Anxiety and Yoga
"Children with autism have a very different sensory experiences from other people, and these responses often cause their bodies to get stuck in fight, flight, or freeze modes that divert blood from the digestive organs to the skeletal muscles. This activity results in disrupted digestion, increased heart rate, and shallower breathing - all of which readily provoke anxiety." - Yoga International
All photography provided by Kyomi Gilman
Kristin Frank is an RYT200, certified Creative Relaxation 2 and Yoga for All Instructor, as well as a Mindful Essentials Educator and Accessible Yoga Ambassador.
"My journey to healing mind, body, and spirit started shortly after the birth of my son. He is highly sensitive and was diagnosed with high functioning autism and an anxiety disorder at 27 months old. At age 7 we found out that he was having non-epileptic seizures brought on by his anxiety. Thankfully, his doctor recommended yoga and meditation as a way to treat his seizures, and so the path presented itself. I needed to learn how to help and heal my son.
In my search, I discovered a book called Creative Relaxation – Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs, by Louise Goldberg. She became my mentor after traveling across the country to take her training to become a certified Creative Relaxation 2 Instructor. This experience was life changing not only for me, but also my son. It brought us to an awareness of our bodies and our mind, and taught me to guide him to that safe place within himself. This is a ground breaking experience for a child who is always in fight or flight response.
My mission is to help each child discover themselves through Creative Relaxation, by teaching them to integrate breathing into their day. This is done by yoga-based movements and meditation to create relaxation and regulation into a stimulating world. In that moment of quiet space, my wish is for each child to rest in the beauty of what it feels like to be safe and comfortable within themselves. This is relaxation."
I have taught hundreds of hours, primarily to individuals in differently abled bodies, those with neurodiversity, or different abilities - but, I learn and receive just as much from my students as they do from me. Building relationships is how we continue to create brave spaces as we move through life.
the role of touch
Touch pressure can be different for each person. It can be very calming for children who have self-stimming behaviors or are easily agitated. Certain poses can create a similar affect. The goal is to create a comfortable and safe space where everyone is able find peacefulness and relaxation.