Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani is Director of the Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research, and professor of yoga therapy at the Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Pondicherry. A recipient of the coveted DSc in yoga from SVYASA Yoga University in January 2019, he is chairman of the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research at Ananda Ashram, and Yoganjali Natyalayam, the premier institute of yoga and Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam in Pondicherry.
In this video, as well as in the below article, he talks about the benefits of yoga for children, and how regular practice can help enhance emotional intelligence.
CONCEPTS AND METHODS OF TEACHING YOGA TO CHILDREN
The art and science of Yoga has a lot to offer for children in terms of their health as well as complete wellbeing. Yoga offers us a tool by which we can provide a safe and healthy future for our beloved children. Yoga is both preventive as well as therapeutic for health problems that children face and is also rehabilitative in many situations. It is also important to understand the special needs of the children when teaching them and methods to create interest in them for this great jewel of our cultural heritage. Continue reading →
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a broad category of neurodevelopmental disabilities defined by two core characteristics, namely 1) impairments in social communication and social interaction and 2) the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities (American Psychiatric Association 2013). Deficits in both of these areas must be present in order for an individual to be diagnosed with ASD. ASD affects the abilities to initiate and maintain interactions, establish appropriate eye contact, and take turns with others. Although the onset of the condition must occur in the early developmental period, usually before three years, symptoms might not manifest until somewhat later when the demands of social communication exceed the child’s capacities and often persist across the lifespan. ASD has increased in prevalence over the past two decades, perhaps due to a widening of the spectrum to include milder cases, increased awareness of the early signs of the disability, a combination of the two, or some other factor. About 1 in 59 children has been identified with ASD according to the most recent estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The introduction of yoga to children with ASD can build strength, balance, and flexibility. The practice of yoga for these children also presents numerous other physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits. Yoga provides a relaxed, playful environment that stimulates communication and socialization. Since children with ASD exhibit difficulty with social-relatedness, partner yoga, in particular, can promote eye contact, joint attention, and reciprocity among peers. In addition, children with ASD tend to engage in more solitary, concrete play of a repetitive nature rather than cooperative, symbolic play. Continue reading →
Nicola Harvey is an experienced and qualified Wellbeing & Mindfulness practitioner, Special Needs teacher and therapist. Her internationally acclaimed book, Mindful Little Yogis, was published by Singing Dragon in 2018.
In her video, Nicola discusses emotional regulation, mindfulness, and shares some practical tips and exercises for both children and adults.
Mindful Little Yogis Self-Regulation Tools to Empower Kids with Special Needs to Breathe and Relax
Nicola Harvey, illustrated by John Smisson
This practical and creative book is filled with simple calming activities to help children find a sense of peace and settle heightened emotions during busy times. Each activity is easily adaptable for different ability levels, providing a handy bank of self-regulation tools that can be used at any time in a range of settings. Read more
Michael Chissick, founder of Yoga at School, has been teaching children’s yoga in primary mainstream and special needs schools as part of the curriculum for more than two decades, so that staff are able to deliver yoga as part of the school day.
In this video, he shares the story of Anita, a student in class, who benefited from Michael’s ‘Everybody In’ approach to teaching children’s yoga.
Sitting on a Chicken The Best (Ever) 52 Yoga Games to Teach in Schools
Michael Chissick, illustrated by Sarah Peacock
From games such as Knock Down the Tower and Yoga Detective, to simple sequences and the Ladybird Relaxation, experience the benefits of incorporating yoga in the school day. Build assertiveness, concentration, self-esteem, healthy competitiveness and fitness with classes of any and all abilities. Read more
Karla Helbert, LPC, C-IAYT, is a licensed professional counsellor, yoga therapist, Compassionate Bereavement Care® provider, certified Divine Sleep® yoga nidra guide and award-winning author. Her books include Yoga for Grief and Loss, as well as The Chakras in Grief and Trauma, published this year.
In this video, she discusses what yoga nidra is, who it’s for, and how to help students/clients get set up for practice, after which she leads viewers in a guided yoga nidra session.
The Chakras in Grief and Trauma A Tantric Guide to Energetic Wholeness Karla Helbert, illustrated by Rachel Rosenkoetter
Exploring the ways in which grief, loss and trauma affect the individual chakras, this book is a tantric guide to working with energy and readdressing the balance of the whole. This is a compassionate approach to dealing with the darkest times of life, with over 100 creative and expressive exercises to help clients find harmony and balance. Read more
Simply put: yes. Yes, there is a need for increased training in the world of yoga, because the focus of yoga that has become the most popular is asana, and asana deals with movements of the human body. And the human body is one complicated and mysterious machine — which is surprisingly easy to break. Now, this doesn’t mean a person can’t teach a good and safe yoga class without further education in related fields, but in order to advance the benefits of yoga by bringing it to a larger population of the world, it would be helpful if the concept of yoga evolved into a more respected and scientific field.
To become a basic teacher of yoga, in America, Yoga Alliance requires teachers to study two hundred hours of yoga before receiving a certification to teach the public, which is a step up from prior the 1990s when no certification was required. In those two hundred hours, a lot of information is packed into the training sessions, which can take anywhere from fourteen days to six-months to complete and students are required to learn techniques and practices (one hundred hours), yoga philosophy (thirty hours), teaching methodology (twenty-five hours), anatomy/physiology (twenty hours) and hands-on-experience (ten hours), with fifteen hours to spread out to whichever category they choose. And, although the training covers some anatomy and physiology, the certification process requires only twenty hours of training in the area of yoga most dealt with in yoga classes: the foundation of human movement. Judging by how complicated the human body is, that is not enough for new teachers to come out of their trainings feeling confident in their knowledge. Continue reading →
In this video, Beth shares some tips and techniques to use with clients that are dealing with trauma.
Please note that while our summit is open to absolutely everyone from all corners of the world, despite our best efforts we won’t be able to ensure safe, comfortable practice for every attendee nor take responsibility for your own practice. If you have any injuries or are dealing with any conditions that you would normally flag to your yoga teacher or therapist, please seek advice before taking part or following along with any of our classes or sequences.
Yoga Therapy for Fear Treating Anxiety, Depression and Rage with the Vagus Nerve and Other Techniques
Understand how to help clients relieve symptoms of fear and anxiety through yoga therapy. This book explains how to weave feelings of security into daily living, by helping the body to unlearn habit patterns from stored trauma. It features dynamic postures, calming breathing exercises and meditations alongside the latest fascia research. Read more
Charlotte Watts is a Senior Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer (with Yoga Alliance Professionals) and has been teaching since 2010. She is also the author of Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health, published by Singing Dragon just last year.
In this podcast, we talk about positivity, connecting with your body, teaching yoga teachers, helping students open up in class as well as touching on social prescribing and what the future might hold.
Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health
Yoga is an increasingly popular way of treating the digestive issues which have become common in the western world, and now affect one in five people in the UK. By combining scientific evidence with traditional yogic practices, Charlotte Watts reveals how yoga can be used to alleviate digestive problems such as IBS, IBD and more. Read more
Since primeval times, people have tried to cope with the adversities of life. There have always been upsetting and traumatizing events, but the methods for confronting the consequences of these shocks have varied greatly. They range from shamanic rituals such as soul retrieval to physical forms of expression such as singing and dancing to cognitive and narrative forms. Many of our contemporary therapeutic approaches in the West are based on cognitive considerations. However, traumatization is not just shown in a change of convictions. Due to the lasting stress response, it is also displayed in the somatic effects that affect posture, physical reactions, and bodily sensations—phenomena that were the focus of treatment at other times and by other cultures. Feelings of numbness and being separated from one’s own body often alternate with strong, overwhelming reactions to triggers, and in many cases make an efficient therapeutic approach more difficult. Instead of introducing a new method, I see body-oriented work as a basis and supplement to the tried and tested techniques of trauma treatment.
WHY I WORK WITH YOGA IN TRAUMA THERAPY
The idea of integrating yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and mindfulness into trauma therapy arose while working with my clients. When I completed my training in Somatic Experiencing and received my Master’s degree in Psychotraumatology, I was convinced that exposure therapy combined with a body-oriented approach is expedient in treating complex post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs). I am still convinced of this, although it has become apparent to me that progress is not possible with every client when using this approach. For some people with complex trauma, the exposure of traumatic contents was simply not tolerable—relating to their own bodies was so disturbing to them that it triggered a response of panic and dissociation. Continue reading →
Author, yoga teacher and psychotherapist Lisa Sanfillippo has been teaching yoga for over 20 years, and now teaches at London’s premier studios, triyoga and the Life Centre. She runs yoga for sleep workshops around the world. Lisa’s work has been featured by various newspapers and magazines, and she has helped hundreds of people through her yoga for sleep workshops. She is regarded as the UK’s leading yoga for insomnia expert.
In this video, Lisa discusses the benefits of yoga therapy for insomnia and trauma-related loss of sleep; the five-step approach to insomnia; how to approach teaching a trauma-sensitive group yoga class and more.
Yoga Therapy for Insomnia and Sleep Recovery An Integrated Approach to Supporting Healthy Sleep and Sustaining Energy All Day
Examining the ways that the body, trauma and emotional issues, and lifestyle can impact sleep, this book shows how to apply yoga holistically to tackle insomnia. Learn how to reset the delicate body-mind balance by moving through the koshas. This approach will put clients on the path to good quality sleep, with increasing effect over time. Read more