Yoga therapy is gaining rapid recognition as a form of treatment that can improve the physical and mental wellbeing of children with a variety of complex needs. This book contains a specially-designed yoga program for use with children of all abilities, and provides both parents and professionals with the knowledge they need to carry out the therapy themselves.
The program consists of a series of postures, each of which is explained and accompanied by an illustration. The postures are designed to help children understand and use their bodies, and work towards positive changes such as realigning the spine, encouraging eye-contact, and promoting calm and steady breathing. Consideration is given to creating the right setting for carrying out the therapy, assessing an individual child's particular needs, and making the sessions fun using games and props. Sections on yoga therapy for specific conditions such as autistic spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy are included, and the book concludes with child and parent reports on how the program has worked for them, and a list of useful contacts and resources.
This practical book is a must for parents, teachers, therapists and other professionals, and anybody else who wants to help a child to develop through enjoyable and therapeutic yoga sessions.
Nancy Williams has been a yoga therapist for nine years. During this time, she has worked with children with a wide range of special needs, including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, sensory integration disorder and Down syndrome. Nancy also works as a pediatric Speech Pathologist, and is a certified Neuro Developmental Treatment Therapist, Zero Balancing practitioner, Hatha Yoga instructor and Reiki Master Teacher. She is an ordained minister in MSIA (the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness) and has a Master's degree in Spiritual Science from the Peace Theological Seminary College of Philosophy. Nancy owns Therapeutic Bodyworks, a studio in Tucson, Arizona where she teaches yoga therapy classes to individual and small groups of children. Nancy also offers consultations and conducts training workshops.
Dedication. Acknowledgements. Preface. 1. Introduction. Normal Development. Developmental Challenges. Similarities of Yoga and Neuro-developmental Therapy (NDT). Yoga Meets Therapy Goals. 2. The Benefits of Yoga. The Breath. Body Awareness. Motor Planning. Spirit of Communication. Behavioural Self-regulation. Social Skills. Universal Awareness. Multidisciplinary. Sensory Integration. Natural Setting. Multidimensional Approach. Healthy Body. Restorative. Sleep Patterns. Skill Set. Energetic Alignment. 3. Getting Ready. Creating a Space. When, How Often, and for How Long? Assessment by Observation. Introducing the Setting. Paradigm for Success. 4. The Yoga Program. Namaste. Breath Work. Tibetan Bells. Mudra and Mantras. Postures. Savasana with Guided Imagery. Closing Mudra and Mantra. 5. Yoga and the Energy Body. The Root Chakra - Stability. The Navel Chakra - Relationship and Creativity. The Solar Plexus Chakra - Self-esteem. The Heart Chakra - Love and Compassion. The Throat Chakra - Communication. The Brow Chakra - Divine Vision. The Crown Chakra - Spiritual Connection. 6. Yoga Games. Games to Build Strength. Mudra and Mantra Games. Games to Build Confidence. Games Using Props and Toys. Breathing Games. Games to develop Imagination. 7. Yoga for Specific Conditions. Precautions. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder. Cancer. Cerebral Palsy. Compromised Respiration. Developmental Delay. Down Syndrome. Emotional Sensitivity. Fluency Disorder. Hemiparesis. High Tone. Language Delay and/or Disorder. Low Tone. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sensory Integration Disorder. Social Communication Delay. Scoliosis. 8. The Response. Yogis and Parents. References. Resources. Glossary. Index.