Updated: Mar 7, 2019
I'm very excited to announce that I am now offering Yoga Therapy for Kids & Families at A Living Arts Centre (ALAC) in Denver just off Evans. This beautiful wellness center is home to many healing arts, so I'm thrilled to offer yoga therapy there...
So, um no, I didn't technically build anything. ALAC has been around for at least 11 years. And truth be told, I thought A Field of Dreams (the movie this line comes from) was super cheesy when I first saw it. But I can totally get on board with one message I took from the movie, which is that if we want to grow, change, or achieve something, we must have faith. We must believe in what we're investing our time into 100%. I certainly believe in the power of yoga therapy to help transform those who practice it. I believe it, of course, because I've had the honor to witness its power through my clients for over a decade. And so I welcome you to come grow, change and achieve your goals of feeling more relaxed, content, aware and fit through yoga therapy.
What Are the Benefits of Yoga Therapy?
Individualized Practice--the sequences you practice are designed just for you
Positive Self Image
Increased Sense of Well-Being
Better Focus (in school, at work and at home)
Here's an example of how yoga therapy is benefitting one teen: I work with a 14 year old girl who went through a bout of depression last fall. Since then she's struggled to feel motivated about school, and is worried her lack of motivation means she'll slide back into depression. Once a straight-A student, she hasn't learned how to relate with anything less than a perfect grade. And since she was hospitalized for a time during her depression, her grades have majorly slipped. Through our work together, she's learned to use positive affirmations to help her let go of perfectionism, and focus on one assignment at a time. She also struggles with taking on her friends' problems. We've used present moment awareness of the five senses to help her let go of worries about her friends. Becoming present has been one of the most powerful tools for her. She's let go of her fears about the past (that she'll get depressed like she did before) and is starting to learn to let go of the future (that her friends will do something to hurt themselves). Given this, I suggested a simple meditation on sounds--one of the best present moment awareness techniques I know. (Jack Kornfield has a powerful audio recording based on meditation on sound called A Mind Like Sky). Afterwards, she said she felt more relaxed and ready to face the rest of her school day.
Important Note About Yoga Therapy and Mental Health
It's very important to stress that one should seek professional help when dealing with clinical anxiety, depression and other major mental health issues. Yoga therapy works very well as part of an Integrative Medicine treatment plan. Make sure when choosing a yoga therapist that they can clearly state their scope of practice, and are willing to work with your other mental health professionals to provide you the most integrated care possible.
How Is Yoga Therapy Different Than Regular Talk Therapy?
Yoga therapy (facilitated by a certified yoga therapist whose scope of practice includes yoga tx for mental & emotional health) helps you integrate your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. While talking is very important, yoga therapy takes things a step further. Because the poses, meditation & breathing practices are nonverbal, the practices speak to many levels of your being. You become more confident when you practice poses that instill strength, such as Warrior II or a challenging arm balance like Crow. Breathing and meditation techniques can have an even more profound effect on your ability to change negative behaviors (like vaping, bad choices in friends, lack of motivation). Yoga Nidra is just such a technique that helps you plant intentions for positive change. And when a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT) is there to guide your journey, and debrief your experience on a verbal level, you have a more integrated, and potentially transformative, experience.
How Is Embodied Youth Yoga Therapy Different Than Regular Yoga?
As an experienced, certified yoga therapist of nearly 13 years, I customize your practice to your needs. My clients return because they say I give them concrete, practical steps that they can use in their lives. Through assessment, I make sure I understand your needs. And then through applied practice, we develop a plan that helps you achieve your goals. I work in collaboration with my clients--even when the client is 5 years old. We all have our own wisdom and perspective, whether child, teen or adult.
Individual vs Family Yoga Therapy
One of the unique offerings of Embodied Youth is that we specialize in yoga therapy for children, teens and families. Much of the time, I work just with the child or teen in a family. But there are times when it's helpful for the whole family to work together in partner yoga poses. Partner yoga poses are incredible for showing us family dynamics we weren't consciously aware of, or that we knew were there but didn't realize how important a role they were playing. Partner Poses are also just a lot of fun. We get to take the serious work of learning to relate compassionately with one another in a fun and interactive direction! (And I can think of no better way to learn than by having fun.)
In a multi-family yoga group a few years ago, a mother broke down crying when describing what it was a like to do partner Warrior II with her 'tween daughter. She said they laughed and goofed around a bit as they were trying to figure out the pose. She said it reminded her of when her girl was younger and they would horse play. Relating in a nonverbal, playful way brought back a joy they'd forgotten in the busyness of their lives.
Yoga Therapy Is For Keeps
Perhaps the most invaluable thing about yoga therapy is that once you've practiced it (individually or with your family), the tools are yours for life. At Embodied Youth, we want to see you blossom and flourish, and make the practice your own. So we give you lots of concrete tools--from individualized handouts to online tools to community resources. We invite you to build your own yoga therapy practice with our expertise. Schedule a complimentary consult or contact us to individualize your own yoga therapy plan.