'Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who dont fit into boxes' - Tori Amos
Special Needs Yoga
Yoga is beneficial for all children whether they have additional needs or not.
Benefits of Yoga for Special Needs Children
The benefits of concentration, confidence, exercise, communication are all encouraged and enhanced.
As yoga is more than exercise, the breathing techniques and poses help improve concentration more than other activities.
For children with disorders that affect their physical growth, yoga can help to promote body awareness. For many children, this can be a difficult issue and other sports may be tricky. Instead, low-impact exercises like yoga would be more beneficial.
Yoga classes are tailored to each group of children and as a parent of a son with Autism, I know each child, disability or not are different in every kind of beautiful way. It is my responsibility to get to know and be mindful of each child even before the classes begin and to make sure I make the class enjoyable, sensory, visual and beneficial for every child.
Here are some examples of what will be included in the classes:
Visual aids - something that I always bring to a lesson. I think a visual timetable is a must. It gives each child the knowledge of what will be happening and in which order. The visuals will also stay the same for the first few lessons until we are happy that we could try something new.
The time of a class is also often shorter - a class will be around 30 mins.
Sensory toys -These are great for children who are quite sensory. For example feathers or weighted bean bags.
Rewards - these are great for a small token to keep after class. For example a sticker or small toy to keep.
Buckets of praise and encouragement - something I have learned is invaluable to all children.
Mudras - these are hand gestures which connect to the flow of energy in your body. Hand gestures are easy to do and can give focus.
Chair yoga, wheel chair yoga - yoga poses can be adapted to suit every child
Personal Support during postures from either myself or a carer/ parent
Eye yoga - this is beneficial for strengthening the eyes and relieving stress. This can done in many fun ways.