Relaxed Yoga For Autistic Children

After our recent relaxation response-based yoga session, Yoga: A Journey Within, this study Relaxation response-based yoga improves functioning in young children with autism: a pilot study is particularly interesting.

What is relaxation response? Medical News Today states:

“The relaxation response is characterized by reduction in oxygen intake, increase in exhalation of nitric oxide, and lower psychological distress. Many experts see it as the counterpart to the ‘flight or fight’ stress response that has already been shown by a number of studies to have a distinct pattern of physiological and gene expression changes (called ‘transcriptional profile’).”

Researchers at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut, developed and assessed movement-based complementary and alternative medicine for autistic children.

Twenty-four children, age-range of 3-16 years, participated in the study that took place at a medical school teaching hospital. The eight-week program included yoga, dance, and music therapy based on the relaxation response.

” The study outcome was measured using The Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2) and the Aberrant Behavioral Checklist (ABC).”

The most significant positive changes, unexpected, were found on the BASC-2 for 5-1 2 year children.

PMID:21992466[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID:PMC3221508[Available on 2012/11/1]

Relaxation response-based yoga improves functioning in young children with autism: a pilot study.
Rosenblatt LE, Gorantla S, Torres JA, Yarmush RS, Rao S, Park ER, Denninger JW, Benson H, Fricchione GL, Bernstein B, Levine JB.
Department of Psychiatry, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA.

2 thoughts on “Relaxed Yoga For Autistic Children

Add yours

  1. Can I make a suggestion? I think youve got something good here. But what if you added a couple links to a page that backs up what youre saying? Or maybe you could give us something to look at, something that would connect what youre saying to something tangible? Just a suggestion.


    1. Suggestions are always welcome and thank you for taking the time to make yours! I would like to point out though there are two links on the blog post, one to the original study and one to the meaning of “relaxation response”. They are both very tangible and concrete works that you can access with a click.

      Direct links to research studies and any related useful sources is self-evident on research-based blog posts.


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