For children and adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), exercise is an ideal way to channel excess physical energy. More than team sports, though, yoga helps ADD in that it combines exercise with mental discipline. Yoga sharpens concentration and focus while working the body to help those with ADD, and especially ADHD (Attention Deficit with Hyperactivty Disorder) in ways that drugs can’t match. Yoga and ADD are an excellent match to manage and relieve symptoms.
Yoga Builds Mental Discipline
Yoga focuses on the mind, not just the body. This elevates yoga above other forms of exercise when it comes to helping people with ADD. There are eight distinct limbs, or aspects, of yoga. Five of these eight limbs specifically focus on honing the mind, as described below.
Yamas: This is the first limb of yoga, and its meaning is “restrictions.” Practitioners of yoga work towards control of the mind – restricting it from certain things, like distractions. For anyone with ADD, this sort of control can help prevent the mind from wandering.
Niyamas: The second limb of yoga, Niyamas means “observations.” Students should be able to observe and learn without being distracted.
Pratyahara: The fifth limb of yoga, meaning “detachment.” By becoming detached from their surroundings, yoga students are less affected by them. This can help a student with ADD focus on only one thing, detaching themselves from all else.
Dharana: Meaning “concentration,” this is the sixth limb of yoga. Obviously, learning the skill of concentration is vital for anyone with ADD.
Dhyana: This means “meditation,” and it is the seventh limb of yoga. Meditation clears the mind, leaving it free to concentrate on only one thing – or on nothing at all.
These limbs are all interconnected; learning one helps to strengthen the others as well. When these five limbs are learned, Attention Deficit Disorder can be very manageable and reduce stress.
Yoga Provides Physical Release for those with ADD
It does take time and dedication in the form of regular classes to learn the mental strength that yoga offers. The mental benefits of Yoga may not be immediately apparent. While students are in the process of discovering the five mental limbs encompassed by yoga, they can at least benefit strongly and instantaneously from having a physical outlet.
The exercise aspect of yoga is both thorough and calming. Children or adults who might become more hyper when subjected to bursts of activity like aerobic exercise are likely to find themselves calmed by the gentle motions of yoga. Yoga helps ADD by being physically intensive as well as soothing – people with ADD can be rid of their excess physical energy while also calming down.
Yoga is an Effective, All Natural Treatment Option
Anyone who is reluctant to treat mental imbalances with the use of potentially harmful drugs can rest assured that yoga is the most natural remedy available. No medication at all is involved – only exercises to help sharpen the mind.
With a strong focus on mental discipline, yoga helps children and adults with ADD to focus and concentrate. Students of yoga can train their minds while enjoying a good workout and promote both mental and physical well being.
Vision Tests and Attention Deficit Disorder
Vision screenings that are provided at school and day care usually check for visual acuity, more commonly referred to as 20/20 vision. The testing is most often is done with the Snellen chart which checks the clarity of sight distance. However, many times, this type of vision screening only checks for distance correction and does not test near vision, a very important part of a vision exam, especially for children.
Additionally, many times an attention problem may be attributed to a vision problem. A child who is struggling with seeing will be helped with vision aids like glasses but if the problem continues or is not completely resolved, attention disorder may be considered in addition to the vision correction.
Signs of Vision Problems and Attention Disorder
The following signs and symptoms should be investigated as possible signs of a child’s attention problem, ADHD, ADD, hyperactivity, learning or reading problems, according to the Optometrist Network:
One eye drifts or points in another position than the other, even just minor difference. This is important even if it only occurs when the child is tired or stressed.
The child turns or tilts head to see.
The head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher.
The child covers or closes one eye.
The child is often or repeatedly blinking or squinting.
The child has a short attention span.
The child has problems with motor skills.
The child is clumsy.
Signs to look out for while the child is reading include:
The child holds things extremely close.
The child closes or covers eye with hand.
The child tilts head to use one eye.
The child frequently loses his or her place.
The child rubs eyes frequently while reading.
There are reversals when reading (i.e., “ot” for “to”).
The child transposes numbers and letters in writing.
The child leaves out or replaces words.
The child’s ability to learn verbally is much greater than ability to learn visually.
Other signs may include:
The child is only able to read for short periods of time.
The child experiences headaches or eyestrain.
The child experiences nausea or dizziness.
The child experiences motion sickness.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, early detection, diagnosis and prompt treatment of ocular disorders is crucial in avoiding vision impairment problems. It is important to consider all causes of visual problems including attention problems.
A comprehensive eye test should include complete testing and evaluation of vision function and skill.