Yoga Therapy is a child/young person led, responsive way of working that is not about 'fixing' that person…
It’s about helping them to find techniques and practices that allow them to be who they really are, away from the labels that may have been put on them by others or that they may have put on themselves.
Through the combination of psychology and yoga philosophy, young people can begin to understand and normalise emotions such as fear, anger, grief, frustration or anxiety and find a place of self acceptance. Sessions can also be used to support those with anxiety, learning disabilities, SEN (special educational needs), attachment disorder, trauma, eating struggles, cancer, chronic pain and bereavement.
Using postures, body awareness, breath work, mindfulness, story telling, sound, meditation, drawing, play, yoga nidra or relaxation, the work begins to regulate the nervous system and allows the child to explore the difference between thoughts, feelings and facts. The therapy is looking to support children 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 make a judgement as to which components will be used in each session, depending on their assessment of what is happening for the child in that moment. This decision making process is guided by Dr Bruce Perry's 'Neurosequential Model' and communication and observation are key aspects of this work.
A session may look quite different from what is now more often thought of as ‘yoga’.
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.
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.”