In For Parents, Tips & Tricks

Yoga is a big trend in a lot of countries around the world right now. It is an activity that has proven benefits for both adults and children—some schools now even incorporate regular yoga into the curriculum!

Here are some ways yoga could help your child:

  • improve concentration and attention
  • raise self-esteem and confidence
  • assist in the development of problem solving and executive functioning
  • self-manage emotions
  • expand imagination and creativity
  • enhance memory
  • build muscle strength

These benefits are also very useful for children with a hearing implant. Here are 4 ways yoga can help your child with a hearing implant:

Before beginning yoga, it might be helpful to secure your child’s audio processors with a Huggy or a headband. Remember to make the most of listening and language opportunities by talking to your child about what you are going to do together in this activity. Talk to your child while you are doing the activity, and encourage your child to talk with their friends and family about the activity after wards.

 

 

Managing Emotions

These poses will help to:

  • regulate breathing for relaxation and to bring a feeling of calm
  • develop awareness of own body and learn to control it
  • learn to resist distractions
  • begin to understand their own and other people’s emotional states

Remember, many children with hearing impairment have trouble balancing as the sensory organ for balance is in the inner ear. Have a support, eg. a chair or table nearby if your child has balance difficulties.

Suggested poses

Mountain pose

  1. Stand tall with your feet facing forward and a little bit apart.
  2. Reach your head as high as you can.
  3. Relax your shoulders and face.
  4. Hang your arms straight down your sides.
  5. Stay as still as you can and breathe slowly in and out through your nose.

Tree pose

  1. Stand in Mountain pose.
  2. Shift all your weight to your right foot, lift your left foot a little and get your balance.
  3. Place the sole of your left foot either above or below your right knee—not on the knee.
  4. Slowly reach your arms up as if they are branches of a tree.
  5. Imagine the breeze blowing gently through the leaves and breathe it in.
  6. Lower your arms and leg and repeat on the other side.

Child’s pose

  1. Kneel on the floor with feet under your bottom.
  2. Slowly lower your head to rest on the floor in front of your knees.
  3. Reach your arms out in front or rest them beside your body.
  4. Stay in this position until breathing is calm.

 

 

Building Bonds

These poses will help you:

  • provide opportunities for meaningful time with your child
  • reduce both adult and child stress
  • follow your child’s lead to build their confidence
  • build physical strength

Suggested poses

Staff pose together

  1. Sit facing each other on the floor with your legs straight out (adult may need to place legs on the outside of the child’s).
  2. Reach out and hold each other’s hands.
  3. Rock back and forward like you are in a row boat. Singing “Row row row your boat” can be a playful way to add speech practice.

Table top together pose

  1. Kneel facing each other on the floor with feet under your bottom.
  2. Reach your arms out and put them on the other’s shoulders.
  3. Wriggle your knees backwards until you can bend from the waist and your backs make a flat table shape.

Squat together pose

  1. Stand facing each other with your feet apart.
  2. Hold hands and then bend your knees deeply to lower into a squat.
  3. See how long you can hold this position before one of you falls over. Remember to talk with each other as you’re holding the pose!

 

 

Developing Listening and Auditory Memory Skills

These poses will help your child to:

  • learn to follow directions of increasing length and complexity
  • build comprehension skills, especially if you the use Auditory Sandwich technique of talk about the pose / demonstrate the pose/ talk about the pose again
  • consolidate understanding of new concepts through repetition in natural context
  • develop understanding of sequencing

Suggested poses

Downward facing dog pose

  1. Stand up with your feet a little bit apart.
  2. Bend over and put your hands flat on the ground.
  3. Walk your feet backwards until your bottom is high in the air and your body is making a V shape.
  4. Try and make your legs straight and look down between your feet.

Warrior 1 & Warrior 2

Warrior 1

  1. Stand up straight and then step your left foot back, keep it facing forward.
  2. Bend your right knee.
  3. Reach your arms up high and look up.
  4. Bring your arms down.
  5. Bring your left foot back to meet your right foot then repeat the sequence stepping your right foot back.

Warrior 2

  1. Stand up straight and then step your left foot back, pointing your toes to the left.
  2. Bend you right knee.
  3. Reach your arms out, one in front and one behind like an aeroplane and look over your front arm.
  4. Bring your arms down.
  5. Bring your left foot back to meet your right foot then repeat the sequence stepping your right foot back.

Wide-legged forward bend pose

  1. Stand up tall and then step your feet out as wide as they can go.
  2. Bend your body down from your waist.
  3. Grab your hands together in front and swing them side to side.

 

 

Practising New Speech Sounds

These poses will help your child:

  • explore copying new speech sounds in different positions and environments
  • learn vocal turn taking if you follow your child’s lead and copy any sounds they make
  • hear natural repetition of speech targets in non-meaningful syllables to improve accuracy of production
  • reach their speech targets in meaningful words as you talk about the poses and what they make you think about.

Suggested poses

Easy pose

  1. Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed.
  2. Rest your hands on your knees.
  3. Breathe in through your nose and close your eyes if you like.

Flower Pose

  1. Sit on the floor and reach your head high.
  2. Lift your legs a little bit and balance on your bottom.
  3. Bring your feet together so your soles touch and your legs form a diamond shape.
  4. Slide your hands under your ankles to hold your feet or legs.

Gyan Mudra pose

  1. Kneel on the floor with feet under your bottom.
  2. Make circles using your thumb and pointer finger and place them over your eyes.
  3. Breath in through your nose.

 

Remember to try and follow whatever your child is interested in—if you find that they don’t like a certain pose, then move onto another one together that they enjoy. It’s always important to have fun with your child in rehabilitation—this will help them to learn!

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Rebecca Claridge
Rebecca Claridge is a MED-EL Rehabilitation Manager, a Speech Pathologist and LSLS Cert AVT. Rebecca began working with children who received cochlear implants in the late 1980's. She also contributed to the development of the highly-popular MED-EL lesson kits. “I really enjoy to support professionals and families all around the world, in order to help children with hearing impairment reach their potential.”
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