As a kid, I was rough on my body. There’s a scar on my foot from the time I attempted to slam the door in my sister’s face…and forgot to move my foot out of the way. Another one across my forehead from going down the slide head first. Each finger on my hands has been broken multiple times, mostly by basketballs. Ski accidents, snowboard falls, and multiple flipped four wheelers. Somewhere in the mess of all that I broke my clavicle. That one never quite healed right. It hurts every single day.
On the days that it rains or I spend too long working at my desk, the pain from that break shoots all the way down to my knee. A not so gentle reminder to get up and stretch.
When I first approached my doctor about how to manage the daily pain from my back and shoulder he suggested that I give Yoga a try. It has been an awesome tools at helping me enjoy daily life despite my own personal limits.
When it comes to Yoga, most of us think of the basics like it’s great for relaxation or awesome for stretching. But, it is also amazing for sensory input. As a parent of an Autistic child and an adult with joint pain, Yoga is the perfect family activity for us. Over the years, we have explored Yoga as a family but for the most part, it was me doing Yoga and the kids jumping in here or there to try out a move before returning to whatever they were previously doing. They lacked the attention span to do a session start to finish.
And that’s ok. They were still observing, experimenting, and learning. It’s important to remember that when you introduce anything new to your child, it might take a while for them to show interest in. So keep trying, the impression counts.
The Best Yoga Poses for Sensory Input
Below you will find 8 printable cards of Yoga moves that are fantastic for sensory input that you can do with your kids. Not only are these moves fun but they are great for proprioception (joints/heavy work) and vestibular (balance/inner ear) input.
Stand upright with arms to the side, straight overhead, or hands together at your chest. With one foot firmly planted, place the sole of the other foot flat against the planted leg.
Benefits: This is an awesome pose for working on balance.
Lie on your stomach, arms by side. Slowly bring your forehead to rest on the floor. Bend your knees until the are almost touching your buttocks. Now reach your arms back to grasp your ankles.
Benefits: The Bow pose is excellent for heavy proprioceptive work. So many muscles are engaged to keep the body in position, especially the core muscles.
Resource: Grab your Free Calming Strategies for Kids email course.
Lie face down and centered on your mat. Press into the floor with both hands. Pull your shoulders slightly back — down and away from your ears. Engage your abs by drawing your belly button toward your spine while bending your back backwards.
Benefits: This is an excellent pose to stretch out back pain and soothes sciatica- it’s one of my favorites! This is also a great stretch for sensory input in that extra weight placed on the arms is great proprioceptive input, helping kids be more aware of their bodies.
Grab your printable Kids Yoga Cards!
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Additional Autism Resources