Remember to preserve the benefits of the pose.
The ultimate goal is to become fully embodied person and yoga is supposed to get you to a point where you are calmer and relaxed (see below “Why yoga & breathing”).
ADAPTATIONS – physical adjustments with helpers.
Yoga vs Adapted Yoga
ALWAYS MAKE THEM FEEL GOOD ABOUT DOING YOGA
If you are doing Adapted Yoga there is no pose that is too hard. There is always an adaptation, so that no child is left behind.
See a pose moving in space and how the pose can serve her/his body. (Yin Yoga focuses on an inner feeling of relaxation, calmness and internal sense of balance.)
Body is the vehicle for learning and we have to find different ways to get to the solution, either through interacting with our bodies or through the external environment (props, etc.).
We learn from “inside out” in the the womb -> crawling (body awareness), rolling (self – regulation), jumping (children). We humans, need a process of nurturing, where we need to be protected by our mother and we need to be carried by our parents. You are not walking by the first year of age, you are not talking by the age of two – there is this internal processing (nurturing within), that happens “post-womb”. You are still kind of inside and dependent on their parents. And this is the place that a lot of our special needs kids are still in. They need that extra little bit of support and nurturing that needs to happen to develop their inner self-regulation processes, to develop their body awareness. PHYSICAL NURTURING CONTACT HAS TO BE THERE!
(Experiment with monkeys, that turned completely dis-regulated without nourishing physical contact with a mother).
Yoga doesn’t exist when you are born – it is your body that exists, you will find that yoga has to approach you when you are in that place, and then later you will approach it, but it is going to be very hard for very young child or a child with special needs or developmentally delayed person, to reach out to it on their own. YOGA THEN HAS TO REACH OUT TO THE CHILD FIRST. So we have to look at that kind of function of yoga, as a developmental process, preserving integrity working on external parts. As children get older, start reversing the arrow and really start them to get into yoga: to young ones I am to be yoga to them – you want to be an offering to THEM. They are individuals and need to find this “best self” – life is a challenge that they have to meet themselves. Yoga is one of the paths to make your child blossom. Every pose is accessible to your child.
ADHD ::: not enough social and peer physical interaction, no enough body awareness, difficulties with self-regulation. Yoga can fix it greatly by releasing their ow functions in themselves. Use four points, heavy weight, markers, touch cues, gravity. Continue to hold the pose, have their attention, utilize team work, rituals, partner yoga and fun challenge. Spinning, rocking, dragging, swinging, rolling, dumping, repetitions, modulations are great.
Autistic children self-regulation issues. These behaviors are body’s way to try to ground and balance. Oscillations – movements within the body we are in or we are not aware of. This (oscillations) can be helpful in working with these children. Notice any type of motion in your body… These children are tuned to their senses in more extreme way, oversensitive. They get too much information when the body is sensitive. They lost the sense of their inner self. Use of deeper touch, firm pressure into the muscles, poses that activate deeper breathing and flow, routine, fun and softness.
[Activity]: Stand up, close your eyes and focus on a nature of this small movement you are noticing inside like a movement in a forest of trees. Observe a plant. Constant movement, balance, grounding. How the movement feels through out the whole body? How are you engaging muscles-bones and your mind (awareness, focus, attention, mental effort).
Motion happens everywhere on micro and macro level (observe animal and plant world).
SPIRALING: The body is never still – it is a grounding movement, that establishes the relationship of the child and gravity.
HUMAN SKELETON ::: HOMO ERECTUS (upright man) ::: we are made to be upright ::: we have “doubled up” structure except the spine because we develop FROM THE SPINE UPWARDS. It is like a river – a central channel and everything flows off this channel. Spine – torso – arms – legs – hands- feet-scull and so on. DEVELOPMENTAL HIERARCHY TREE ::: tree: root-stem (trunk)-branches and so on. SPIRAL PRAXIS – we study these developmental structures, hierarchy and function of each zone and how everything becomes refined. We study the process of movement and differentiation of zones. OUR SPINE NEEDS TO BE ALIGNED TO BALANCE.
The balance through inner ear it is vestibular and gravitational and that is how the children operate.
If we have a spinal structure that is not aligned, we simply do not feel or have equilibrium. (Try it with your head tilted to one side.)
Kids are more in their vestibular system. The older we get the more we start using our eyes for balance. We are not using our vestibular system. (There are little stones in our ear -> gravity. )
Middle section of 24 yoga poses – presentation and discussion and adaptation – do we always need an adaptation? Being careful not to go away from the core purpose of the pose, align with the bone, provide very concrete instructions. Energetic child? Again: Connect with this energy by strong energy of touch, a hug, weights, getting physical by gentle push, stretch and pressure on the hands or back, etc. Match the energies! Re-calibrate. Set of eyes, attention, watching him with the whole class and counting, another child on a child. Physical intervention by supporting child’s body with your body. (or eventually with Props). DOG ::: TABLE ::: UP DOG ::: SEESAW. Children will learn these poses by practicing various adaptations..
Why Yoga & Breathing:
- inner calm
- the bones – muscles deep connection (support, alignment)
- healing aspect holistically but also specific to the certain part of the body
- mind-heart-brain connection
- bringing us to the natural and para natural world
Everyone can find a way to do a pose and learning. Everyone is involved in a process to approach this or that pose. No door is shut. Understand this approach to the pose and open the door to yoga for every child at any pose.
Yoga is a complete vehicle for the children to feel good, no matter what you do.
Seasonal flow into more complex stage:
Q1 Fall – Vocabulary (poses, names)
Q2 Winter – Take time to put it together
Q3 Spring – Complexity
- Do the pose before the class starts to remind yourself where is the stretch and what can be an issue or challenge.
- Free time and transition (craft, social, vocabulary)
- Stations or obstacle course (space, name tags, markers, stickers, mars)
- Partner work, Countdowns, Presentations
- Individual work with a Card and a certain pose
- Relaxation (stories, songs, massage)