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Friday, May 8, 2015

A yogic approach to "differently-abled" kids

Zensational Kids' Allison Morgan
In her work with kids, particularly special needs children, ages pre-school through high school, Allison Morgan, OTR, RYT turns conventional methods on their head.

“Others look at an individual based on a diagnosis, and in terms of his or her weakness. That’s the problem. A human being is an island of excellence. We have it within us to be happy, whole and connected. Yoga draws that which is perfect out from within,” says the licensed occupational therapist and registered yoga teacher from New Jersey.
Six years ago, Morgan founded, Zensational Kids, to apply a yogic approach towards educational, counseling and therapeutic goals. She travels nationwide offering her seminars and teacher trainings.
When she started out, ...
“Not many people were using yoga with kids or with kids with special needs. I spent time studying, trying and working individually with small groups and caseloads in schools. I applied what I was doing in my own yoga practice and discovered that it could work for the kids I was seeing,” says Morgan.

Today, she uses the same one-size-fits-all yoga class format when working with differently-abled kids.
“I start off with relaxation, move to breathing and movement and then relaxing again, just as in a typical kids’ yoga class,” says Morgan. “For those with special needs, who are mostly operating in a stressed mode, yoga helps them to connect with the grace within them and their function improves.”

Outwardly, “Kids have a greater capacity to keep their bodies calm and pay attention during and after a yoga class,” she says.
Demand for Morgan’s programming is on the rise.
“This past year, there’s been a tremendous amount of interest,” she says. “I’m talking to more schools and I’m asked to speak at Board of Education meetings all the time. I’m learning how to get the ear of leaders.”
Morgan hopes to change the culture within schools so more kids get direct benefits of yoga.
“It applies to the bottom line and giving kids tools they will use throughout their lifetime,” she says.
Read Morgan’s book, “Wisdom Within,” (Zensational Kids, LLC, 2014), which spreads positive messages that kids of ALL abilities should hear.

Rhyming text, colorful illustrations and nine kids’ yoga poses are included.


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