Sunday, May 30, 2010

Individualized Yoga Program for Exceptional Children at MNC


SYC started its yoga programmes at MNC in the year 2006.Workshops were conducted for teachers caretakers and parents. Then the programme was designed to teach children with the help of mothers. In the academic year 2007 to 2008 and 2008 to 2009,the yoga programme was designed in such a way that the first two weeks of the month was utilizes to teach the practices to mothers and the caretakers and the following two weeks were utilized to teach yoga to children along with the help of mothers and caretakers. Mothers and the caretakers could experience certain positive changes happening within themselves and also for children. This gave way for SYC to develop a special programme for each child of phase 2.
The two years of basic yoga programme for mothers and kids extended the vision and developed simple knowledge about the practices of yoga amongst the mothers. A specific curriculum was designed with several practices for forming IPP; (IPP stands for Individual Programme Plan); and it was taught to the mothers over a period of time. The practices were divided in groups. Each group was taught and revised over a period of time.
Then, these practices were taught to children in the IPP model. SYC insisted that the mothers learn the practices so that it can be well understood and experienced before they could implement the practices for children. The benefits of all these special practices were explained to the mothers. Then a two day orientation programme was taken for teachers also, in order to ensure that the practices are performed well in the classroom by the mothers and children.
A child’s IPP was designed based on the questionnaire made by SYC called as challenges assessment mechanism. Certain observable and modifiable conditions and behavior were taken into consideration & the IPP program was designed to suit every child based on the individual assessment made on each child. The questionnaire is as follows.
1 What is the basic special need?
2 How are the general habits of the child?
a) Eating habits
b) Sleeping habits
c) Toilet indications
3 What is the behavioral pattern of the child?
a) Does he or she get angry very often?
b) Does he or she is adamant?
c) Does he or she obey parents and teachers?
4 What are the physical limitations?
a) Is the neck having control?
b) Can the child stand and sit?
c) Is the child able to walk?
d) Is the child having good eye contact?
e) Is the child healthy or weak?
5 What is their level of intelligence?
a) What is the level of concentration?
b) What is the attention level?
c) What is the communication level? (Speech, eye contact etc)
· Considering the observations, conclusion was made to include specific practices, to bring about specific changes on a child to child basis.
· The challenges were analyzed and confirmed with the help of teachers and mothers.

· Introduction of Yoga is aimed at minimizing or eliminating the physical limitations faced by the child in the first place.
· Improve general health of each child.
· Develop awareness.
o From No awareness state to Self awareness
o From Self awareness to environmental awareness
o From Environmental awareness to Enhanced communication
o Development of harmonious relationship
o However we have to remember that depending upon each child’s condition the stages would vary from child to child.
o Also the time taken for growing through these stages will also vary from child to child.
o Ultimately this would lead to improved participation of every child in the Early Intervention program offered by MNC.
a) General practices
b) Specific practices
c) Sankalpa was decided together by teachers of SYC and parent.
d) Expected outcome.
These are a set of practices aimed at improving the general health of the child. The general practices had two main groups of practices.
1. Pawan Muktasana Series – All children have been introduced to this series of practices. This set of practices is suitable to all children; those who can sit or stand; only lie down on the back, all could benefit from this set. A separate article giving details of the efficacy of this series is included later.
2. Tadasana Series - This sequence of practices require the practitioner to stand on their legs and these have been introduced to all the children who are capable of standing. Detailed information on the benefits of the Tadasana series of practices in given later.
3. Vajrasana Series - This sequence of practices are suitable for all children.
4. Abdominal group – This sequence of practices are suitable for all children, except a very few children.
These practices include a wide range of practices that would bring about specific outcomes in a child. The list is given below.
1. Simha Garjanasana
2.Eka Pada Pranamasana
3. Ardha Shalabasana
4. Makarasana
5. Sarpasana
6.Uttan Padasana
7.Pada Sanchalanasana
8.Netra Sanchalan Series
9.Greeva Sanchalan Series
10. Shashankasana
11. Surya Namaskara
12. Khandarasana
13. Vajrasana
14. Saral Bhujangasana
15.Head Raises
16.‘Ha’ Breathing
17. Bramhari Pranayama
18. Jalandra Bandha
19.Vama Kukshi
20.Uttara Kukshi
The benefits of these practices and its implication on the anatomy & physiology of the child is given separately later.
Sankalpa is a positive seed sown in the subtler realms of the child’s mind. Usually when a child goes to sleep, after about five minutes the mother reads out the sankalpa to the child. Each child can have about five sankalpas and it is gently, but audibly read out to the child. These sankalpas get embedded in the child’s subconscious mind and brings about specific and welcome changes in behavior, attitude, health etc.
A sankalpa is coined for each child as part of IPP together by the mother and SYC teacher. This is then read out to the child at night when the child goes to sleep.
The IPP is conceived based on a practical and desired expected outcome. Over a period the child’s condition and the assessment to observe if the IPP is having any effect on the child helps us to go to the next stage of IPP for the child or to go back and re design the IPP for the child.