Yoga for ADHD | Alternative treatment for ADHD

What is ADHD?

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioral disorder, which manifests itself in early childhood.

The behaviors associated with ADHD are low self-esteem, forgetfulness, impatience, restlessness, poor organizational skills, hyperactivity and poor social skills. It has been seen that children who have ADHD have difficulty in slowing down even if they want to, they act or speak before they have time to think, and they seem uncoordinated and clumsy because their movements are too hurried.

Although there is no documented or real proof, it is believed that a chemical imbalance in the brain is the cause of ADHD.

Other social factors too are responsible for this behavioral disorder. Pre-natal use of drugs by parents, poor nutrition, breakdown of the family, TV violence, crowding, pollution and sensory overload are also cited as causes for triggering ADHD.

While tests have found that some children afflicted with ADHD have above average or average intelligence, they are unable to perform well in school because of this brain dysfunction or hyperactivity.

Cure for ADHD

ADHD is best treated in childhood in order to get better results. Exercises for ADHD affected persons are recommended since by burning up excess energy, it helps cope with their hyperactivity.

Since it is unadvisable to resort to medication, alternative treatment for ADHD is preferred and amongst these, yoga is considered the best.

Yoga and ADHD

Teachers have found that yoga and pranayama are beneficial for those with ADHD. These make use of relaxation techniques which not only calm down the central nervous system, but also strengthen it. Yoga is non-competitive and allows such children and even teenagers to get in touch and realize the feelings of their innermost bodies and thoughts. Yoga also has a spiritual side, and the deep silences while practicing it, increases inner awareness, providing a refuge from the frenetic pace of life all around them.

Most teachers prefer to start with Pranayama (breathing exercises). Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma-Viloma) has a two-fold benefit. It teaches them concentration by focusing on their breath, and it slows and calms down the mind by being engrossed in the act of breathing. It also encourages them to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Following this, teachers introduce a few yoga asanas (poses). Since the poses are performed slowly, it teaches them to slow down and have control over their actions. They learn to synchronize their movements, and this adds to their self-esteem. Following the routine of the asanas is also beneficial for their memory. Motor skills and control over physical actions is also helped by these yoga poses.

The combination of self-awareness brought about by pranayama and the physical activity provided by the poses brings about a balance between mind and body. Yoga and ADHD have a close and positive relationship, with many benefits for such children and teenagers.