At Able Academy in Naples, Florida, students are doing the “surfer” and the “peaceful gorilla” as part of their curriculum.
These students aren’t performing dance moves. They’re doing yoga.
Able Academy, a school for kids with developmental disabilities like autism, offers weekly yoga classes as part of its wellness program, the Naples Daily News reports. To make the sessions more fun and encourage creativity, the instructor often asks the students to rename the poses.
“Just to see how they would light up when they knew a pose – and they were able to bring some ownership to it because they came up with the creative idea for it – is an amazing experience,” instructor Jennifer Modzelesky says.
Yoga enhances the natural development of children with special needs. It also increases strength, improves concentration, reduces hyperactivity and helps improve their social skills.
The school also offers classes to parents and school staff members.
Says one parent about the yoga experience: “We both are now doing something that’s the same, which doesn’t happen often. It’s given us something we can share and talk about.”