From Cradle to Able
I’ve been teaching baby developmental massage & yoga for over 14 years now. One of the reasons I did this, was to support parents with secure attachments and bonding. I worked closed with families with mental health issues and post-natal depression, or where the child had developmental or medical issues. I saw how special and important this time was to these families. I witnessed bonds form where other professions had deemed this impossible. I always believed there was something about touch and movement.
In the last 4 years I became more interested in the next steps; looking at what is on offer to parents as the child gets older and moves through these early developmental stages. This is how I came across Mini Me Yoga. I had been scouring the internet for something that could offer the families I worked with a programme, which would benefit them and their growing child. It was a simple decision for me to become a Mini Me Yoga Ambassador, as I could see that this was going to benefit parents for years to come, and not just for the short amount of time that I had with them. The programme is empowering and celebrates learning together.
When I teach kids yoga to adults I emphasise the importance of working ‘with’ and not ‘at’ the child. This establishes trust and gives the child a safe space to explore and just BE. When children feel safe and able to be themselves, something truly magical happens. They have the power to create amazing bonds and their innocence allows them to question everything. Adults have been conditioned to ‘do as they are told’ ‘sit still’ and ‘be quiet’. Where is the fun in that? More importantly, we then lose all of those amazing learning opportunities.
Practicing the Mini Me Yoga programme allows adults to rediscover and let loose their inner child. It enables a different view of the world creativity and exploration which can, and as I have seen many times, forge stronger bonds and attachments between adult and child, as if seeing each other for the first time. Movement is key to development, but in this day and age where parents are rushing from one thing to the next and children are either fastened into a car seat, sat in front of a screen, or sitting in a classroom, just 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference to a child’s processing, emotional regulation and ability to learn. So who wouldn’t want to spend 15 minutes falling in love, feeling better and learning more?
Melissa lives in Staffordshire, England with her partner, and has 4 children with social language and communication difficulties including Autism. She continues to strive to find new ways to support children and parents, with neuro-divergence, trauma, mental health and development. As well as volunteering for a small Autism charity, Melissa has worked in health visiting, school nursing, community development, family support, CAMHS, childcare, and education. Melissa now delivers developmental massage, baby yoga, kids yoga, yoga for autism, Bhangrablaze fitness classes and other healing therapies such as Reiki and Indian head massage. She is currently undergoing Neuro- developmental yoga teacher training, and setting up a community interest company to enable her to reach more people and support them through development and trauma.
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