Yoga asanas or poses for improving speech, stammer or stutter

Many children stammer but if it persists for too long, it can interfere with life. So, use yoga to help your child reduce stammering and improve speech.

Stammering can be defined as a neurological condition that makes it physically hard to speak. The symptoms of stammering or stuttering include repeated words and getting stuck on sounds or words. The condition can lead to stress due to the individual struggling to become coherent in his speech.

According to recent research, approximately 8 percent of children will stammer at some point, but most will go on to talk fluently. Stammering, in the long run, can be hereditary, caused due to speech impediments, or some event of trauma in the child’s upbringing. Approximately, up to 3 percent of adults will have to live with this as a lifelong condition.

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Stammering can cause stress to a child. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Yoga to reduce stammering in children

Following are some of the ways that yoga can be used as therapy:

Pranayama

Ujjai Pranayama

Method:

  • Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • Place your left palm on your knee facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
  • Contract your throat and breathe in from your nose
  • As you inhale, you must make an audible sound
  • After you have slowly filled your lungs with air, make an ‘O’ shape with your lips and exhale through it

Duration: You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar should be practiced regularly to bring tons of health benefits for those suffering from this condition. Surya Namaskar, or Sun salutation as it is known, should be done ideally early in the morning as it is considered to be very good for overall health and well-being.

Yoga Asanas

1. Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend

  • Begin by stretching your legs forward
  • Exhale, bend forward and place your upper body on your lower body
  • Try to touch your knees with your nose
Practicing this asana can help improve your child’s stammer. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

2. Padahasthasana

  • Begin by standing in Samasthithi (feet together and body upright)
  • Exhale and gently bend your upper body down from the hips and touch your nose to your knees
  • Place palms on either side of feet
  • As a beginner, you can bend your knees slightly, rest your stomach on your thighs and place your fingertips or palms down.
  • With practice, slowly straighten your knees and try to touch your chest to your thighs

3. Adomukhi Svanasana – Downward dog pose

  • Start on all fours, ensuring palms are under the shoulders and knees below hips
  • Pushing off from your palms and toes lift up your pelvis
  • Straighten the knees and elbows forming an inverted ‘V’ shape with your body
  • Palms should be placed shoulder-width apart
  • Bring your feet closer
  • Your bodyweight should be distributed between your feet and palms
  • Keep your focus on your big toes

4. Halasana

  • Lie on your back with palms beside your body
  • Press your palms into the floor to lift your legs up and drop them behind your head
  • Use your palms to support the back, if needed

Medical research and scientists attest to the fact that there is no link between stammering and a child’s intellectual capacity. Stammering is mainly a neurological condition and generally, everyone stammers differently and to different degrees. However, along with speech therapy and yogic exercises, the condition may improve as they get older.

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