We have had the great pleasure of working with some amazing children and their families. We work with kids with varying abilities and backgrounds. There is a recurring message that I kept hearing from parents and kids. The stress of school, testing, peer pressure and achievement!! We know that childhood does present challenges, but they are so young to be feeling that kind of pressure.
As adults we are under tremendous pressure too. I started to think about what makes me feel good. The answer was right in front of me. Yoga of course!!! There is no competition, you work at your own pace, and only push your body as far as it lets you for that day. In addition, it quiets my mind and allows me to take the deep breaths that I so often forget during a hectic day. I began to practice yoga as an adult. How I wish I had been introduced to this as a child.
I thought of how great it would be if we could start, at this young age, teaching our kids how to breathe to calm their little bodies. How to still their minds and strengthen their bodies as they grow into adulthood. The practice of yoga is a beautiful tool to teach our kids to help them survive in this very busy world in which we live.
Yoga is mentally and physically therapeutic. It strengthens the core, builds upper body strength, improves balance and centers the mind. When the space next to our clinic became available, we knew what to do...yoga! So it began.
When we came across the Yogapeutics website, it felt like someone was speaking to us!! (https://www.yogapeutics.com/) If you have been in our clinic you know we have suspended equipment in all our rooms to provide vestibular input and help our kids strengthen their muscles and have fun!! We love to swing! Yoga in a hammock !! An OT's dream!!! But neither Sara or I were trained in doing yoga in a hammock!! Then it happened, we were introduced to Linda. We were able to combine our knowledge of sensory integration and the therapeutic approach to movement, together with Linda's training as a yoga instructor and anti-gravity yoga instructor to offer something so unique to the community!
I am continually amazed to watch how far our kids have come during their yoga practice in a hammock. They listen, watch and imitate the postures that Linda demonstrates. Linda is hands on, helping each one, feeling the accomplishment of the postures. She's is intuitive and knows how to work according to the ability of each of our kids.
Then we were introduced to Maria, a wonderful mom of 2 little boys and a yoga instructor. Maria provides yoga from 6 weeks of age through teens!! Her nurturing approach attracts all the little ones to her as she engages them in child poses and crafts to encourage the power of breath. I look at the children doing the warrior pose, the tree pose and downward dog and again, am amazed at how quickly they pick it up under her caring direction.
We feel blessed to be given this opportunity to help our community, our families and our amazing kids. Whether they do yoga on a mat or in a hammock, they are making changes and are learning the power of yoga!