Yoga and Autism: Emotional Regulation


Our final class in our summer yoga series focused on emotional regulation. Given the timing – weeks (or days) before the start of a new school year – parents were eager to learn all they could to move their child (and themselves) into a calmer place.

First, the class learned that when we are happy, our breathing is rhythmic, and when we are stressed it is irregular and interrupted. The fastest way to calm the mind is through the breath, so focusing all calming strategies on learning good breathing techniques is the first priority.

Breathing Techniques for Kids

  1. “HA” breath – take a deep breath while reaching your arms up. Sigh the breath out with a “HAAAA” as you bring your hands in front of your belly.
  2. Puppy breath for anger – place your palms up in front of you, stick your tongue out and beat like a puppy (panting).
  3. Lion’s breath for anger – come onto your knees, rock forward, landing on your hands as you stick your tongue out and say “AAAHHHHH” like a lion.
  4. Other calming techniques – blowing bubbles, blowing out “candles” (use your finger as the candle), create a balloon belly by blowing up your belly like a balloon, alternate nostril breathing

We then learned a series of yoga poses designed for emotional regulation. The most important pose for calming is forward fold. Combining that pose with lion’s breathe and a terrific, in-the-moment calming strategy. While standing, take a deep breath in, release the breathe in a lion “AAAHHHH” while folding forward and swing your arms back and forth. Repeat if necessary.

Interested in a family yoga class? Take our survey and let us know, so we can design one that meets your needs!

Join us for our next Lecture Series class – Autism and Language Arts on September 28!


Author: Editorial Team

A select group of our board members who have something to say, but want to say it together. We also use this byline for those who wish to write anonymously.

Thoughts? Post 'em.

%d bloggers like this: