Motor planning. Motor planning involves transforming an idea or thought into a neuromuscular code that the muscles can understand. Motor planning is highly involved in speech production and feeding. Gross motor planning (e.g. in the muscles of the core) must be stable in order for fine motor planning (such as speech or eating) to occur successfully. Yoga gives children practice with motor planning both for gross motor movements and for fine motor movements.
Core strengthening. The muscles of the core are highly important for overall movement in the body, but core muscles drive breath support for speech production.
Grading muscle movement. Muscle grading involves recruiting the right amount of force needed for a motor task. Yoga teaches children how to grade their muscle force so that they move body parts with the right amount of speech and intensity. Yoga also teaches children how to increasingly engage more muscles as the class progresses, and how to increasingly slow down muscle movements as the yoga practice heads into resting pose.
Nervous system control. Yoga increases the tone, or activity, of the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve helps to regulate our fight-or-flight (Sympathetic) or rest-digest (Parasympathetic) nervous responses. Yoga teaches children how to flexibly move into and out of each nervous system response so that they are always ready for learning, connection, and growth.