The wise sage who lived 5000 years ago understood that health and happiness was a result of the connection between environment, body, mind and spirit. In modern times, we appear to have forgotten the knowledge of the wise sage and redefined humans as separated body, mind and environment. As a result, interventions are fragmented with each discipline responsible for one area of function or dysfunction in the individual.
As an Occupational Therapist, it is within this medical framework that I have been providing therapy to children who are experiencing academic, learning or social challenges for the past 26 years. These interventions have traditionally been offered at private clinics or within the school system. They are always one on one and mostly require the child to be withdrawn from the classroom.
With yoga, I find I am able to address the same problems from a more holistic approach. This type of intervention is offered in small controlled groups which allows for individual attention whilst also providing realistic situations for children to overcome challenges. My knowlegde of therapeutic techniques as well as years of experience working with children has been integrated into my classes. I am thus able to address the therapeutic challenge whilst also ensure the confidence and happiness of the individual as a whole.
Lee Davis is the founder of Leela Sensory Yoga Therapy. She is an Occupational Therapist with 26 years working with children.She is certified in Sensory Integration testing and is also a registered Yoga Therapist
Can yoga improve your child’s early learning potential?
Children’s experiences before they enter school matter. Learning and development begin before birth and continue throughout life. Each stage of a young child’s development has an impact on their success in learning. These skills are referred to as foundation skills.
To master the requirements of the SK classroom, each child must have an integrated sense of their body and how it relates to the environment. They need good motor control, and a sense of left from right in order to learn to write symbols. They need coordination and sequencing memory for reading, math and independence in self care. They need to be able to regulate their reactions to the environment through all of their sensory systems.
Strong foundations will result in a positive sense of self, higher self esteem and appropriate social and emotional development. Very often, children entering senior kindergarten are not at the same “readiness” level as their peers.
Yoga is a scientific movement based practice. The asana’s allow children to fill in the gaps in their early learning experiences, thus strengthening sensory or motor strategies that may be weaker. Offered in small, controlled groups, yoga provides the opportunity for social and emotional development in a friendly, non-competitive environment.
The practice of relaxation through age appropriate guided meditations and breathwork has a proven impact on the child’s ability to self-regulate, the greatest issue in today’s classrooms.
Finally, yoga is fun! Each of our developmentally appropriate classes includes a story and ends with a take home craft.