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Behind the Breakthroughs


Nov 14, 2018

In this episode we have the pleasure of talking with a yoga teacher who has turned her passion for yoga into helping children with autism. She empowers children by teaching them the most important technique of yoga, which is breath. Breath is a simple technique that anyone can use anywhere because it is immediate and non-disruptive. To wake up and know everything will be ok because your calming tools are constantly with you is empowering.

Meet Christine Devereaux the owner of Spectrum Yoga. She has taken her love of yoga and developed specialized classes to help children with autism and their families. She not only works with individuals but teaches yoga to the family unit as well. Yoga does not discriminate, if it works for your child, it will work for you and vise versa. Christine talks about the world as being a reflection of yourself, so if you see the world as chaotic then internally you are chaotic. In her yoga classes she brings this awareness to her students by teaching them to slow down and breathe. Yoga is just not a practice... it is a life skill.  

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Christine Devereaux is the owner and founder of Spectrum Yoga located in Littleton, Colorado.
  • Spectrum Yoga is a therapeutic yoga service specifically for individuals with autism. It’s a goal-based service with specialized and private classes.
  • Classes are offered for children between the ages of 7-18 and she offers family classes so they can learn yoga techniques as a family unit.
  • Over the last two years Christine has developed several specialized classes based on the needs of families and her students.
  • The primary needs are helping with anxiety.
  • A lot of the yoga work focuses on breathing and overall muscle tone.
  • Breathing affects everything from speech to muscle tone. Breath is more important than poses and works directly with nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Breath is a technique that someone can use and pull out anywhere.
  • We don't know what triggers kids, so something as simple as a breathing technique is immediate and non-disruptive.
  • Children can calm in their environment quicker.
  • Christine sees lots of families come in as yoga being their last resort.
  • She developed a Sensory Wind Down that helps with sleep. Parents come in looking to do things like yoga to replace or avoid medication.
  • The tools that they learn in class they can apply every night instead of giving medication.
  • Sleep is huge! Another thing that affects your body is when you lack sleep. You can see kids unraveling with less sleep.
  • Sensory Wind own helps with sleep. It also balances the nervous system. In return it helps with rest and digestion.
  • Parents have said kids have more self-regulation and less anxiety
  • Christine also does Life Skills Yoga. It is really fun, luxurious, and relaxing.
  • Life Skills Yoga involves massage and essential oils. It helps with anxiety, communication (verbal or non-verbal) listening, and awareness. These four things bleed into life.
  • People ask how yoga affects life skills and it's everywhere from managing emotions at a job to communicating with people, etc.
  • In addition, Christine offers Family Yoga. It is great because sometimes parents stress bleeds into their child's anxiety and they don’t see or know that it's happening.
  • Working on stress as a family and recognizing it is huge to keep things peaceful at home.
  • Yoga does not discriminate. If it works for your kid it will work for you and vise versa.
  • There are so many different types of yoga. There is kids yoga, adaptive yoga, and yoga therapy
  • You can apply yoga techniques to anyone at any age.
  • Christine also does Hand Yoga in which she teaches her students a technique to do with their hands while saying “sa ta na ma." It's for regulation that they do when things are overwhelming. It's something that kids can do by themselves and it's awesome.
  • Life is so hustle and bustle and Christine feels people don’t think yoga is effective because with yoga you do have to take the time to slow down and pay attention.
  • Sometimes people don’t see the benefits of slowing down your breath.
  • If we could instill slowing down and breath to kids, it could be life changing. It would change their mindset and show them to see the world in a more calm and positive way.
  • That is when they can start interacting with the world because it gives them control.
  • The world is a reflection of you, so if you see the world as chaotic then internally you are chaotic.
  • So to have the control within you is essentially controlling the world around you. How empowering is that?
  • To wake up and know everything will be ok. "I have my tools with me and the world is at my fingertips."
  • That awareness piece is a life skill.
  • When it comes down to it, it's all breath. Christine teaches it in every class. It's yoga, it's meditation, it's a life skill. 

MINDSHIFT (takeaways)

  1. Let go of the expectation of what you think yoga is because it's different for everyone... Forget what you think it is, come with no expectation and try it out.

RESOURCES:

Spectrum Yoga

www.spectrumyoga.co