Breathing techniques and Neuro Diversity

This week’s blog is written by our Mini Me Yoga Ambassador Melissa, who is based in the Midlands, UK.

Following on from my last blog about yoga and neuro diversity I wanted to go a little more in depth about how yoga programs can help. I thought I would explore some of the main elements of the Mini Me Yoga Program starting with breathing.

As we all know our breath is a crucial part of the body’s system to keep us alive. When our breath is compromised our bodies struggle to stay strong and effective.

Many people with neuro diversity have anxieties and breath holding patterns. They may even have physical issues such as hypermobility or EDS (Ehlers Danlos Synderome) which can contribute to their anxiety and cause more body or breath holding. There may also be retained primitive reflexes such as the Moro (Startle) reflex which all humans need to survive entry into this world or the FPR (fear paralysis reflex) which is activated to keep us safe from harm. If these reflexes are not fully integrated the multi sensory world around us can be a cause of great stress which will trigger the body to protect itself which in turn effects breathing patterns.

In the Mini Me Yoga program we use logical, visual aids to teach breath work. This can make it easier for children and adults who have difficulties with abstract thought. For Example Trampoline Belly: We show visually that when we breathe the toy goes up and down on the belly with the breath. We do not need to over load them with words for the aim to be understood.

Slowing down the breath and filling the capacity of the lungs with air has a calming effect on the body and brain. When humans are in a state of panic or anxiety we naturally breathe fast shallow breaths to keep the blood pumping round our bodies. Teaching those who are almost constantly in a stressed state to breathe can have a profound effect on their ability to self regulate and decrease the number of sensory overload meltdowns they have.

Why not try it yourself and let us know if it works for you? Breathe in-Toy up, Breathe out-Toy down.

Melissa started her career working with 0-19s and their families and specialised in CAMHS.  She has also worked as a family support worker within her Local Authority.

Melissa has 4 children; two with an Autism Spectrum Conditions and one with additional needs. She is currently a trustee for YESS Mental Health charity for children and the Autism Spectrum Pyramid group who support families who have children with Autism Spectrum Conditions.

She is also a Reiki Master and hopes to teach and use Reiki with children alongside being a Life Activation Practitioner with the Modern Mystery School.


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