The classes I have ran for Yellow Submarine have been the most rewarding and touching classes I have done, and I was glad to give Sue P a very experienced Oxfordshire Yoga teacher the chance to teach two classes for the groups too.
Sue P was very modest in her report about how the class went- so I asked Emily who works for Yellow Submarine for feedback.... she said:
The young people all loved Sue’s session and were very happy to see her return for a second! It was amazing to see how quickly a bunch of usually very restless teenagers became unusually calm and almost sedate! Yoga allows them to take control, where very often, they are denied control due to having a disability.
A big part is the breathing techniques. A large proportion of people with a learning disability seek sensory experiences, and the controlled breathing technique is exactly that – they feel air entering and leaving their body, they feel their diaphragm shrinking and enlarging in time with the former, they’re encouraged to listen to the silence, they see whatever their mind chooses to see. All of this stimulates the young people, whilst at the same time, empowering them with this element of control.
They learn to relax themselves, which can be otherwise extremely difficult, due to the nature of their disabilities, and the fact that many of them constantly have hormones surging through their body at every point of the day.
At first, I, as the activity leader, was dubious that the group would remain fully engaged for an hour, but it seems, an hour was entirely sufficient, if not too short, and I suspect it was everything that I’ve mentioned that means that these hours not only pass by, but fly by, and leave the young people craving more.
A massive thanks to Sue for leading such wonderful sessions, and to Yoga Quota and all their members for enabling us to have access to all the sessions.