Sports FAQ
Home / Yoga

Asanas/strategies for child sexual abuse survivors

Deb2010-07-04 11:36:22 +0000 #1
Dear Mukunda, thank you for your help with my past questions. New question:

I am teaching a children's yoga class once per week. First session is with Special Ed. Kindergarteners, the next with Special Ed. First and Second graders. I was informed today that one of the girls in the Kindergarten class was a victim of sexual abuse in two of her foster homes, starting at the age of four (I believe she is six now). The teacher told me only because she wanted me to understand why she wasn't pushing the girl to follow my instructions to extend her legs when she wanted them bent into her body.

Although I realize the inherent limitations of the situation, I would like to provide some asanas that will let her be more comfortable in her body and (possibly) more trusting.

Thank you,

Deb
Mukunda2010-07-04 11:51:30 +0000 #2
Quote:

Originally Posted by Deb

Dear Mukunda, thank you for your help with my past questions. New question:

I am teaching a children's yoga class once per week. First session is with Special Ed. Kindergarteners, the next with Special Ed. First and Second graders. I was informed today that one of the girls in the Kindergarten class was a victim of sexual abuse in two of her foster homes, starting at the age of four (I believe she is six now). The teacher told me only because she wanted me to understand why she wasn't pushing the girl to follow my instructions to extend her legs when she wanted them bent into her body.

Although I realize the inherent limitations of the situation, I would like to provide some asanas that will let her be more comfortable in her body and (possibly) more trusting.

Thank you,

Deb

My recommendations would be to increase breathing exercises and imagery for this child. Playfulness as is emphasized in Yoga for Kids program is most beneficial. I would encourage her to do as she wants - which to me sounds like fetal or child pose with variations when she is ready. Letting children of all ages do what is natural for preserving of feelings of safety is crucial. In general i would allow many forward bends especially those with rounded spine until she is ready to begin to open up and speak then coudl use more alignment to open and extend the spinal curves.

namaste mukunda
Deb2010-07-04 12:03:10 +0000 #3
Mukunda, a very belated thanks for your reply. Thanks to the idiosyncracies of my email, your reply was anachronistically shoved to the bottom of my email pile. Playfulness will be encouraged although (just as an aside) this was a group of children which needed to have rules enforced as some of them had problems following directions (which may or not have been the right approach, but was what the teachers requested).

Thank you again for your reply.

Namaste,

Deb
Mukunda2010-07-04 12:03:17 +0000 #4
It is a challenge to balance playfulness and therapy. I find making a contact with the children is the first step at therapy. Such a traumatic event as childhood abuse needs gentleness not discipline in my opinion. Establishing a rapport that an adult can be trusted then later on listening and following those in authority can come. Respect of such a child is not easy to gain except through a lot of persistence and love.

Reply

Name:
Content:


Other posts in this category