Occupational Therapist Speaks about Yoga

quoteadhd1As a follow-up to the Yoga for Children with ADHD, Autism training, students write about their experience working with the Radiant Child Yoga method. What follows is from Eve M, an Occupational Therapist and Radiant Child Yoga teacher:

“I have been using both the meditative aspects of Kundalini Yoga as well as the asanas at home after work.  I have found simple sequences incorporating weight bearing postures using downward dog, plank, cat and cow to be most helpful in regaining my state of grounded-ness.

 My children have observed my breathing and my movements, but most of all, my attentiveness (truly) to them, afterwards.  My life is typically hurried and can feel non-observant, at times.  This basic practice is allowing me more inner awareness to simply notice my life more and more.  To notice the words my youngest daughter is learning to say, to notice the humming of the refrigerator, to notice how I am feeling moment to moment.  That is the biggest gift I’m receiving from my practice.

I have also been incorporating these ideas at work, as I’m an OT in the school setting.  The question “how are you vibrating?” really is sticking with me.  It’s a question I ask myself all day, with co-workers, at meetings, and most importantly in my sessions with the children.

Just that awareness has allowed me new connections with one specific young girl with multiple challenges including hearing loss, cognitive delays, sensory integration dysfunction, and more.  She is making notable eye contact with me during our time together, whether it’s yoga, brushing, or passing her by in the hallway.  She has hugged me spontaneously, which is totally new for us.  Also, our verbal exchanges are much more relevant and functional, as she shares with me spontaneously about her home life/routines.  She had previously been using much more immature styles of communications such as noises and behaviors, rather than her words.

I cannot say enough about the change I’ve see in our relationship by putting these simple ideas into practice.  I have to say it’s more about my state of being than what I’m doing with her.  I came to the conference looking for yoga strategies to use from a motoric standpoint, but I left with so much more than that to help me be more effective with my students.

About the Author:

Shakta is an AMS certified Montessori teacher, and the author of five well-known Yoga books, CDs and DVDs. Her latest book, The Yoga Way to Radiance: How to Follow Your Inner Guidance and Nurture Children to do the Same, is scheduled for release in summer of 2016, (Llewellyn Worldwide)   Visit Shakta's Writing and Poetry Site


  1. Theresa Tovey February 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Eve, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am also a school system OT and like you have witnessed so many positive changes in my students through Radiant Child Yoga and in my relationships with them. To add to this, I have received numerous comments this year from both colleagues and even administrators that they sense a calming presence from me during stressful times / meetings. Some have even said this has helped them calm down. I suspect your colleagues are seeing the same in you. I am also doing a whole lot of chanting in my car as I travel from school to school to keep centered throughout my day. Radiant Child Yoga is truly transformative!

  2. Amelia February 16, 2014 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Could you recommend some special exercises that will help with ADHD?

  3. Karen Daw December 26, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Hi there,
    I work in a special needs school for highly challenged students. I have done stage 1 and 2 of the RCY workshops twice over two weekends a few years ago, I have helped set up specific yoga lessons for children within our school. In a few weeks time I will be working with a students I havn’t yet worked with, He has ASD and ADHD. He is 14 and has recently become very hyperactive, and aggressive starting to head but people. Please could you recommend any other poses like the bundle roll. It is obvious when he is building up, as he first starts to place hands together at chest level then moving them very fast side to side, then soon starts darting about the playground, room ect. He can’t eat gluten or dairy as this can make him speedy, and confused, this I understand as I have those intolerances, which make me, moody, high and low. I am sure most ASD / ADD /ADHD people would cope much better on a good diet, free of, gluten, dairy, processed food, red meat, preservatives, sugar, yeast, vinegar. I can talk from much experience of this I am a 46 year old mother of two boys. My eldest boy who is 23 has just been diagnosed with Aspergers, and adhd. I am suspecting my 19 year old has add, also myself, and I also have sensory processing dis.
    Thankyou for your time, and any help.
    I hope one day to do a workshop on special needs, in NY with Shakta. and also do some intensive meditation study with my wonderful Dharma teacher, Shugen Sensei, in Brooklyn, until that day, I believe in peace, love, and feel very lucky to have found such a wonderful path.

    • radiantchildyoga January 4, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      Dear Karen, Since you are far away, distance-wise, I would suggest you search my posts for ADHD/Autism and see if the light bulb goes off with some of the ideas I give, as well as the “frame of mind/consciousness” that I always talk about–after all, that is the starting and ending point for all our interactions. You might also try rabbit pose when he is in a receptive mood. This has been discussed on the blog post titled “Private Yoga with Boy with Autism”.
      And my You Tube channel, Shakta Khalsa, will have some good ideas for you–for children and for adults who love them. Many blessings, I hope this helps you!

      • Karen Daw January 11, 2015 at 8:25 pm - Reply

        Dear Shakta
        Thankyou for your endless dedication to others. I endeavour to do some training with you one day.
        Love Karen
        Could you possibly give me Eve the Occupational Therapy’s e.m. address I would love to get some ideas from her.
        Thankyou x

        • radiantchildyoga February 2, 2015 at 12:33 am - Reply

          Thank you as well, Karen, it takes real dedication to work with children day after day and bring them the best of yourself that you can. Hope to see you at a course someday!

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