Jessica is an absolute treasure. On top of running a husband and a house with five children, she is also a co-founder of Heartbeats for Down Syndrome. In her "spare" time she teaches yoga for children like Boo. She does both private (for children like Boo who would not be able to concentrate) and small-group glasses for young children.
I have seen Jessica teach a group class with a mix of typical and not-so-typical children. But, biased here, I like the solo lessons. Boo cannot follow directions. Most times Jessica has to move Boo into the position. What we have found is if Jessica's older daughter does the lesson with Boo the results are beyond terrific.
I started Boo in Yoga for the Special Child to help with Boo's frustration at being non-verbal. That didn't happen. What did happen is a significant change in Boo's bowel issues, a language explosion and a willingness to do the Yoga on her own.
Today in hydrotherapy, her PT was concerned about the toe-walking and a tendency for her right leg to turn inward. To demonstrate she asked Boo to stand on one leg. Boo didn't understand. But when we said, Boo tree pose...viola! Boo stood on one leg in
Hey huge milestone there!
It is difficult, between Jessica's commitments and my own life we tend to interfere with Boo's Yoga schedule. One of my goals (and Jessica's) is to make her lessons more routine. I have noticed, when I put the extra time in (between homework, life and everything else) Yoga for the Special Child works.
Honestly, we should probably go 3-4 times a week. But between work, school, therapies and life it just isn't possible.
But Yoga isn't for just the "Special Child". Allie loves Yoga. Because I am not a Yogi nor one who can mediate I am not the best mentor for the girls. But before bedtime when we put Boo through her poses, Allie joins in.
And we all relax, if just for a moment.
To learn more about Jessica's story please visit Heartbeats For Down Syndrome or the National Down Syndrome Society.
This post was inspired by Rachel Tao of Poop who shared a story of childhood yoga and then recommended I post Boo's experience. Rachel is one of the calmest bloggers I have "met". She always sees the message in the little things. Something I need to learn how to do. Thanks, Rachel!
To find a Yoga program for the Special Child look here (I really recommend finding someone on this site and not just anyone.) for Yoga just for the child I found this site but cannot totally endorse it since I found Jessica simply by putting out a cry on Facebook.