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Yoga Therapy and Autism Research

Qtm532's picture

Yoga Therapy and Autism Research

Sat 19 Jan 2013 5:17pm

Hello Everyone,

I am in the Special and Inclusive Education MAs program at the Institute of Education, University of London. For my masters dissertation, I am undertaking a research project on the benefits of Yoga Therapy in children with special needs. Specifically, I am interested in examining how Yoga Therapy can benefit children with Autism and Down's syndrome. 

I am looking for any families that have participated in Yoga Therapy or know of anyone who would be interested in being part of an interview for this study. I am also interested in having one case study for a child with Autism and one with Down's syndrome. 

If you are interested in taking part or would like additional information you can email me at (Personal contact details removed as this contravenes Community Guidelines on Personal Safety)

Your participation and contribution will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you! Smile

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  • JosieB's picture


    Welcome to the forum Smile

    I have unfortunately had to remove your personal e-mail address for safety reasons.   You could either use a university e-mail address if have one or make use of the facility which you can access via your profile to allow other members of the forum to contact through the forum messaging system.

    Josie - Community Champion
  • michaelz's picture

    the forum messaging system doesn't work!

  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Michael

    Works fine for me.   What about it isnt working for you?

    Qtm532 has not enabled their messaging facility at the moment but when they do they will be contactable through it.  It is of course each members choice whether to activate it or not but of course if they dont it will restrict the ability to contact them privately.

    Josie - Community Champion
  • michaelz's picture

    oh it works for you, Josie - in that case it must be me or my browser which is at fault.

    there was an article in you magazine, mail on sunday yesterday about using yoga to relieve psychological difficulties - "if you have desk stress" "deep breathing" "for a serene 2013" - page 45 of mag.

    but i can't find the article online.

    i used to go to yoga classes at the sivananda centre in chepstow gardens - it was good!

  • sallyk's picture


    my son is 3 yrs old and has asd.  What were you looking for in the person for your case study?  My son is quite sensory and in his last sensory assessment they said he would benefit from more deep pressure. Yoga could well help with this.





  • connieapmag's picture

    Hi there! There are studies that show yoga has big benefits for people in the spectrum. I can share with you 6 Benefits of Yoga for Children with Autism taught by a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher himself. You can also get in contact with him on the link provided at the end of this thread.

    We all know that common challenges children with ASD face are difficulty with expressive and receptive communication, sensory integration deficits and social/emotional challenges (understanding and recognizing facial expressions, social cues, and their emotions as well as emotions of others).

    Children with ASD can exhibit a broad range in these areas, some having more difficulty in one or more areas than another. Many children ASD may also experience heightened levels of anxiety. 

    Here are some of the many benefits yoga can give:

    1. Increased Social-Communication Skills
    The results of one study published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy showed an improvement in imitation skills. The study indicated that yoga may offer benefits as an effective tool to increase imitation, cognitive skills and social-communicative behaviors in children with ASD.

    2. Awareness and Expression of Emotions
    Not only can the practice of yoga bring more awareness to social cues such as facial expressions, actions, and social behaviors but it can also bring more awareness to children’s emotions and how they are feeling.

    3. Reduced Anxiety
    Many children with ASD experience heightened levels of anxiety. This can significantly affect their sleep, mood, behavior, and health. Due to difficulty with communication, sensory integration deficits and a variety of other challenges, children with ASD can be in a constant state of anxiousness.

    4. Reduction in Challenging Behaviors
    Because of the many difficulties children with ASD face in areas of language and communication, expression of emotions, sustaining attention and sensory integration, they may display challenging behaviors. A study of yoga and improving behavior was recently published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

    5. Increased Body Awareness
    Many children with ASD may have limited body awareness. By teaching and identifying body parts through yoga and movement of the body, children can develop a greater sense of body awareness.

    6. Positive Sense of Self
    Along with the many benefits listed above, the practice of yoga can also support children with ASD in developing self-confidence and self-esteem. Balancing poses and standing poses, in particular,
    are exciting and powerful poses for children with ASD to practice.

    You can find more information here (Tips for Teaching Yoga to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder) by reading this article: ... -disorder/

    Hope this helps!

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