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Yoga for individuals on the autism spectrum - MAAC Center for Autism

Reiki + Autism

Yoga for autism is one of the services we provide at MAACenter for Autism. Please listen to the audio below or read the transcript to learn more about this service

How does Yoga support individuals with autism?

Hello, Everyone,

I’m Contessa Cooper and I’m the founder of MAACenter for Autism. This is our series on Autism Plus where we explain some of the holistic services we provide for individuals on the autism spectrum.  We also work with parents, caregivers and siblings as well. For more information about MAACenter for Autism and to schedule a complimentary consult visit us at maacenter.net.

Now, Let’s learn about Autism Plus Yoga. 

Yoga offers a holistic system for supporting individuals on the autism spectrum and their families when presented in a way that is safe and accessible. Some individuals may have challenges with motor coordination and gross motor skills. Yoga can be an effective tool for reconnecting them to their bodies while supporting balance, coordination, movement, and strengthening of gross motor development. In addition, yoga can also add to their strength, flexibility, and muscle endurance.

Along with the physical benefits, yoga can also be of great emotional benefit for those living with autism. Yoga has also been shown to be helpful in reducing anxiety especially as it relates to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Yoga can improve sleep patterns among those dealing with chronic insomnia.  Yoga can strengthen the immune system which impacts digestion, respiration, and allergic response,

Another challenge for people on the autism spectrum is heightened sensitivity to their environment, as well as sensory processing. Sensory processing” refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and converts them into motor and behavioral responses. Some symptoms of sensory process responses could include difficulty with attention,  coordination challenges, poor core muscle strength, poor postural control, emotional insecurity/dysregulation, and difficulty following instructions/directions. There may also be “body awareness” challenges such as poor motor planning, poor posture, weak muscles, poor endurance, difficulty following motor actions, poor balance, difficulty judging force or distance, and frequently seeking out proprioceptive/deep pressure feedback (which can create behaviors such as stomping feet, banging into walls or other objects or people in the environment, chewing clothing, pinching/hitting oneself or others, and seeking out bear hugs or deep pressure on the body).

These sensory processing challenges for those on the autism spectrum are directly correlated with the ability to self-regulate. Because the poses in yoga support coordination, balance, strengthening weak muscles, motor coordination, attention, postural control, body awareness, motor planning, core strength, stability, and movements some individuals on the spectrum find them helpful in supporting sensory integration.

To find out if incorporating yoga and movement is a good fit for you and your family visit us at maacenter.net and schedule a complimentary consult.

Schedule Your Complementary Consult

It can be a bit overwhelming when it is time to decide which services are right for you and your family. That’s why we offer a complimentary consultation.  You can tell us a little about you and we can explain how our services work. There is no pressure to join. 

Wanna learn more about Yoga?

1. Yoga International

Yoga Generates Huge Benefits for Children with Autism


2. Yoga Journal

Yoga For Autism


3. The National Center for Biotechnology Information

Integrated Approach to Yoga Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorders



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