Carolina Lino Yoga

Yoga in the life of a disabled person

3 January 2022

Yoga in the life of a disabled person
Yoga in the life of a disabled person

Yoga practice is an act of social inclusion

Yoga's philosophy and concepts can be applied to everybody, regardless of age, socioeconomic class, or intellectual capacity, including those with special needs. Yoga allows people to realize their full potential, contributing to a healthy and fulfilling life.

The sessions are based on classic yoga practices, adapted to each case: asanas (physical postures), pránáyámas (breathing techniques), yoganidrá (relaxation), dances, mantras (devotional chants), and dhyána (meditation), valuing everyone’s unique qualities and circumstances.

What benefits do we get from practicing it?

Better breathing control
By breathing, one exists and is capable of all the potential changes in one’s life. With regular yoga practice, we learn to become conscious of the act of breathing, thus oxygenating the whole system and controlling vital energy (Prána), leading to greater control of emotions and thoughts.

It relieves stress, anxiety, and tension.
Breathing exercises are crucial because they help to oxygenate the brain, refresh residual air in the lungs, ease daily stress, and reduce anxiety and tension. This increases the capability for creativity, good humor, and self-acceptance.

Develops motor skills and body awareness.
As well as developing motor skills and body awareness, it also works on motor coordination, posture, muscle strength, flexibility, and breathing. All these features are gained through the practice of yoga, which reconnects you with your own body and makes you realize that the obstacles and restrictions each of us faces can be overcome.

Improves self-esteem
As time goes by and with regular yoga practices, people learn about their bodies, their full capacity, their problems, and their strains. Everything becomes more visible, leading to a gain in self-esteem.

Promotes independence, autonomy, and social integration.
Practicing yoga in a group is very helpful for integration, as the group provides a safe sanctuary for sharing, support, fun, and surrender. Contact with the group is therapeutic, as it prevents loneliness and helps them participate better into society, thus promoting independence and autonomy in their daily lives. Yoga classes for people with special educational needs take place once or twice a week at Associação Seara do Trigo and Aurora Social. The following are the statements of the psychologists from the above-mentioned associations, as well as my yoga students.


“In a world where it's increasingly important to know how to stop, appreciate the moment, control our emotions, and learn to know our essence, it's particularly special when expressions like ‘let's breathe, like this, look how I do it’, ‘enjoy and relax’, ‘look at me doing the sun salutation’, enter our daily lives by the hand of our young people and adults from CACI (“Centro de Atividades e Capacitação para a Inclusão”) Center for Activities and Training for Inclusion. Increased self-esteem, personal empowerment, and the development of gradual self-regulation methods are vital tools that we see growing in our clients, demonstrating how yoga is a highly inclusive practice that is accessible to everyone. Not all of our young people connect with the practice of yoga, which we respect; however, those that enjoy it and attend the classes make an effort to share it with us at CACI."

Dr. Ana Nabais
Associação Seara do Trigo

"Over the course of my time as the institution's psychologist, I've seen that the users exercise their bodies and minds, and as a result, there are various benefits to this activity, such as improved body and movement awareness, respiratory awareness, agility, humor, balance, muscle strength, improved motor coordination and physical endurance, improved self-esteem, autonomy, and social integration. In this way, yoga can be a good strategy for preventing diseases secondary to disability.

Users have given positive comments, describing it as a pleasurable activity; they see it as a relaxing activity that leaves them calm, stimulating, and promoting psychological well-being. Some of the users who participated in this activity were requested to provide statements. They stated that yoga provides them with peace of mind, and relaxation is one of their favorite exercises. They also emphasized the stretching exercises, which they find challenging but beneficial to the body, and they added that they like the yoga teacher who helps them do the exercises and is very sweet.”

Dr. Marlene Raposo
Associação Aurora Social