How Yoga Benefits our Young People

Emily is one of our occupational therapists at Seashell which means that she provides practical support to help our children and young people to carry out everyday tasks or occupations with more confidence and independence. Emily has specialist training in using yoga and mindfulness for young people with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Here she shares her views on the benefits of using yoga within her role, and how she aims to develop this within her clinical practice.

What are the similarities between yoga and occupational therapy?
Yoga and occupational therapy are very similar in their underpinning principles and can be practiced anywhere, by anyone.  While today's society tends the view yoga as a system of exercises, its holistic value and benefit goes much deeper. 

Yoga is a journey of self-discovery and empowerment that brings the mind, body and soul together. It enables individuals to feel grounded and connected, creating a sense of control, not only over their own body and thoughts, but over situations in their life.

Occupational therapy focuses on helping people to engage in meaningful daily activities despite limitations in their physical, sensory and communication abilities.

Focusing on the whole person
Occupational therapists view individuals holistically, meaning that they look at all aspects of their life, what is important to them and what barriers they may be facing which are preventing them from participating in such activities. 

So yoga and OT both place emphasis on the ‘whole’ person and incorporate the use of the mind and body to enable individuals to live their life to the fullest.

How we use yoga and mindfulness at Seashell
At Seashell we regularly support children and young people who experience significant sensory processing challenges which manifest as behaviours that challenge. Yoga and mindfulness have huge benefits in calming the central nervous system, which is responsible for understanding how to process sensory information for functional use and we use the techniques off the mat as well.

Enabling a child to simply feel in control of their own body and emotions can be hugely empowering.

Yoga and mindfulness have brought so many benefits to the lives of our children and young people, including:

  • Increased social interactions
  • Improved cognitive skills (focus, attention, problem solving)
  • Improvement in fine and gross motor skills
  • Promoting a wider range of interests
  • Improvement in sleep pattern

If you’re interested in learning more about using yoga and mindfulness techniques for supporting people with autism and ADHD please join us at our Yoga and Mindfulness for Autism upcoming training event on Wednesday 22nd May.

Emily is able to deliver yoga and mindfulness sessions with a focus on supporting sensory processing difficulties in your setting. Please contact Outreach Services on 0161 610 0741 or email