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
- Over the last two years Christine has developed several
specialized classes based on the needs of families and her
- The primary needs are helping with anxiety.
- A lot of the yoga work focuses on breathing and overall muscle
- 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
- 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
- She developed a Sensory Wind Down that helps with sleep.
Parents come in looking to do things like yoga to replace or avoid
- 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
- 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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.