What is yoga therapy?
Dating back more than 2,000 years, yoga is an ancient method of achieving mind, body and spiritual health. Today, yoga has proven to be an effective form of therapy in our modern world, which is why yoga therapy is an integral part of the Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children's Hospital Colorado.
A growing body of research supports yoga therapy as a means for decreasing anxiety, stress and depression, while increasing positive coping, self-induced feelings of relaxation and powers of concentration and attention.
How does yoga therapy help kids?
When used as a form of therapy to help treat kids, the combination of breath and movement through various yoga postures improves balance and strengthens the entire body. As a result, yoga assists kids' (and adults') metabolic function and helps the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems to function more effectively and efficiently. Breathing and meditation/relaxation techniques also help lower blood pressure and improve mood and concentration, thus reprogramming the body’s habitual response to stress associated with illness or hospitalization.
Yoga therapy for children embraces the same theories and philosophies as adult yoga, but with a greater element of fun and playfulness. Classical yoga postures as well as breathing, relaxation and meditation can be combined with story telling, games, dance and song. Read about other forms of creative arts therapy at Children's.
Some of the most common pediatric conditions our yoga therapists help treat include:
- Chronic headaches
- General pain management
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sleep issues
- Sports injuries
Listen to a "Yoga Nidra for Relaxation" recording created by Children's Colorado Yoga Therapist Michelle Fury. This recording is given to patients and families to help them relax and decrease stress.
Kids and families share their experience with yoga therapy
"I had three brain surgeries and was really weak. Yoga class made me stronger and gave me flexibility. I love how happy and proud I feel when I have successfully learned a new pose. I wish I could be in yoga class every day." – Jessica, a former yoga therapy patient at Children's Colorado
After a multi-family yoga group session at Children’s Colorado, a participant recalled the experience as “Very mindful…you really take a journey into yourself, which I don’t get to do often. Really great therapy for me, it helps a lot.” – Family member and yoga therapy participant at Children’s Colorado
Yoga research study
Has your child ever tried yoga? We are accepting referrals for adolescents ages 13 to 19 with a diagnosed physical or mental health concern to participate in a yoga research study. Yoga classes are held at Children's Colorado. For more information, please call 720-777-6200.