Last month I had the pleasure of teaching Sensory Processing Yoga on a one day course at Ulster University, Belfast to an enthusiastic group of 40 Occupational Therapists who came from a varied field of practice.
Throughout the day we explored:
What are Sensory Processing Difficulties & What is Sensory Processing Yoga?
The course was practical and involved practising different yoga poses, breathing techniques and relaxation to support sensory modulation, postural difficulties and elements of dyspraxia, namely body awareness, organisation, motor planning and execution of movement.
As an Occupational Therapist working with children with Sensory Processing Difficulties and a Senior yoga teacher, I notice how yoga can support the children I work with. The different shapes we make with our body in the form of the poses, or asanas as they are known in the world of yoga supports the many different sensory systems such as proprioception (body awareness) through the information we gain through the muscles and joints, the vestibular system (movement) through information through the inner ears to support balance, postural stability and arousal levels as well as vision – following visual cues, auditory – following instructions, tactile – touch.
Yoga gives us a platform to integrate different sensory information connecting us to our bodies.
We also had lots of fun exploring different breathing techniques and multi sensory based breathing methods to support self-regulation.
Here is what the participants said about the course:
- Mel is mindful of everybody in the group and individual differences
- Delighted about exercises which get clients out of their ‘headspace’ into their ‘body’
- Very useful course bringing Sensory Processing into life. Very enjoyable & worthwhile. Thankyou
- Great teaching technique – lovely calm voice! Great opportunity to think outside the box and certainly gained a number of tools for practice, particularly as anxiety among children is becoming more prevalent. Thank you
- A wonderful day on many levels – personal and so many ideas for OT practice
- Good introduction to yoga and its uses within the workplace (mental health)
- Very enjoyable day. Tutor was very good at explaining benefits of yoga for SPD & practice/breathing techniques very useful
- I see how elements of yoga e.g. breathing may be useful with some of my Learning Disability clients who are wheelchair dependent.
- I feel confident to try some of the poses as part of a sensory diet with some clients
- Very well delivered and extremely informative.
- A worthwhile course. This course increased my awareness of how yoga can support children and adults and I will be trying this out within the forensic mental health setting
- This course really helped me make sense of how yoga could be used to help the clients that I work with in a meaningful & age appropriate way. We already have access to yoga sessions and I do some sensory modulation work with clients – I’m keen to combine the two! Thank you!
If you would like to attend my next Sensory Processing Yoga Foundation Course click here