What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects millions of people worldwide. With symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, restlessness, feelings of being overwhelmed which can present as anxiety, lack of focus, procrastination and impulsivity, ADHD can significantly impact daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. While medication and therapy are commonly used to manage ADHD, holistic approaches such as yoga have garnered interest as an amazingly effective way to alleviate the negative symptoms which impact on everyday life.
A Mind-Body Approach to Finding Balance
In this blog post, we will look at how practicing yoga can help people manage their ADHD and find a greater sense of balance and focus. While yoga might seem unrelated to managing ADHD, regular practice can be incredibly beneficial in several ways, as we will explore.
5 reasons why yoga can help ADHD
- Mindfulness and Self-Awareness
One of the key aspects of yoga is mindfulness, which involves being aware of the present moment without judgment. People with ADHD, often struggle with impulsivity and inattention, so, practicing mindfulness through yoga can be transformative. Mindfulness helps you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, allowing you to gain better control over impulsive reactions.
2. Stress Reduction
Yoga uses deep breathing and relaxation techniques that reduce stress and anxiety. Stress is a common trigger for ADHD symptoms, exacerbating inattention and impulsivity. Regular yoga practice can help individuals with ADHD manage stress more effectively, leading to a calmer mind and improved focus. Yoga is a powerful antidote to stress because it down-regulates the sympathetic nervous system and up-regulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion, energy conservation and slowing the heart rate
3. Physical Activity
The physical aspect of yoga involves various poses and stretches that require balance, strength, and flexibility. Engaging in these physical activities can help you expunge excess energy in a structured and controlled manner, reducing restlessness and hyperactivity. Additionally, the sense of accomplishment that comes with mastering yoga poses can boost self-esteem.
4. Improved Concentration
Yoga encourages mental discipline and concentration through meditation and mindful breathing exercises. These practices can enhance the brain’s executive functions, which are often impaired in individuals with ADHD. As a result, yoga can lead to improved attention span and the ability to stay on task.
5. Better Sleep
Many people with ADHD struggle with sleep difficulties, such as insomnia or restless nights. Yoga can promote better sleep by helping you relax both physically and mentally. Incorporating a gentle bedtime yoga practice can improve the quality and duration of your sleep, which, in turn, can alleviate ADHD symptoms.
5 Practical Tips for Incorporating Yoga into ADHD Management.
- Find a Suitable Class
Look for yoga classes that cater to beginners or individuals with specific needs, such as ADHD. Sunbeam Yoga offers Ashtanga Yoga classes for all abilities, as well as Restorative Yoga or, Private 1-2-1 sessions can also be booked, which I recommend if you are new to yoga or want to discuss how your practice can incorporate flows which are targeted to a specific issue.
- Set Realistic Goals
Start with achievable goals, such as attending one yoga class per week or practicing for 15 minutes daily. Over time, you can gradually increase your practice.
- Choose the Right Style
Different styles of yoga offer varying levels of intensity and focus. For beginners, I recommend booking some 1-2-1 slots so as we can discuss your individual requirements and gently start you off with a practice you are comfortable with, and which addresses any issues you wanted to specifically work on through yoga.
- Create a Calm Environment
Designate a quiet and clutter-free space for your yoga practice at home. Reducing distractions can help you concentrate better during your sessions.
- Use Props
Props like yoga blocks and straps can aid in maintaining proper alignment during poses, making the practice more accessible and comfortable. After all, it’s important you enjoy your yoga practice!
- Be Patient and Kind to Yourself:
Remember that yoga is a journey, and progress may feel slow at first. Be patient with yourself and embrace any small improvements along the way.
Practicing yoga to help ADHD symptoms.
Yoga is an holistic practice that offers numerous benefits for individuals with ADHD. By fostering mindfulness, reducing stress, providing a structured physical outlet, improving concentration, and promoting better sleep, yoga can significantly contribute to ADHD symptom management and overall well-being. With dedication, patience, and the guidance of an experienced yoga instructor, those who feel some of their ADHD symptoms are negatively affecting their life, can harness the power of yoga to find greater balance and focus in their lives.
Contact me now for a chat about how we can tailor a yoga practice to suit your own personal requirements :o)