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If it's not accessible it's not yoga - Jivana Heyman

Neurodiverse Yoga; Accessible and Inclusive

Neurodiverse Yoga is an accessible and inclusive specialist yoga practice for individuals with learning difficulties and focuses on encouraging ability rather than disability.
Sadly peoples reactions to neurological differences makes them targets for abuse in a culture that doesn't tolerate any deviation from a standard 'norm'

The rejection, punishment, isolation and abuse they receive is very real.

Which can lead to so much self blame because they don't understand why people around them can't accept them as they are.

Sensory trauma is also a very real thing the overwhelm of being in a world that's too loud, bright, and smelly.

 
They can often feel trapped in their bodies,The effect of medication and past trauma can result in a heightened state of stress and reactivity, leading to a state which maybe resistant to change, and for some stuck in a “survival mode” of flight, fright and fear.

 

The result can cause a sensitivity or perhaps a dulling of the senses and/or a tense, anxious nature.

We need to recognise that trauma informed mental health care needs a neurodiversity lens to account for variations in individual nervous system responses and offer a gentle and supportive environment for neurological differences and disabilities acknowledging diversity

Abuse does not discriminate and there is no one path to healing, we need to address the lack of support for the neurodiversity in yoga practices and in mental health care, everyone deserves access to the practice.

Yoga can help to address these adverse effects. It invites awareness not only to the body and sensations but also the emotions.

It helps benefit our motor, sensory, emotional, immune and psychological wellbeing.
 

We use trauma sensitive yoga poses, mantras and mudra delivered in a fun relaxed manor, often using themes and games, gentle manipulation with permission, specialised breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, with variations to individual abilities.

It is fun, inclusive, therapeutic and safe for all; sensory integration difficulties, language processing difficulties, developmental delays, limited or challenged mobility, anxiety, behavioural challenges,

cognitive challenges and more. 

I've been teaching yoga to children and adults with neurodiversity since 2013, at Marjory Kinnon School and Dramatize as well as one to one sessions.

My own children live with neurological differences, learning difficulties and disabilities including; autism, sensory difficulties, deafness, bpd, processing delays, anxiety, hyper-mobility, global developmental delay and language disorder, we have experienced first hand the abuse that comes from being seen as different, which is what grew my interest of making embodied yoga healing accessible and safe for children and adults of all physical and cognitive abilities!

Benefits of yoga for adults and children with  disabilities can include 

-self-regulation

-body awareness

-social skills

-expression of difficult emotions

-fine and gross motor skills

-language and communication 

-identification and expression

-reducing anxiety and so much more!

If you’re considering the benefits of yoga for yourself an individual or group, or would just like to talk about yoga for neurodiversity, please contact me.

Emotional abuse is when someone makes you feel:

Sad 

Scared 

Not Important

They might:

make fun of you, or laugh at you 

call you names 

threaten you 

bully you 

ignore you 

blame you for things you didn't do

They might not:

give you things you need

listen to you

believe what you tell them

All of these things are wrong.

 

Anyone could abuse you, including:

family

friends

carers or other people who support you

neighbours or people you live with

people you work with

members of your community.

 

The person abusing you might not know what they're doing is wrong.

You might feel too scared to:

speak out 

stop them

 

You might not know how to get help they might make it hard for you to tell anyone.

 

If emotional abuse happens to you it is important to speak out.

You should tell someone you trust as soon as you can.

Sharon has been delivering classes to my students for many years. My students all have a learning disability and/or physical disability ranging from mild to profound.  Sharon is able to adapt all her lessons to make sure everyone is fully included and is reaching their full potential.  There has been no challenge that Sharon hasn’t been able to overcome. I believe my students would say the best thing about Sharon and her classes are that she makes everyone feel welcome and takes the time to build a relationship with each person so they have mutual respect and trust. 

Jo Smith
Dramatize
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What is emotional abuse
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