot or pencil, etc. Thus, many schools have begun using yoga as a means of helping their students, both with and without attention problems, to gain better focus. Yoga is an excellent tool to promote focus, redirect movement and center children through relaxation techniques such as breathing. It has been our experience from teaching many children over the years that children with attention disorders respond very positively to yoga and appear calmer after each class.

However, there are other very important points when addressing ADD/ADHD children and their health. Children with attention deficit have a tendency to act first before thinking out the consequence of their actions. These children frequently don’t follow through with promises or actions they have taken on, such as chores, homework, etc. Their physical energy is sometimes directed at aggressive responses to their stress levels, which may be directed at siblings, other classmates, other’s property, etc, without any remorse. Finally, many children with attention disorder know that they are different and teasing from other classmates can lead to repressed feelings, anger, low self esteem and contribute to more acting out. Thus, when dealing with the attention deficit child, it is important to nurture the child as a whole and not just from the physical aspect.

Yoga is a versatile tool that can be molded into a variety of programs to help ADHD children (actually, all children for that matter) with character issues like self-identity, compassion for others, patience, courtesy, respect to others, and better communication of their feelings. These kids need courage to face the challenge that they are different while remaining optimistic that the very actions that limit them now will help them excel as adults in the future if channeled properly. Character development for all children is important, but for those with attention span problems, it is detrimental.

Instead of focusing on medicating these children and trying to change them, why not embrace their wonderful abilities and inner strengths while providing them with beneficial tools – like yoga – that will last a lifetime.