Self-monitoring and awareness. Through yoga, children get to monitor their motor plan to see if it matches the adult model. Yoga teaches children how to become aware of their breath, where their body parts are in space, and the physical space they are practicing in. Self-monitoring involves teaching students how to independently observe whether they are engaging in appropriate behavior at a particular time.
Divided attention. Many yoga poses involve doing multiple muscle actions simultaneously (e.g. balancing on one leg while moving arms; moving arms while engaging the muscles of speech production). Yoga teaches children how to direct their breath so that they can support each part of a complex pose, improving their divided attention skills.
Sustained attention. Sustained attention means paying attention to the same idea/concept for an extended period of time. This is an important skill for effective communication. The practice of yoga itself is an exercise for sustained attention, but also, holding various poses for a period of time also helps to improve a child’s sustained attention skills.
Inhibiting impulses. Some children with special needs have a difficult time stopping an unwanted impulse. Yoga teaches children how to inhibit, or block, an impulse that is not needed in the present moment (e.g. getting off the mat to play with a prop).
Yoga, especially mini flows, teaches children how to arrange poses in order.