Interoception Yoga Cards - Autism Awareness

Interoception Yoga Cards

Author: Kelly Mahler
Publishing Info: 134 Cards / January 2021
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Turn yoga poses into explicit interoceptive awareness builders! The Interoception Yoga Cards are a series of 134 cards that provide guided exercise(s) for noticing the interoceptive body signals that arise while holding a specific yoga pose like Cobra or Child’s Pose. If you are looking for creative, fun and evidence-based activities to enhance interoceptive awareness in the clients you serve, these cards are for you!

What are the Interoception Yoga Cards?

You might know that enhancing interoceptive awareness is good for all people, including your clients, but it can be confusing to know what exactly what to do, where to start, and/or how to do it.  The Interoception Yoga Cards provide you with an evidence-based strategy for helping your clients connect to their oh-so-important body signals. The cards are best used as a positive practice strategy within the comprehensive framework provided in The Interoception Curriculum, however, they may be used as a standalone strategy as well.

How are the Interoception Yoga Cards different from traditional Yoga Cards?

Traditional yoga cards typically focus on the practice of yoga, encouraging a learner to assume a pose or series of poses. The Interoception Yoga Cards also encourage a learner to assume a yoga pose, but the emphasis is on noticing the way various body parts feel during each pose. Thus there is a direct focus on tuning into the interoceptive body sensations that arise during each pose. This structured, explicit process of guiding a learner’s attention to the way the body feels is an important aspect of building interoceptive awareness.

Who can I use the Interoception Yoga Cards with?

Everyone: Building interoception is good for all of us. Use them for your own self-care!
Ages: A variety of ages from preschool through adulthood.
Conditions/diagnoses: A variety of conditions/diagnoses including autism, ADHD, trauma history, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc.
Cognition: The cards can be adapted for use with a variety of learning styles and needs. For example, use the cards with the yoga poses that are easier to imitate from a motor standpoint. Also, use the cards that contain exercises for noticing body parts on the outside of the body first (e.g., how do your hands feel?). The outside body parts can be more concrete than noticing the way that body parts on the inside of your body feel (e.g., stomach or heart).
Communication: The cards can be adapted for use with a variety of communication styles. For example, if using the cards with a learner that does not speak to communicate, use the Descriptor Menus from The Interoception Curriculum to help the learner find/point to words to describe what they experience. Or provide a copy of the Body Check Ring which can be a helpful and compact visual and communication support to use in conjunction with The Interoception Yoga Cards. Or finally, a response is not required. Use the pose and prompts on the cards to guide the learner to notice how their hands feel without requiring a response.

Where can the Interoception Yoga Cards Be Used?

The Interoception Yoga Cards can be used in any location that would be considered a safe and comfortable location for yoga practice. This can include a variety of settings such as schools, occupational therapy clinics, mental health facilities, and yoga studios. The cards can be easily implemented in a one-on-one session, small group, whole family, and/or large class setting.

How can the Interoception Yoga Cards Be Used to Support The Interoception Curriculum?

The Interoception Yoga Cards are designed to be used in conjunction with The Interoception Curriculum in order to maximize a learner’s interoception growth. Consistent with the lessons in Section 1 of the curriculum, each Interoception Yoga Card focuses on noticing body signals within one body part at a time. For ease of use, the bonus Instructional Booklet that comes with purchase of The Interoception Yoga cards provides a table that outlines each pose and the body part(s) of focus. It is recommended to pull the Interoception Yoga Cards that are a match for the body part lesson that is being used. Use the pulled cards after the lesson as an additional positive practice opportunity for noticing and describing body signals.

Want even more interoception ideas? Check out the Interoception Exercise Cards that transform traditional exercises like sit-ups, running in place and jumping jacks into explicit interoceptive awareness builders.

Bonus!: The cards come with a free Instructional Booklet that provides 8-pages of tips for maximizing the successful implementation of the cards with clients of a variety of ages and learning styles


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