Yoga for ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that starts in childhood. The disorder will often continue through the teenage years and into adulthood. Common symptoms include hyperactivity, lack of control, impulsiveness and many children may struggle to concentrate.
Yoga is a non-competitive practice. Because of this, yoga is believed to help people with ADHD by teaching them how to cope with day-to-day challenges in a more relaxed and effective way.
How can yoga help?
Studies suggest that a 20-minute exercise routine can significantly improve focus in those living with ADHD. Yoga poses – especially the forward bends – including the hare pose, downward dog and the head-to-knee pose have calming effects. These poses are also thought to help increase focus and coordination.
A common problem many individuals with ADHD face is a lack of inhibitory control. Yoga and meditation techniques have been found to enhance the inhibitory control by increasing self-awareness.
Mindfulness techniques have also been found to help manage ADHD. The nature of mindfulness is being in the present, while remaining non-judgemental. Mindfulness can at first be a challenge, but a yoga professional will guide the person through a selection of techniques to enhance mindfulness.
A simple breathing technique:
Brahmari Pranayama, or the humming bee breath is one technique that can help those living with ADHD. This breathing technique helps to induce a meditative state by harmonising the mind.
The vibrations of the sounds work to create a soothing effect on the mind and nervous system. This technique is best practised sat down comfortably, avoid lying down.
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Sit with your back against the chair, relaxing the shoulders.
- Close your eyes.
- Use your thumbs to close your ears, rest the other four fingers on the head.
- Breathe in through the nose.
- During the exhale, make a deep humming sound.
- The sound should be smooth and continue until the end of the exhalation.
- Repeat the process five to 10 times.