with Shawnee Thornton Hardy
Self-regulation has been a topic of discussion at the forefront of education and is being attributed to a child’s overall emotional health and success. Self-Regulation is the ability to monitor and control our own behavior, emotions and thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation. The growth of self-regulation is a cornerstone of development and plays part in a child’s ability to have positive social relationships, develop new skills, increase independence and cope with stress. Many factors can play a role in a child’s difficulty in developing self-regulation skills.
In this session, we’ll explore the impact stress and anxiety; sensory integration challenges and language processing difficulties have on a child’s nervous system and how this impacts mood and behavior as well as physical and emotional well-being. We’ll discuss the benefits of specific physical poses, breathing strategies and visualization strategies and how they support children with communication and expression of difficult emotions, social skills, body awareness, focus and concentration and sensory integration.
We’ll discuss how to develop a multi-sensory yoga approach to support children and youth with sensory integration difficulties. We’ll tap into the 5 senses along with the 2 hidden senses, the proprioceptive and vestibular systems and will explore asanas, breathing strategies and visualization strategies that support integration of internal and external stimuli in the sensory processing system. This multi-sensory approach will support children and youth who exhibit sensory integration difficulties with body awareness, self-regulation, motor planning and coordination.
Participants will learn hands-on strategies for empowering children of all abilities, with tools in order to cope with stress, reduce anxiety and self-regulate their emotions and behaviors, including children with autism and special needs and children with emotional and behavioral challenges.
Shawnee Thornton Hardy is Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), Educational/Behavior Specialist and M.Ed. Shawnee has worked with children with special needs for over 17 years. She has specialized in working with children who have significant cognitive and language delays, sensory processing deficits, as well as severe behavior challenges. She has experienced first hand the benefits yoga and mindfulness can provide to health and overall well-being. Her goal is to bring the experience of yoga and mindfulness to all individuals no matter their differences or challenges. Shawnee has presented at conferences throughout the US and internationally on topics focused on yoga and mindfulness for children of diverse abilities. She wrote a published a book, Asanas for Autism and Special Needs – Yoga to Help Children with Their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body Awareness and is the creator of the C.A.L.M.M Yoga Toolkit. She has a Yoga School through Yoga Alliance and travels throughout the US and internationally in order to train others in yoga and mindfulness approaches to support children and young adults with autism and special needs. Shawnee is dedicated to helping support youth in developing strategies to cope with stress in order to live happier, healthier more peaceful lives.