ADHD, Mindfulness, and Yoga

Are you aware that meditation is often more difficult for those with ADHD? Experts certainly are. They say the practice of mindfulness or meditation is very helpful for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As an ADHD and attention coach, I have found that those who have difficulty with mindfulness, which is self-regulation, may benefit from the practice of yoga. The reasoning is that it becomes easier to practice mindfulness by using yoga poses that require balance. What I mean by that is this.

Holding your focus on an object is less dynamic than holding your focus on a complex pose, for example, balancing on one foot. When you think about, you can understand that a more complex and dynamic focus helps to block out thoughts that may be a distraction. If you have trouble with practicing mindfulness, you may find my video, “ADHD, Mindfulness, and Yoga,” to be helpful in showing you how to calm your mind and keep your focus. Here’s the link:  https://youtu.be/8_kkntd7Vgw

TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome, everybody, to this edition of Attention Talk Video. I’m your host, ADHD and Attention Coach, Jeff Copper. And I’m here today to talk to you about mindfulness and yoga. Really, it’s really more about using yoga for mindfulness practices. Over the years, one of the things that I’ve learned is that unquestionably, everybody agrees, mindfulness and meditation are very helpful for those with ADHD. If you’ve listened to me before, I fashion them to be attention exercises, meaning that either you’re mindfully looking at an object or you’re meditating, focusing on your breath, and when an extraneous thought comes to your mind and you notice it, you let it go and you bring your focus back to the object or your breath.

That’s a moment of practice. When you do it over and over for a long period of time, you develop the skill of focusing on your intention. So, I call these attention exercises. And it’s also very well known or the experts agree that, while is a really good thing for those with ADHD, it’s more difficult for them to do because they’re bombarded with ideas. And recently, I was coaching an individual where we were talking about meditation and the value of it, and we were really trying to bring some focus to what was going on. And they were really having a difficult time.

And I’ve done this before with other people, where we’d start with maybe just focusing on a candlelight for 10 seconds or something like that. But what was profound to me and I wanted to share with this is this person found that yoga was very, very helpful, particularly bikram. When you’re getting into some type of a pose where you’re involving with balance, say on the balls of your feet or something like that, and your arms are spread out, in that moment, you’re focusing in on the balance. Now, your mind is darting all over the place like, how’s my arm, how’s my leg, is my weight too much on the right ball of my foot or the left ball of my foot?

So, there’s a lot of thinking that’s going on, but what’s key is everything’s focused in on balance. It’s difficult to have those extraneous thoughts about what you’re doing tomorrow or what you forgot to bring, when you’re focused in on that balance. And so, for this particular individual, we actually began to not go to yoga to do yoga, but actually use yoga poses as a way to bring focus to what was going on. So, again, I’m going to try to articulate what I think was really going on was just focusing on a breath or an object required more limitations, if you will, for their mind to wander.

Yet in the yoga pose, there was so much that needed to be checked into, if you will, in order to hold that balance, that it actually helped them eliminate those extraneous thoughts and focus on the thing at hand. And again, we did this, not as a yoga thing, but as a way to meditate. So, if you have ADHD and you’ve heard the values of meditation and mindfulness, but you struggled with this, give this a shot. It’s not guaranteed to work. Maybe you can think of something else other than yoga, of course, leave that in the comments for us.

But the point really here is, is that mind is going all over the place. Keeping your balance requires a lot of self-regulation in order to keep the body in balance. And that focus on that balance is actually helps you keep your focus going on. So, anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed that. Please subscribe to our channel below. We give out tips each week. And comment, if you have a better idea than yoga, or if you’ve really subscribed to this, please let us know. And with that, we hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Attention Talk Video. Take care.

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