From therapy sessions focused on goals and progress to yoga sessions focused on building communication skills with breath, body movement, imagination, and FUN.
As I reflect on my experience working at a pediatric therapy clinic and early intervention services, I started to think about the families and children I worked closely with. Sometimes progress is rapid, sometimes you reach an exciting burst of growth, sometimes kids plateau for a period of time, and sometimes incremental progress is made during certain stages of development. In other words, it's different for every kiddo.
With yoga being a huge passion of mine, I started to learn more about kids yoga and the power of this practice. After receiving my Child & Family Yoga Certification from Rainbow Yoga, I thought, "Why not facilitate speech and language within kids yoga classes?" The thought of kids coming together in a supportive setting with the only rule being KINDNESS and the only goal being FUN.
Children are incredibly creative and imaginative by nature. I wanted to be a part of facilitating an environment where kids could learn from each other while bringing awareness to the power of their breath through playful yoga poses. We flow breath with movement even if it's goofy and makes everyone laugh. If the 'bunny rabbit pose' looks more like a 'flying unicorn,' we can be flexible and allow the children to lead the fun.
With my knowledge and experience as a licensed SLP, I facilitate language expansion while practicing yoga poses in play. Sessions may include the application of tactile prompting with body movements to increase children's auditory awareness of sounds and syllables, words and phrases. I incorporate sharing, greetings, imitation, and receptive and expression language expansion aligned with the level of language brought to the session.
What excited me most of all, was the thought of families seeing smiles on their children’s faces from the fun their child had and the meaningful peer connections that were made.