MOTION! AND ADAPTED YOGA
ASP MOTION!® is a creative gross motor program originally developed for the Positive Education Program in the United States, and is one of the first developmental motor programs designed for children with special needs in North America. Designed for kids ages 3-12 with special needs (autism, ADHD, Down’s syndrome, global developmental delay, emotional challenges, etc.), MOTION!® has helped hundreds of special needs children gain greater awareness and control of their own bodymind.
Three Stages of Bodymind Learning in ASP MOTION!®
MOTION!®, is a creative, holistic program which helps children revisit developmental motor milestones from their infancy. It progresses step-by-step in three stages:
1. Body Grammar
In the Fall, children learn a core vocabulary of 12 movements based on rolling, crawling, and jumping, which explore body awareness, body coordination, strength, alignment and partnering.
2. Space and Sequencing
In the Winter, the children learn to sequence movements in time and space through various patterns as well as learn how to synchronize their movements with their peers.
3. Creative Games
In the Spring, children are encouraged to integrate the skills through improvisatory movement structures. The activities range from simple freeze games to advanced flow games involving movement qualities, imagery and choreographic structures.
A Hands-On Experiential Teaching Philosophy
The effectiveness of the MOTION!® program lies in its unique teaching philosophy. All somatic bodymind skills—whether they be gross motor skills, sequencing skills or creativity skills—are taught to students through multiple levels of exploration. These levels of exploration allow students with special needs to access movement creatively through their own doors rather than through fixed lesson plans. In addition to helping children with their motor skills, MOTION!® can also help them learn the structures, rules and peer interaction needed to function in school classrooms—it is a perfect pre-academic foundation.
A Somatic Learning Process
SMC’s Adapted Yoga classes create a fun and engaging community for teens and young adults with special needs while allowing them to enjoy the process of learning yoga rather than simply memorize poses. All poses are taught within well organized stations; props and visual aids are used to help the students understand where their body is in space and how the pose feels on the inside. Each child is encouraged to make strong progress within his/her individual ability.
The ultimate aim of Adapted Yoga is to help teens and young adults with special needs learn how to feel secure, relaxed and comfortable within their bodies.
From week to week the students explore different themes in Yoga such as partnering, endurance, salutations, and imaginative storytelling. In this way the students are able to re-visit old poses from a new perspective, gaining more awareness and mastery over their bodymind. Children gain independence and confidence in the process of learning.
Our Adapted Yoga program has been used as a model for yoga instruction by many special needs institutions including:
Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation
Pegasus Community Center
Hand over Hand
Gifted People Services
The Center for START Services in the United States.