Yogis come in all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities and our intention at Heart + Mind is to serve them ALL. Carrie Zales is a special yoga teacher. Over several years in response to the needs of her own children she developed a program for children with special needs. She has been teaching in the community and one on one in student's homes improving the lives of children and youth. Carrie will be teaching the Adapted Yoga Program for kids and youth Sunday afternoon, our Family Yoga (3+) Sunday mornings and Preschool Yoga on Thursday mornings.
Carrie has written the following blog entry.
“I like yoga because it makes my body feel safe” – 6 year old with Autism
Having the opportunity to teach yoga to children with special needs has been amazing! I am always moved by these little yogi’s and fascinated with the power of yoga to connect with them. I am inspired by yoga’s ability to address both the physical and emotional symptoms of living with a disability.
Yoga is instrumental in helping children with special needs learn self-regulation by becoming aware and in tune with their bodies and breathing. Yoga provides children with coping abilities when they feel anxious or upset.
Yoga can help children develop motor skills. Children with disabilities often experience delayed motor development, which can be improved as yoga tones muscles, improves gait and coordination, enhances balance and stability, and also develops body awareness and coordination. As motor skills develop, children develop a greater sense of their physical self in space and in relation to others.
Poor coordination often yields low self-esteem, as kids may feel signaled out or teased for not moving or behaving like other children. By learning self-control and self-calming techniques through yoga, children are likely to grow confidence in interacting with other children. Learning to work together and playing in fun partner poses can increase children’s confidence in-group settings.
Yoga’s physical poses allow nervous energy to be released from the body in a controlled manner, leading to a calming sensation. Less stimulation means less uncontrollable behaviors, outbursts, anxiety and repetitive movements.
Yoga is also an awesome toolbox for parents! It is a transportable practice that both parents and children can utilize for a lifetime! Practicing yoga with your child can be a meaningful home activity.
We will be offering a free information session about the Adapted Yoga program on Sunday, September 10 at 1 pm. Please register online or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.