Down syndrome is one of the most commonly seen congenital conditions, manifesting through a specific array of symptoms stemming from the presence of the third chromosome on the 21st one. Therefore, people with Down syndrome have abnormalities affecting their physical appearance as well as their mental performance.
Fortunately, people who are born with this condition can find relief and help in many aspects of life. One of the most effective ways of boosting both the physical and mental abilities is through practicing yoga on a regular basis.
Yoga for Down Syndrome
As far as the effects of yoga on Down syndrome symptoms are concerned, there are quite a few of these. Namely, yoga is capable of boosting the performance of one's central nervous system. Also, this discipline can tone the body through the balanced and demanding exercises, increasing its strength and boosting it balance.
Furthermore, yoga has plenty of benefits on people's mental health. Apart from increasing the levels of concentration and memory skills, it also balances the hormone levels in one's body, making sleep patterns regular and natural. Additionally, yoga helps people learn how to understand and respect others, being completely aware of their bodies and having high levels of self-esteem at the same time.
Overall, yoga is a fun activity to indulge into and most people are likely to enjoy the process of reaping all the benefits it has.
However, when people with Down syndrome decide to practice yoga, their caregivers or close ones need to overlook their exercising process, preventing any injuries from happening. Namely, Down syndrome people have greater flexibility levels in their joints and this can easily lead to an increased risk of injuries. Therefore, guidelines are best to be followed carefully and exercises are to be done according to the instructions.
Sometimes, the poses of the yoga exercises will need to be modified in order to accommodate to the shape and capabilities of the body of people with Down syndrome since they have shorter limbs and a generally smaller stature than other people. Moreover, most children with Down syndrome suffer from a condition called hypotonia or low muscle tone. They commonly benefit from yoga greatly since it strengthens their muscles and tightens their ligaments, allowing them to boost the general fitness of their bodies. Also, due to the fact that Down syndrome people commonly suffer from flat feet, weak ankles and unstable knee caps, some of the most common yoga exercises are bound to help them overcome these problems.
The twists they perform during their yoga exercising experience will help them with the digestive processes and the overall health of their intestinal system. However, this form of exercising will also result in higher levels of good posture and proper breathing.
Yet, the necessity of performing all of these exercises under supervision is not to be neglected. This supervision is best to be provided by a qualified yoga expert, even though a skilled caregiver may prove to be of assistance too.
Besides focusing on the physical benefits, yoga also applies some psychological ones too, mainly through its breathing exercises called pranayamas. These are capable of easing any cases of pulmonary hypertension, which occurs commonly in children with Down syndrome. The benefits these exercises have on the lungs will prevent nasal congestion and many other health problems. Moreover, they will boost the overall immune system of a person, making him/her less resistant to illnesses of all sorts.
Adults with Down Syndrome
With all the positive discoveries found about this condition, people have managed to provide better lives for people with Down syndrome, allowing them to live longer and higher quality lives, reaching adulthood and finding work. However, the main downside of work and Down syndrome is the fact that these people are prone to developing Alzheimer's disease many years before it becomes likely to occur in other individuals. This might make work harder for Down syndrome people, even though, through proper health measures, they can prevent this condition from ever appearing in their lives.
In general, in the year of 1929, Down syndrome people lived for about 9 years. This is a very short lifespan, especially when we compare it with the situation nowadays, where these people live for more than 50 years. Many Down syndrome people marry, get jobs and live productive and creative lives. Therefore, through proper assistance and help, Down syndrome people can manage to live an independent life without any specific problems, bearing in mind that Alzheimer's disease and some other, similar conditions are likely to affect them after the year of 40.
All in all, yoga can help people with Down syndrome in overcoming some of the hardships related to living with this condition. Basically, through yoga, one can manage to gain both physical and mental benefits which are bound to improve his/her quality of life significantly.