I am a Yoga Therapist and Teacher who specialises in supporting children and young people with their mental and emotional health.
We know that children and young people are suffering. In 2020 one in six children aged five to 16 were identified as having a mental health problem. But less than one in three young people get access to NHS care and treatment. The Covid-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for some children and young people.
My work supports both the prevention of and intervention in mental and emotional health issues, so that children do not reach crisis point. It is my belief that through the practices offered in Yoga Therapy, as well as through nurturing a deeply attuned and supportive therapeutic relationship, every child can find deep comfort, joy and wellness in their being.
The beauty and potential of Yoga as Therapy is that I have time and space to adapt Yoga for the specific needs of individuals, meaning each session is tailormade and responsive to the needs of the child.
As a Yoga Therapist, training with Child Psychologist Dr Lucy Arnsby-Wilson and Integrative Specialist Janine Hurley, I have studied the work of key theorists and practitioners in the area of trauma and attachment, such as Bessel Van der Kolk, Bruce Perry, Dan Siegel, Stephen Porges and Peter Levine. So I understand the psychology and neuroscience that explains why ancient Yogic practices hold such potency, and know how to apply them therapeutically.
Working in deep attunement, I share practices and positive coping strategies so that children and young people learn to self-regulate and feel more at peace in their minds and bodies. Depending on the child, this might include some simple movement practices, breathing techniques, journaling, mindfulness practices, sensory exploration, meditation or visualisations. Some sessions may be very physical and playful, others may be more still and focussed on relaxation. All sessions flow around the needs of the child, in that moment, on that day. These are practices for self-empowerment that help children find and experience a deep, healing connection to themselves and to others.
One of the reasons Yoga as Therapy is so effective for children and young people is that there is no pressure to explain themselves or their story – unless of course they want to. It is a place where they connect in with themselves, learn to self-soothe, and just be. As the perfect, whole human beings they are.
This work is suitable for children and young people facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, anger, grief, low mood, eating disorders, stress, trauma and PTSD, ADHD, attachment issues, identity issues, childhood transitions, cancer and chronic pain.
I work one-to-one and also offer small groups sessions, tailored specifically around children or young people facing similar challenges. My training is accredited to The British Psychological Society as well as the Independent Yoga Network. I have regular supervision from a Clinical Psychologist and Yoga Therapist.