I am a registered Occupational Therapist and certified Yoga teacher.
I have been teaching and studying yoga since 2000. As an Occupational Therapist I predominately work with children and young people who have sensory processing difficulties, which may be a symptom of their autism, ADHD, DCD, Dyspraxia, motor or postural stability difficulties. I have noticed over the years how Sensory Processing Yoga has a positive impact on their physical, emotional and mental well-being. Sensory processing is our ability to filter, organise and process sensory information from our environment, so that we can respond appropriately. The sensory information from our environment comes through many different sensory systems, namely the eyes (vision), smell (olfactory) taste (gustatory), touch through the tactile system, movement through the vestibular system and information through our muscles and joints to help us with body awareness through the proprioceptive system.
For many individuals with sensory processing difficulties, Occupational Therapists devise sensory diets to help individuals to develop their sensory processing skills. Through personalised programmes which involve various vestibular (movement –balance) based proprioception (movement and resistance) and tactile (deep pressure and touch) activities individuals can receive the sensory input they need to help them become focused and organised through-out the day. Yoga poses and exercises can complement and contribute to these programmes.
I have been working on an exciting new DVD which is called
Sensory Processing Yoga.
It consists of 4 short yoga practises each about 20 minutes long to support individuals who may need a calming or alerting practice to support their self-regulation as well as practises to support postural stability for those low postural tone and core strength and a motor planning sequence to support balance, coordination and body awareness. In addition there is a short guided relaxation and some breathing exercises which aims to teach effective ways of breathing to support self-regulation, body awareness and core stability.
The Sensory Processing Yoga DVD is available to purchase now.
Sensory Processing Disorder: Yoga Benefits
As well as a yoga teacher I am an Occupational Therapist and I have an Advanced Practitioner post certification in Sensory Integration.
Occupational Therapy compliments my love for Yoga and I see my two paths merging into one; Sensory Processing Yoga.
For the past two and a half years I have been working with children with sensory processing difficulties.
Sensory Processing Disorder is when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses and an individual may exhibit clumsiness, poor motor skills and behaviour difficulties as a result of their sensory systems becoming over responsive to sensory input or under responsive so they want to seek out more.
The sensory systems involved are typically vestibular (movement), proprioception (body awareness) and tactile (touch) resulting in an individual having difficulties such as poor balance, coordination, and/or be over or under sensitive to movements, have difficulties knowing where their body is in space and have poor discrimination to touch. Due to their heightened sensitivity to sensations or as a result of their motor based difficulties an individual with SPD is more often than not in a constant state of alert..fight/flight or freeze.
Yoga helps to bring them back into their bodies and learn to breathe, regulating their arousal levels and helping their central nervous systems relax. Through practicing yoga, the asanas have so many wonderful benefits which help support the vestibular, (movement) proprioceptive (body awareness) and tactile (touch) sensory systems that can support an individual get back into their body and feed into their functional skills (that’s my Occupational Therapy hat!). I know me one of the main reasons I practice yoga is that is puts me in the right frame of mind to face the world, puts me back into my body and gives me the permission to be – is just seems to make sense.
I am going to post a series of Sensory Processing blogs over the coming months and I am currently working on a DVD on Sensory Processing Yoga which will be available to purchase from here.
Please sign up below if you wish to receive helpful tips on how Sensory Processing Yoga can help you and your child.
The Yoga of Pregnancy DVD:
Connect with your unborn child through your mind, body and breath.
Turn your focus inward, connect with your growing child, and make your pregnancy the most wonderful and memorable time of your life …
Pregnancy is such a unique and wonderful time of life, and the yoga classes and training videos in this program will help you enjoy the changes in your body and prepare physically, emotionally, and spiritually for your new life ahead.
Whether you’re new to yoga or even if you’ve practiced for years, you’ll learn new practices and insights to help you find a purposeful connection with your own body and your child.
Focusing on creating a conscious union with the growing baby in utero, this DVD introduces a practice of meditations, yoga, and affirmations that reflect the developmental and physiological changes taking place both inside and outside the womb. The DVD enhances the experience of pregnancy and prepares mothers physically, emotionally, and spiritually for child birth and motherhood. Beginners to yoga as well as regular practitioners will learn unique approaches and proper techniques that initiate a healthful, purposeful connection with the mother’s own body and with their unborn child.