Yoga And Special Needs

Rebecca Toal by Rebecca Toal Additional Needs

Rebecca Toal

Rebecca Toal

Blessed, busy mum to four beautiful girls, the youngest with complex special needs due to extreme prematurity. We are always looking for ways to ma...

I wished I had started yoga with my daughter sooner.

Her first introduction to yoga was at a family weekend for children with visual impairments and complex needs.

She had a 10 min taster session 1 on 1 and was SO calm and receptive! I knew we had to continue this… She was 8 years old at the time, it was September- the beginning of the school year.

Since then, Brielle’s been lucky to have some longer 1 on 1 sessions with an amazing Yogi called Tory. She runs Shine: Special Yoga Therapy out of a studio in Belfast. She also visits local schools, day centres and individual homes for specialised yoga sessions. She has a wealth of knowledge of yoga and special needs and requirements, and tailors the sessions so beautifully to each individual.

Brielle has responded best at home in our living room, on the purple mats. I think she was a bit distracted in the big studio and felt more at ease and relaxed in her own environment.

I bought her a one-piece zip up swimsuit with shorts as her “yoga outfit”. She can wear over her pull-up and mini-button and keeps her clothes from riding up - keeps her decent and comfortable!

Unfortunately, since coronavirus struck, we’ve been unable to continue the hands-on sessions with Tory at the minute.

So, her older sisters and I have continued with her yoga practice as best as we can. YouTube is great for inspiration!

Yesterday we set up some practice on the picnic blanket in the back garden.

A lovely relaxing time in the sunshine. Lovely for Brielle to work on her breathing, posture, flexibility, core stability and also communication with her sister and I.

I would really encourage those of you who haven’t tried yoga yourself or with your little one to try it out! Special yoga focuses on breathing, physical postures and stretches, deep pressure massage, mindfulness and relaxation.

It has so much potential to help your child balance their body and mind, improve concentration, develop motor skills, improve their posture and muscle tone, reduce anxiety and improve their sleep amongst other benefits. Give it a go today!

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