Yoga Therapy for Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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Based on our experience working with numerous people facing ADHD, we are pleased to share some information and yoga tools that you might find helpful. Of course, every person is unique, and this is we know very well in yoga therapy, where based on the individual’s needs, energy level, body, breathing pattern, character, lifestyle and beliefs we develop a personalized graded holistic practice.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be considered a neurodevelopmental disorder and often is described as ‘hypo-dopaminergic disorder’. The dopamin levels are different therefore they can be very attentive, if the motivation is the right one.

ADHD impact cognitive, academic, behavioural, emotional and social functioning.

ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, a lot of anxiety that may even lead to addictions in an effort to cope with the problems in school performance and other activities as well as the feelings of inadequacy caused by this condition.

ADHD is over diagnosed and overmedicated and unfortunately makes people and especially young people feel disabled instead of simply different. It may be the result of and is aggravated a lot by multitasking.

People with ADHD can be more impulsive, hyperactive, inattentive or a combination of these things. They can be excellent problem solvers in some high-pressure environments because then adrenaline and dopamine increase while they can be very good athletes and creative. There is a higher risk of substance abuse in an effort to cope with their mood disorders and learning disabilities.

As people age with ADHD, they get better and better at identifying what works for them in specific contexts. It is children that need as much support as possible.

In Yoga Therapy we begin by connecting with the individual through the personal intake, where we learn what helps, what aggravates, their medication and their side effects, the other professionals involved and the settings where the child or the adult faces most of the behaviours or symptoms (home, school, work,  or with friends,).  Probably one or all of these may trigger increased anxiety symptoms.

We focus on grounding, on feeling their feet, their breath, and their body. We improve attention and shift from hyperactivity to a few and achievable interesting pursuits by building awareness in the rhythm of the breath and in gradually slowing down the breath rhythm. We start with simple practices, and we progressively move to more complex ones, giving priority to the breathing practices and less to the movements.

We coordinate breath and chant with breath-centric asanas using the chant as a soothing rhythm that helps maintaining attention.

In terms of asanas we use contralateral movements, balance postures, consistent patterns of repetition in order to increase the ability to focus but to also burn some energy, while with chanting and restorative or pranayama at the end they induce grounding, safety, calming effects. We definitely avoid complex practices at least in the beginning in order not to be overwhelmed. for details of IAYT Accredited 800 hours Yoga Therapy Training, personal and group yoga therapy sessions

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