Yoga Therapy for Children

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WHO IS THAT YOGA TEACHER?

What are qualities of a good teacher?  Why do some teachers captivate their students, while others not so much?  Perhaps it is in the passion, the love,  for what they are sharing.  Maybe there is an awakening inside of them to continue the beauty of what their teachers brought to their life.  Yoga seems to have that effect on people and yoga teacher training courses are being offered in small towns, most cities and in the most remote countries on the map.  This phenomenon has not escaped the children in the classes for Yoga Therapy for Every Special Child.

Once a yoga student has established themselves with the yoga protocol and demonstrated an aptitude with grading, posture, breathing and relaxation, they are a go!  I begin supporting the student in teaching a short activity within the yoga class.  This involvement grows and each student begins teaching different aspects of the yoga class varying from a posture, a breathing activity and eventually participating in demonstrations in the community.

I have discovered that the chldren listen more carefully to my instruction and respect the process of teacher/student relationship.  They begin to claim yoga as a part of themselves and realize they have an aptitude and inner knowing that perhaps others in their peer group have not yet cultivated.  Their ability to positively reinforce others reflects confidence in who they are.  For a child with special needs it can be empowering to have others look up to them and listen.

I often begin mentoring a yoga student by asking them to teach their favorite pose.  The ability to demonstrate the pose, while also explaining each step of the posture, cues them into important language expression and the motor planning process.  They learn to speak with adequate volume and to make crucial eye contact with the other students.  Social skills evolve, language processing improves and the child’s confidence blossoms.

Students have assisted me at the University of Arizona Book Fair where we taught yoga to over one hundred children.  They have participated in yoga demonstrations in public venues, private conferences, and even Yoga Therapy for Every Special Child  workshops.  I will have two teenage students availableMia teaching at a "Yoga Therapy For Every Special Child" workshop to talk to educators at the Pima County Educators Fair in Tucson next month.

Imagine that, my love of yoga led me into teaching and my love of teaching children yoga led them into loving yoga and ultimately into budding yoga teachers.  I cannot wait to see what is next.

Nancy Williams

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