Special yoga for Special Children
Yoga is beneficial to children and adults of all ages and body types, but it has been found too be particularly beneficial for children with special needs. Studies have also shown that yoga benefits children with Autism and ADHD. Studies have been carried out with children in schools and seen a marked reduction in aggressive behaviour, social withdrawal, and hyper activity. The special yoga team have also carried out a recent pilot study with "profound impact" on behaviour.
Autism key, an autism support website, says that yoga helps address heightened anxiety, poor motor co-ordination, and weak self-regulation, something that otherwise is very difficult to do.
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"We believe that all children are special and deserve to experience peace, joy and fulfilment of their potential and purpose".
Liz is a qualified level one special yoga practitioner and has also completed special yoga courses for yoga and mindfulness for Autism and ADHD in addition to the flagship special yoga 7 day course and works with SEND groups in various settings (including SEND schools) and can also offer 1:1 sessions at your home or at one of her venues.
Children who attend special yoga sessions will experience the benefits listed on the children's yoga and yoga in schools page. However for children who are non verbal, have some physical limitations or who are wheelchair dependent for much of the time, will experience them via different methods.
Special yoga sessions are extremely special; the relationship Liz develops with the children is very different, especially as there is very little talking/instruction to follow and the children move and mirror with Liz. The sessions include breath work (pranayama) using various methods such as touch supported breath, entrainment and chanting/sound. Postures (asanas) which will be dependent on each individual child and where necessary will be supported and assisted as well as (if able) moving themselves; and relaxation (savasana) using various forms and working towards periods of deep relaxation.
Massage and pressure points massage are used also; feet and hands particularly (this is always used when appropriate and not forced at every/any session; it is all intuitively used with the children as and when appropriate.
Liz is able to access many tools when sharing yoga, there is no expectation for any session, each session is present, intuitively and lovingly shared.
Special yoga is possible for every body and every child no matter what their abilities/disabilities, emotions/behaviours. It is absolutely beneficial and possible with them all. Liz meets each child where they are at every session and is well aware that this will vary from session to session. She meets them from a place of unconditional love and acceptance, without judgement and no attachment to their "condition". Liz always considers the child(ren's) condition and ensures she fully understands this in order to consider any contraindications and to understand their emotional history;however, beyond this she will meet the child(ren) without expectation or fear where ever they happen to be on the day. Her background in children's nursing helps her fully understand and appreciate most conditions and so appreciates what is possible for each of the children.
Liz is experienced to work with PMLD children, children with Down's syndrome, Cerebral palsy, quadraplegia, muscular degenerative conditions, ADD, ADHD, Autism, and other conditions. All children will have full information screening and booking forms completed prior to sessions.