DR.Yogish(PT), pedriatic physiotherapist & Founder Lifeyoga & Mindfulness education program in Chennai.
Bodily movement has long been employed as a foundation for cultivating mental skills such as attention, self-control or mindfulness, with recent studies documenting the positive impacts of mindful movement training, such as yoga and tai chi. A parallel “mind-body connection” has also been observed in many developmental disorders.
Cognitive control, mind wandering, mindfulness and skill learning, endorsing a model of skilled attention in which motor plans, attention, and executive goals are seen as mutually co-dening aspects of skilled behavior that are linked by reciprocal inhibitory and excitatory connections. Thus, any movement training should engage “higher-order” inhibition and selection and develop a repertoire of rehearsed procedures that coordinate goals, attention and motor plans.
A growing body of literature demonstrates that mindful practice of movement can yield improvements in cognitive and attentional skills in healthy adults, and similarly improve functioning in ``anomalous'' development, as with attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; Hernandez-Reif et al., 2001; Balasubramaniam et al., 2013;
Given the strong evidence for a relationship between movement skill and attentional and other forms of cognitive control.
Mindful movements practice encourages mindful learning driven by awareness of sensorimotor distinctions and alternatives.
How mindful movement may provide conditions for learning skills for attentional control ?
Specifically, impairments in attentional control and response inhibition—diagnostic features of the disorder—are likely driven by an inability to regulate competition between task-relevant and other internally or externally generated goals.
Mindful movement may train control skills that can coordinate goals, attention, and motor programs (Figure 1)—particularly in cases wherein the learner may struggle in his intentions due to dysregulated mechanisms of cortical inhibition and selection, as in ADHD or other developmental challenges.