Yoga for Kids with Special Needs: Moving Mountains through Mountain Pose
Kami Evans, like many certified yoga instructors, was inspired to undergo yoga teacher training by seeing first hand the benefits the practice offered. However, it wasn’t her own growth and transformation that inspired her: it was her daughter’s.
Before she was even a year old, Kami’s daughter was diagnosed with hemi-paresis, a mild form of cerebral palsy. Having been advised that activities and experiences could help structure a healthier future for her daughter’s brain, Kami enrolled her daughter in a variety of classes—swimming lessons, gym, music, and more. However, it wasn’t until Kami enrolled her daughter in yoga that the family began seeing remarkable improvements.
At 15 months, with the help of yoga, Kami’s daughter was crawling, incorporating both rocking table and downward dog poses. By 20 months she could demonstrate poses including squats, elevator, and mountain. The improvements were visible daily.
When Kami’s daughter’s yoga class was cancelled, the family hired a personal instructor. Eventually, after witnessing such marked progress in their daughter’s development, the Evanses began having the yoga instructor over three times a week. Although Kami’s daughter remained in her other classes as well, the yoga class time provided her with a unique combination of playfulness and growth.
Eventually, when the Evanses’ yoga instructor left to pursue other interests, Kami herself decided to become certified. Inspired by the transformations she’d seen her daughter go through, Kami took teacher training with Karma Kids Yoga, for children’s yoga in general, and with Every Kids Yoga, which focuses on helping children with special needs.
Since completing her training, Kami has founded Elahi Yoga, a kids yoga studio in Manhattan, to offer other all children the same chance for growth and joy that yoga brought to her own daughter. The studio, whose name translates in Persian to “Blessed” Yoga, offers classes for both parents and their children. Classes for kids incorporate fun games, storytelling, music, and even art into the yoga routine.