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By Brenda Kosky-Deskin

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Yoga & Autism… How & Why To Try It Out!

November 26, 2012   Comments (0)

How To's Physical Fitness, General Health & Wellbeing Yoga

Find the research and the resources...


Autism and yogaYoga has been around for thousands of years, helping people stay fit and stress-free. Recently, there has been an increased awareness about the benefits of yoga to individuals on the Autism Spectrum. My son, Michael, (that's him in the photo to the right) enjoys his weekly visits to my friend's beautiful yoga studio where he is guided through a series of poses.

What the research says

Until recently, the evidence of yoga being beneficial to people with Autism has been more anecdotal in nature. However a research study published recently in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy by scientists at New York University has revealed that indeed there are clinically proven advantages to children on the Spectrum doing yoga.

The authors of the paper, entitled Efficacy of the Get Ready to Learn Yoga Program Among Children with ASD: A Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design, discovered that after participating in a 5-step yoga routine for 17 minutes per day, 5 days a week over a 16-week period, autistic students' levels of aggressive behavior, hyperactivity and social withdrawal were significantly reduced.

Other benefits of yoga

Yoga is also an ideal way to help individuals on the Autism Spectrum develop and maintain important skills and abilities including:
  • Staying on task
  • Developing or improving balance, gross motor skills and coordination
  • Improving muscle tone
  • Learning breathing techniques, which can help with stress and anxiety management and "meltdowns"
  • Learning imitation skills, which are crucial for learning other important life skills

Resources worth checking out


The Get Ready To Learn program is a researched classroom yoga curriculum that prepares students of all abilities of learning. Now in over a dozen states, this organization is comprised of experienced clinicians and facilitators who provide in-house training and mentoring services for schools and districts. Contact them now about coming to your area! 


Peaceful Pathways Yoga is dedicated to providing the yogic experience to people of all ages and abilities... especially those with developmental challenges including autism.

Their approach to adaptive yoga or modified yoga allows all students, especially those who have special needs, to achieve success and develop a practice that meets their individual needs.


Breathing exercises assist to develop an awareness of the breath. The Cobra assists to develop head, neck and eye control necessary for focal attention.

Watch this clip to see yoga students in action: 

Both the home and professional editions of this video are being offered at a discounted rate of 40% off until January 15, 2013 so order yours before the price goes up!

Home Edition: $23.50 plus S&H

Teacher Edition: (suitable for parents and professionals): $59.00 plus S&H

To download an informative brochure on this video, click here. For more information or to view additional free yoga videos, visit


Barbara Gini, founder of and author of Calm & Connected, Yoga-Based Tools For Self Regulation, will create a program to meet your child's or student's specific needs and abilities. Barbara's eclectic approach incorporates:

  • Yoga
  • Adaptive Movement
  • Tai Chi
  • Pilates
  • BrainGym (Barbara is a Certified Instructor!)
  • Brain Balance

On the other side of the city... or the world? NO PROBLEM!

In addition to her in-person instruction, Barbara offers distance learning. Download her application to book your virtual and completely customized consultation now! Questions? Call Barbara at 215-257-3193 or email her.


The ABCs of Yoga for Kids is an award-winning book full of "kid-tested" poses that are depicted by child-friendly and eye-catching illustrations.

Here's a sneak peak at this visually rich resource:

Frog Pose

Squatting with my feet apart wide
I am a frog
with a big underside.
Bringing my arms inside my knees
I jump up and say,
“r-r-r-r-i-b-b-i-t!” on the count of three.

The Yoga Adventures With Down Dog DVD is the perfect complement to their book, and provides a wonderful resource for those kids on the spectrum who can learn from video modeling.

Learning cards, a coloring book and a beautiful 24 x 36" poster are also available to support your aspiring yogi!




November 26, 2012   Comments (0)

How To's Physical Fitness, General Health & Wellbeing Yoga

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