Raise Your Arms Up!
As a pediatric therapist I am aware that many special needs clients do not experience enough time pushing up into puppy (cobra), nor do they remain very long in four point (cat). The result is upper extremity weakness with poor posturing and limited stability to use their arms. This is how I use yoga to help develop shoulder stability and upper arm strength:
- Raise those arms up over head for mantra and mudra
- Spend more time with horizontal arms using arms up for count of 10 prior to sitting spinal twist
- play dog chases the cat and have the children make the appropriate animal sounds to lengthen the pose
- in hands and knees always use wide spread finger placement
- half moon, volcano, warrior, and triangle use arms up against gravity to build shoulders, arms.
- table pose, with an elaborate description of the fare, encourages longer use of shoulders and arms for weight bearing and thus strengthening.
- Use arms out, up, down and around when chanting and singing.
- plank builds arm strength as well as trunk support
- cobra is wonderful to encourage shoulder and arm strength and hold it a bit longer while hissing
- butterfly breathing works arms against gravity to encourage stamina of oth shoulder/arms
- arms away from body while ringing ting shaw bells, blowing bubbles and when using mudras
- Take Namaste out into the world, moving it away from your body and spreading it with your arms brought from midline out to side as if sharing.
- HAVE FUN!
Nancy Williams, ERYT-500, Speech/language pathologist