Yoga and special needs, a look towards the integration

Following the footsteps of other Western countries, the practice of yoga began to consider adequate for certain special needs such as Autism, Down syndrome, microcephaly, cerebral palsy, rare diseases ripener developmental disorders. Writes Bermejo Arantxa.


We are accustomed to recognize Yoga as a series of physical postures, but if we go deeper into the experience we realize that is a set of techniques full of wisdom that allow you to apply it to all people, whatever their physical and/or psychic limitations and his age, because yoga leads us beyond the body and the mind.

We would therefore be willing, to understand that "we are more than a body" and that is our real essence that understands what we are doing truly.

Yoga for special needs and adapted to the functional diversity, consider the need to create a Special link, from to, which come into play other human records which cross the limits of the body and the mind. We can thus only work from the love and respect that full human being.

The work of Bermejo Arantxa

This Special Yoga adapted, roots in Spain from the hand of Bermejo Arantxa, formed in the yogic techniques of Sonia Sumar (USA) and Jo Manuel (London), which since 2007 has been using yoga with other tools integrated harmoniously in practice (metamorphic massage, the tapping) to help many children and adults with special needs to be more themselves beyond their limitations.

In practical work, it is necessary to follow a protocol of evaluation of different aspects, physical, emotional, and family, as in the case of functional diversity, it is very important to include the system (family and professionals) to which belongs the child.

Once evaluated muscle tone, the mobility of the joints and the cognitive and relational, aspects is interesting, although not mandatory, placing the student in any of the following phases, in which the development of the five basic movements of the column according to the possibilities of each child was works.

-Preparatory phase: Which prepares the muscles and joints of the body of the baby or the child to later perform more complex exercises
-Inductive phase: That induce themselves to certain children basic postures so that your body will gradually adopting them.
-Interactive phase: Combines the interaction of the positions with the autonomy of the child, which will incorporate the memory of postures in your body.
-Imitative phase: The child imitates the positions of the therapist, since their autonomy.

The techniques of yoga who work with children are:

-Asanas or physical postures: Act on the physical level, providing balance, flexibility and firmness. The positions are adapted to the mobility of participants, always retaining the basic spinal mobility scheme (4 movements: flexion, extension, balance and investment). In this section we also work self-massage and stimulation of key endocrine points.
-Pranayama or breath control: acts at mental level providing calm and serenity. Pranayama produces effects of blood cleaning in practitioners as well as calm and serenity in the nervous system, since there is a transit of the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic.
-Dhyana or concentration: acts primarily on the mental level, but also in the emotional, obtaining practical concentration and tranquility. We have stories, mandalas and Visual techniques.
-Nidra or relaxation: relaxation, participants acquire the habit of releasing tensions in different moments of life and of the day, thus favouring a better rest and handling of the emotions.
-Mantra: It's a job with sound and syllables that induce the mind and nervous system to relax and positivism. By imitation and participation, the sound and vibration stimulates areas of the nervous system that slow cognitive and sensory degradation.

In City Yoga, Bermejo Arantxa since last summer training for this group, and on Saturday, February 20 held a monographic envelope Yoga and Down syndrome.

Yoga and Down syndrome

The Down's syndrome It is a genetic condition resulting from the emergence of one chromosome in the pair 21, causing different both physical and psychic, disorders that could be grouped generally brachycephaly, cardiac anomalies, respiratory and digestive, Visual problems, muscle hypotonia, and in some cases, it may also be with motor and/or mental retardation.

In the majority of cases, people with Down syndrome can develop their skills and abilities to have a standard life. In this case yoga can help much, since it develops an integral work, which includes the physical, the cognitive as well as respect for the being.

Benefits: Help yoga in Down's syndrome

  • It helps to stretch and tone all muscles of the body.
  • Massages the internal organs and helping balance and energizes the endocrine glands.
  • Tones and strengthens the body.
  • It increases the capacity thoracic and clean the respiratory organs (lungs, nostrils, etc).
  • Decontraction diaphragm and amplifies the abdominal breath which allows better management of emotional processes and balances central nervous system.
  • Improvement of digestive processes and decrease constipation.
  • It promotes body awareness and sense of "self".
  • Improves memory and concentration.

Program of the course:

-What is disorder Down syndrome.
-Main features to deal with yoga.
-The link.
-Phases of the method and how to apply them.
-Yogic tools to work with Down's syndrome.
-Design of a class.
-Group practical work.
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By • 19 Feb, 2016 • section: Signatures