Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Researching Yoga for Autism


It’s been quite awhile since posting a blog entry. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking of this blog’s readers. Nor has it been for lack of inspiration or motivation. It’s the familiar refrain (you’ve heard this before, haven’t you?)…I’ve been very busy.

Some of the busy-ness has involved all the exciting goings-on with YogAutism (formerly Spectrum Yoga Therapy). Late last summer, Madison Magazine wrote a flattering article about our work with people on the autism spectrum. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of activity for our supervisors, board of directors and volunteers!

Shortly after the New Year, YogAutism partnered with the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds to begin a groundbreaking inquiry into the efficacy of our simple, low-cost interventions. Through non-invasive measurements that indicate the state of the nervous system, researchers can gauge whether someone is tending toward relaxation, or getting pumped up into the Fight/Flight/Freeze response.

For people on the autism spectrum, much of life may be spent in Fight/Flight/Freeze response. Quite often their nervous systems are on alert, and what may seem to others an innocuous sight, smell or sound, can trigger repetitive behaviors, tantrums or a shutting down. Independent of the response, the root cause is often an unregulated, or as I may call it, an overheated nervous system.

Our research will involve using the non-invasive techniques to measure the state of the nervous system both before and after the Yoga sessions. Using our simple, easy-to-learn series of five poses, we hope to quantify the encouraging results that participants have been reporting for the past several years.

There’s a growing body of evidence that supports the power of Yoga and Meditation to change lives for the better, and we’re honored to be working together with the experts at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds to further this inquiry. Would you like to be part of this innovative research? Visit our research page for more information.

Namaste, 
Scott


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