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Yoga for Young People with Mental Disabilities

Updated: Apr 27

Yoga for Young People with Mental Disabilities
Yoga for Young People with Mental Disabilities

The practice of yoga in the West developed as living conditions became more complex and demanding, corresponding at the same time to a search for well-being and inner balance.

Today we realize that children suffer from the same ills as adults: stress, too fast rhythms, physical or mental tensions that persist... and that yoga has a lot to offer them.

Young people with Mental Disabilities are also faced with the pressure of today's world, which is not always kind to people in weak situations. Despite the attention and support of their family and specialized establishments, they are aware of their difference and can suffer from it to varying degrees. They often lack self-esteem and self-confidence, have a deficient body organization and misunderstand their abilities at all levels. However, it is a positive construction of themselves which will give children the opportunity to flourish in life whatever their problems.

Renew positive contact with yourself

Yoga, an age-old and universal science, is a source of balance through the variety of practices that address the entire being. Postures, breathing, relaxation act on the body, energy, mind, psyche, and “tune” them so that they enter into harmony.

But even more than the techniques themselves, the fundamental mindset of yoga meets the needs of young people with disabilities. In this discipline, there is no need to struggle to succeed, surpass yourself or try to become like others. The principles of non-competition, self-respect and acceptance present in all yoga practices allow children to relax, to reconnect with themselves, to perceive themselves as autonomous and competent.

The progress of a session

The diversity of yoga  Mental Disabilities practices allows it to be adapted according to the audience while retaining its richness and depth.

Postures or physical movements stress the body. Inspired by nature, animals or simple gestures of life, they are very meaningful for young people who have a lot of fun becoming a cat, a rower or a tree, while developing motor coordination, self-perception and perseverance. The playful aspect is very important because it stimulates interest and participation, qualities that are sometimes difficult to mobilize in children with mental disabilities.Other techniques allow you to establish harmonious breathing, which is both a source of pleasure and a factor of energy and tranquility.The best way to respect students with disabilities is to consider that they can learn and progress. It is therefore not a question of the teacher remaining in too limited registers.

Sometimes, you have to wait to tackle certain techniques and adaptations are necessary, especially when spatial location comes into play. But it is very useful to introduce less easy exercises, a simple balance for example or practice on the breath. For some young people, discovering unknown potential can act as a small revolution because the psychological influence of the disability then recedes in the face of the progress observed.Children also benefit greatly from lying down deep relaxation, or yoga nidra. They discover very rich and positive levels of themselves by experiencing a release of their whole being.A time for oral expression or drawing is provided at the end of the session. Everyone can freely express their feelings and give substance to their impressions.

Integrate the mindset of yoga into your daily life

Stays on the theme “Being well within oneself and creating together” are organized at the Aube Yoga Center for groups of young people with intellectual disabilities who have good autonomy. These stays combine a daily yoga session with different elements which all contribute to the development of a positive self-image.Expression through creative activity complements and balances the effects of yoga. It encourages the pooling of the imagination and the realization skills of the participants, to achieve a concrete production (such as a game, a small show, songs or mimes, etc.).Participatory community life is favored. A small contribution to daily tasks brings children and adults together, ensuring that everyone participates in their own way and at their own pace. This collaboration promotes self-esteem, respect for others and the environment. Thus, everyone takes their place in the group and sees that they can act competently in common areas of existence. These moments prove particularly stimulating for certain young people and sometimes become one of the most positive aspects of their stay.


1 Comment

Unknown member
Apr 24

The content on this blog is not only informative but also empowering. It's inspiring to see how simple changes can lead to significant improvements in overall health.

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