Friday, January 16, 2009

Toddler Yogi

Tuesday we drove into Pittsburgh to meet with Sonia Sumar. Goldie and I were there for little over an hour, but it was an hour that will stay with me the rest of my life.

First, I have to tell you, that woman radiates love. pure love.

I brought Goldie early so she could get acclimated to her new surroundings. We were allowed to sit in the class and watch as Sonia worked with a little boy. We weren't told his diagnosis, but if I had to venture a guess I would say Cerebal Palsy. He looked to be about 5 and was one of the most articulate, intelligent children I have ever met. Sonia guided him through the yoga poses helping him relax his muscles with gentle touch, music and chanting. The two of them talked and chanted together the entire time. I was moved to tears at one point by the connection between the two of them. I tend to be a little emotional, but when I looked around I wasn't the only one with wet eyes in the room.

So, then it was Goldie's turn. This is where Goldie did her part to dispel the myth that people with Ds are happy all the time. She never had a complete crying break down, she just kept whimpering. Sonia respected this and guided me in doing some of the poses with Goldie. I learned she is capable of more than I thought. I also realize now that Yoga is about more than just poses, balance and strength. Its about being at peace with your body and who you are. Being happy in your skin. We could all use that. (I wonder if they have a class for mothers with multiple children)

Then there are the tangible benefits of yoga. Strength and balance. I really think learning the different chants would "count" as speech. I know Sonia used yoga as a form of vision therapy with her daughter. And how about just doing it for fun? I know the little boy I saw was having a good time.

The studio owner took pics for me, I'll post them after she sends them to me. Now, how to convince Hank that this is worth an hours drive plus the costs of the class?


Beverly said...

That really sounds like a great class! Lucky to have this class! I took Yoga at the Butler Y and loved it, the teacher was great, she is a nurse and her husband a dr. Can't wait to see the pictures!

Lisa said...

Wow, that sounds really wonderful! Can't wait to see pics . . .