World Mental Health Day: yoga can help mental health for those with complex needs

As a charity our key priority is our young people, children and staff’s wellbeing. Today marks world mental health day so we’re sharing our key yoga and breathing tips for supporting mental health for children with disabilities and communication needs.

Yoga and mindfulness techniques can be introduced to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with sensory processing and communication difficulties, therefore, promoting a better mental health and wellbeing.

So many of our children predominately take shallow breaths through their chest, which can increase and heighten stress and anxiety. To help this it’s good to encourage deep breathes into the stomach, which can be very calming even if not done for a long period.

Here are some other techniques we use with our children and young people:

  • Blowing a feather across a table or to another person
  • Watch with them as their favored item moves up and down on their tummy when they take deep breaths
  • Humming
  • Using bubbles or breath control toys

Yoga poses which are grounding such as child pose, happy baby and bringing knees to the chest not only help with digestion and flexibility, but they also give feedback to our main sensory systems.

Short yoga sequences can also be introduced to support the individual with managing transitions; allowing them to feel more comfortable with the flow of movement and more secure within their bodies.

Keep an eye out for our Yoga Courses and training that we offer at Seashell and make sure you follow us on social @SeashellTrust