Yoga Therapy is a mind-body therapy that looks to meet the young person exactly where they are at...
It aims to support children and young people to develop strategies and techniques that will enable them to cope in an increasingly stressful world.
Through the combination of psychology and yoga philosophy, young people can begin to understand emotions such as fear, anger, grief, frustration or anxiety; to acknowledge they exist and to accept them but not feel overwhelmed or defined by them. It is also an opportunity to develop body awareness, self knowledge, self esteem and confidence.
Using postures, breath work, mindfulness, creativity, play, sensory integration techniques, relaxation or yoga nidra, the work begins to regulate the nervous system. The therapy is looking to support young people in bringing their emotional and physical bodies into balance so that there is more opportunity to restore health and well being. If a child has a safe space to find calm and peace within themselves they will have the potential and possibility for change.
The therapist will draw upon Dr Bruce Perry's 'Neurosequential Model' to guide the sessions.* Communication and observation are key aspects of this work, and each young person will be assessed and responded to as an individual.
A session may look quite different from what is now more often thought of as ‘yoga’.
Sessions can be used to support those with anxiety, learning disabilities, SEN (special educational needs), attachment disorder, trauma, eating struggles, cancer, chronic pain and bereavement, and may be particularly useful for those who find it difficult to engage in talking therapies.
If you are wondering whether yoga therapy may be helpful for the child or young person in your care please feel free to get in touch for a chat.
*See Beacons House for further information on this approach
I have also trained with Yotism - This is a unique, specialised sensory yoga method which is designed to enhance the lives of those with ASC (Autism Spectrum Condition) symptoms. It fuses together a modern scientific understanding of movement, the brain and neuro-sensory systems and the ancient art of yoga.
yotism.com for more information.
“All of us, but especially children, need such confidence—confidence that others will know, affirm, and cherish us. Without that we can’t develop a sense of agency that will enable us to assert: “This is what I believe in; this is what I stand for; this is what I will devote myself to.” As long as we feel safely held in the hearts and minds of the people who love us, we will climb mountains and cross deserts and stay up all night to finish projects. Children and adults will do anything for people they trust and whose opinion they value.”