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Yoga offered for kids with special needs

A local yoga instructor says yoga is a great complement to the physical and occupational therapies that kids are already receiving.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

A local yoga instructor is offering yoga for children with special needs through a new program called Yogabilities.

Jill Braly, who has partnered with Abilitations Children's Therapy and Wellness Center, will provide individual yoga therapy sessions for kids with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, ADD/ADHD and other developmental disabilities. Yoga therapy includes music and sound therapy, breathing exercises, yogic postures and stretches and deep relaxation. Braly says they are a great complement to the physical and occupational therapies kids are already receiving.

Braly tells me that she modifies the traditional yoga poses and techniques to meet the needs of children with limited mobility, developmental disabilities, and other unique circumstances. Yoga helps to slow the heart rate and decrease blood pressure, which along with deep breathing contributes to create a state of relaxation and rest in the body, she said.

"When children learn how to create these conditions in their own bodies, it helps them to better manage physical, mental, and emotional (relationships with themselves and others) stresses," she says.

Sessions start at $30 for a half-hour session. An initial evaluation is $80. Braly is a registered yoga teacher and has received additional training and certification in teaching yoga to children with special needs.

Learn more about Braly and her traveling yoga studio called Wandering Yoga.
Abilitations is a therapist owned practice in north Raleigh providing kids with physical and occupational therapies, nutrition services and fitness  and wellness programs. 

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