I used to be an avid Bikram Yoga student (though I love the series and way of teaching, Bikram himself is a whole different can of worms) and I miss it terribly. I had this fantasy that I could get to go to a few classes when I lived in Chicago again, but that never happened. I tried doing the series along with the CD while Wallace played but he just cried and got so upset. I did manage a few days of doing some of the poses by looking at pictures of them but that was inconsistent and short lived. Someday I will get to go back to a studio!
All that is to explain that I want to share my love of yoga with Wallace. I also think it would be great for him physically – helping with his balance, low tone, and coordination. I checked out a couple kid’s yoga books from my mom’s library and he liked the one with pictures of real kids. It was super cute watching him try to do some of the poses and asking what the kids were doing. I think yoga cards would be great but I haven’t found any with pictures of real kids on them.
In that vain, I started searching my own library system. I found a Yoga Kids DVD and a book called Yoga for the Special Child that is for infants and children with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsey, and behavioral issues. The DVD was cute but jumped around too much. I am almost done with the book. It has case studies as well as how to move through the different developmental stages to teach yoga.
When I was going online to renew the DVD, I saw that one of the libraries is offering free preschool yoga classes. I registered Wallace for the first two in September and if he likes then I’m hoping there will be open spots for the other weeks. He isn’t used to being around groups of strangers and class type settings. Though I don’t have plans to put him in preschool until after we move, I want to help him to become more comfortable in these settings.
After looking at Sonia Sumar’s site, I decided to try to find someone trained by her. There is one based about an hour away. It would help me a lot to have someone guide us and have a monthly yoga session with an experienced teacher. Seeing as he doesn’t qualify for PT in Michigan, I need to take it into my own hands. Whether or not I can afford it is another story.
We met with Vicki last night at her yoga studio. It went about as well as it could after an hour ride in a new place with a new person. He played shy then ran circles around us in the yoga studio. She was able to convince him to try some poses by telling him if he did two then he could do a couple laps of the hallway then do two more. It worked!
We have set up a time to meet in two weeks at her house. It is a little closer and will be a little later. That will hopefully give him some time to run around after nap instead of snack and then straight into the car seat.
In the meantime, I’m going to start by making yoga cards for him of the poses she has done with us and ones from the DVD. Breathing exercises, chanting, and relaxation are all important parts of this program. I think that getting him into the habit of it will help him be more comfortable with Vicki and trying new things. The goal is to eventually get him into a yoga class with other kids and a regular practice at home.
I really wish I had heard of this when Wallace was little. I think it would have done wonders for him physically and emotionally. I want to shout it from the rooftops to any parent that has a baby with developmental delays. It would also be so much easier to get him doing it if it is something he always had as opposed to working it into his toddler energy and attention. Oh well, I can only work in the present, not the past.