Yoga for children and families of all needs
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Featured Child's Story
Emily’s story (in her Mom’s words):
Emily is our only (adopted) child. She has always had multiple special needs, mainly neuro-psychological, but things became a lot more complicated last year when she suffered an extensivebrain hemorrhage. The lesion that caused the hemorrhage is in an area of the brain that is too difficult to reach surgically, so Emily has since also had to endure radiation therapy to the area in an attempt to prevent her from having any future bleeds.
Emily’s struggles include memory problems, difficulty with concentration and focus, and gross motor difficulties pertaining to: gait, balance, posture, mobility and overall stamina. The hemorrhage also caused her some loss of vision. Her neuropsychologist tells us that Emily’s brain is able to retain information but that it doesn’t know how to file it away properly so that she can retrieve it when she needs to. He told us that even before considering giving her medication to help with some of these issues, that the very best therapy and first course option for her should be yoga and meditation. I tend to agree.
Yoga and meditation will help her with all of the difficulties I’ve listed, and I feel will be far more productive – not to mention fun – for her than having to spend time with a physical therapist or occupational therapist. Emily is also being homeschooled now, and while she is doing very well considering what she has recently gone through, if yoga and meditation can help her with focus and memory retention that will be a blessing to her with her complex academic challenges. Emily is such a delight to be around. She has become known locally as Emily Sunshine because people always say that they see her as a ray of sunshine in their lives.
Her light has been dimmed somewhat, yet she tackles each day and each challenge with bravery, determination, and a beaming smile. It is my hope that we can bring some sunshine back into her life by giving her opportunities for her well-being like attending these yoga/meditation classes. I couldn’t think of a nicer or more productive way to help her on her road to healing and recovery. Thank you so much for considering us for this sponsorship program.
Heart Child Yoga creates a powerful personalized healing experience by using innovative therapy techniques. Children are served through the use of yoga therapy, Conscious Support Therapy (CST), sound healing, energy work, mantra practice, and yoga nidra.
In group classes children learn to work collectively while also attending to their personal practice. Breath work, meditation, individual and group poses are explored. The classes are playful, at times, but also give the child a chance to connect peaceful with their Hearts and others.
HCY is dedicated to consciously supporting and serving the New Children on Earth.
For over thirteen years I worked as a special education teacher. From the very beginning, I can remember my co-workers talking about the changes in our children as a sign of human evolution. It was almost impossible for most of us to understand what that really meant, but we somehow knew. The changes and gifts of these children were so obvious that it couldn’t be ignored. Of course, this was all whisper talk outside of the classrooms, offices, and meetings. It was the teachers’ observations, but they did not fit the system. So some of us us quietly tried to serve the New Children and understand them as best we could under the weight of a system that was not created with an understanding of who they really are. Mostly it was just talk, though, because we knew little of how to truly serve them.
Eventually, this turned into finding families that noticed that their children were so far beyond and greater than any label they carried. In my later years as a teacher, I began to advise families on the deeper reasons why their children were responding to our society and other beings the way they were. By this time, I was deep into my meditation and yoga practice and was experiencing some similar senses that the children I served were. I was also meeting more and more people that grew up with many types of abilities. I asked their advise, and listened to their stories, of how it was to grow up in a world that couldn’t “see” you. During this time, I also became the parent of one of these New Children. He taught me first hand that the old rules do not apply.
There is a new way for these New Children, that we are still in the process of creating. I have dedicated my life to help create this better way. Each child I serve teaches me more about who I am, and who we need to be in order to help them fulfill their missions on this planet. Their time has come to show us how to create a peaceful connection on this beautiful blue globe. Please join me, my beautiful son, and all the way showers that are ready for more!
*Follow their stories and the lessons the children are teaching us at the Wisdom from the Children blog series Wisdom from the Children
Jennifer Mehlich is a unique GEM of a soul who passionately devotes herself to serving children of all needs through offering yoga and meditation practice to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all children, including and especially those with “special needs.” She sees, honors and shares the wisdom and gifts that her students have to offer (that usually go unnoticed…) and provides an invaluable service that virtually changes the lives of children whose reality is so often to be dismissed or misunderstood…
Jennifer Mehlich has dedicated her life’s work to the children of this planet, and to the adults that are blessed to serve them. She is the founder of Heart Child Yoga and Conscious Support Therapy (CST). As a Yoga for the Special Child Practitioner and Radiant Child trained professional, Jennifer has studied with children’s yoga Gurus Sonia Sumnar (Integral Yoga) and Shakta Kaur Kalsa (Kundalini Yoga). She has also studied under two teachers who trained directly under Swami Satchitananda. For over 12 years she immersed herself in dedicated practice with one of those teachers. Kundalini meditations eventually became the focus of her practice as she committed years to immersing herself in daily meditations.
Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a focus on Movement and Dance Therapy, Masters in Science degree in both Special Education and General Education, and spent 14 years working as a one to one therapist and certified teacher for children with special needs in NYC.
Since the beginning of her regular yoga practice, in 2000, Jennifer has been using yoga to benefit her students with physical, sensory, cognitive and emotional challenges. She has had continued success using yoga with children with autism, PTSD, sensory abilities, Down Syndrome, ADHD, brain injuries, and other challenges. She has since incorporated sound therapy, movement therapy, energy work, and additional offerings as she adds to her training and personal practice.
Jennifer feels that it is her mission to serve children in a way that helps them truly be seen. She values them as her Gurus and feels she is their student even more than they are hers. The children have continued teaching her how to serve them best. Heart Child Yoga’s philosophy encourages seeing children though the heart. This way of seeing emphasizes what is beautiful and positive, and that everything is a possibility for every child.