Therapeutic Yoga – Parents’ Guide
“The purpose of yoga is to help each one of us achieve our highest potential and to experience health and happiness.”
Yoga begins by accepting our limitations, whatever they may be, and working with this self-acceptance as a base from which positivity, self-confidence and love thrive. The objective of therapeutic yoga is to stimulate the child’s development by gradually and sensitively helping expand his/her limits.
Yoga uses breath, movement, physical posture, and voice to create an inward focus for developing concentration and body awareness. During yoga your child will learn breathing techniques to oxygenate the blood and strengthen the nervous system. The yoga routine also helps children develop greater balance and composure in their daily lives. You may begin to see significant improvements in your child’s physical, mental, and emotional development.
Much of a child’s progress in rehabilitation therapy depends on the parents’ attitude and their willingness to trust in the efficacy of the program. As a parent, you are your child’s #1 inspiration and role model. It is highly recommended that parents enroll in an adult yoga class in order to demonstrate the value of yoga and so that you, too, may experience the benefits of regular yoga practice- the relaxation and softening of deep inner tensions, a sense of body-mind equilibrium, and a more balanced level of energy, to name a few.
Regular, ongoing practice is essential to real and lasting progress. It is your responsibility to bring your child to all scheduled yoga sessions on time, or to contact the yoga teacher in advance if your child is unable to attend. It is recommended the child not eat 1-2 hours before the yoga session. Loose-fitting clothes are recommended so the child’s movements are not restricted. For infants, the child’s blanket/towel may serve as a mat for yoga practice.
Yoga stimulates the major areas of development: gross motor, language, and personal/social skills. Yoga may be a beneficial adjunct to PT, OT, and Speech Therapy treatment. Your yoga teacher may ask to contact your therapy team and/or pediatrician to confirm that all exercises and postures are suitable for your child.
Finally, it is important to recognize and have faith in your child’s innate capacity for growth and improvement. Angela will help you demonstrate this faith by giving lots of love and encouragement so that your child may develop a deeper sense of self-confidence and trust, qualities that will contribute to a successful yoga program.