Friday, September 28, 2012


NOT A FAR STRETCH, INSTRUCTOR SAYS - An ancient form of exercise for the body and soul is being used to help improve the lives of children with special needs. For five-year-old Hiro Saburi, sitting serenely for even a few minutes is no easy task. This boy from Queens (New York, USA) has autism. “He was really like up and over there and there. So hyper he wanted to calm down but he didn't know how to do that,” said Hiro's mother, Mika Saburi. With each conscious breath and held stretch, Hiro is learning how the body and mind are linked. For the last two years he's been practicing a discipline dating back to antiquity, but with a modern tweak, catering to children with special needs like his. It's called “Yoga for the Special Child.” “They can concentrate better. They can learn quicker. They become more peaceful,” Yoga for the Special Child” Founder Sonia Sumar. Sumar founded the discipline in the 1970's after giving birth to a daughter with Down Syndrome. Although she died at 15, Sumar says teaching her daughter the basics of yoga enhanced the quality of what little life she lived. 

Sonia Sumar trains occupational and physical therapists and teachers at Integral Yoga Institute in the West Village. She's made it her life's work traveling the world, helping special needs children. “By working with all the other kids around the world, I filled up all the emptiness that came with her passage and I feel her with me all the time, inspiring me,” Sumar said. It's not always easy. On this particular afternoon, Hiro didn't make it through his 30 minute session. But even in the short time he practiced yoga, it seemed to have a calming effect. 
“The way it is to be more balanced between mind and the body which is beneficial,” Mika Saburi said. “This is a work that is soul to soul. When you establish that kind of connection with someone, there are no limitations,” Sumar said. Hiro's mother hopes yoga will make his transition to kindergarten in the fall smoother and life beyond much easier.

Hatha yoga is an ancient set of physical and mental practices designed to bring the body, mind and breath into balance. Teaching children yoga has many positive benefits for them. An integrated series of balanced Yoga increase body awareness, strength and flexibility. The specialized breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can improve concentration and reduce hyperactivity. Through yoga children can develop body awareness, build self-esteem, improve focus and concentration, enhance posture, learn calming techniques; above all it is enjoyable and very natural for children to be in the postures. A yoga class for children at Manduka Yoga in Toronto, is a spontaneous journey of song, verse and circle play to inspire, creative movement, cooperation, concentration, coordination and independence.

Yoga prescribes physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which will free one from mental and physical diseases. ... Asana -”bodily postures”: This process of various exercises and bodily postures brings physical and mental steadiness as well as health and vigor.  Pranayama - “control of breath”.  Prana means life air and yama means to control.  It involves controlling the inhalation, exhalation and the retention of the air we breathe. ... Yoga practices are also meant for the holistic upliftment of mind, body and spirit.  By regularly practicing Yoga, Pranayana (breathing exercises) and by maintaining a natural life style in one’s eating, resting, work, etc., a person can be fully relaxed and free from tension and anxiety.  When a person maintains these practices properly, he or she will be free from heart diseases and mental anxiety.

T.D. Singh, Ph.D. - Śrīla Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Mahārāja :
“Science and Religion - Present and Future” - “Yoga”
Bhaktivedanta Institute -  -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Looking for the Ultimate Dating Website? Create an account and find your perfect match.