This week I began integrating yoga into my Braille teaching sessions with my students.
During the week that Natasha came to teach yoga, I took notes on what yoga practices she focused on that I could easily integrate into this student’s educational lessons with me. Last week Natasha focused on mudras, down dog, and breathing techniques. This is a full week of Braille instruction with this particular student so my goal was to integrate the yoga moves she taught into our Braille lesson. It went like this:
1. I began the session asking my student how his day was going and what he was most proud of about himself. Then I asked him what yoga activity he wanted to do before we began Brailling. I gave him the options of mudras, breathing or the yoga poses that Natasha taught him the week before. He chose mudras and yoga breathing. Another benefit to learning mudras for Braille students is that it increases finger dexterity and strength to type on the Brailler and read Braille.
If the video below is not working, please find a link to this same video on the following
3. Then we use the iPad App “Exploring Braille” to further explore Braille letters.
2. Ask which yoga practice they want to do
3. Work on targeted IEP goal/assigment
4. Finish with a yoga intention/ something they hope for the rest of their day
Today at Fit Abilities Trauma Informed Yoga Program, we addressed issues that many of our students continue to face including the toxic stress of enduring bullying and giving into peer pressure when others are getting hurt. Natasha told an interactive yoga story about collaborating and powering with others instead of dominating and powering over others. #traumainformedyoga #fitabilties #resilience
We have been bringing Fit Abilities into the classrooms for direct instruction to integrate some yoga skills into their education routine with the Teacher of the Visually Impaired of two of our students for the last month. For some kid we’ll prepare for instruction with puzzles and others bean bag activities.
With one of our students we are facilitating opportunities to be more aware of how her body is moving in space and being mindful of fast and slow movements. We start our our session with her with fast movements and prepare her for slower activity levels before instruction begins.
Below is a video of our OT intern Kourtney cueing her to be mindful to move the bean bag slowly from one body part to another.
One of my students who desperately needs opportunities to empower himself in healthy ways and learn a locus of healthy amounts of control tells me each week what he wants for snack that week at Fit Abilities. Today it’s banana bread….specifically from Corner Coffeehouse in downtown Ferguson. He anticipates it, I follow through and we build trust. Follow through is key in these moments, even little things like this matter for our yoga students with high ACE Scores. Showing up with the little things like banana bread matter in building safety and making sure they feel heard and seen. It also helps them understand that they play key role in the cause and effect nature of healthy relationships. Trust begins with banana bread and yoga for this kid in particular.