Yoga for the Special Child

A couple of weeks ago I saw information on Yoga for the Special Child. I admit to being hesitant about yoga. I tried it myself years ago and could NEVER calm my mind. I would always be thinking stuff like, darn I didn’t paint my toes or crap look at the way the belly hangs over my pants in this position (not pretty) or worse, what am I having for dinner? Have you seen/read Eat, Pray Love? There is a whole chapter in there about meditation that could have been taken right out of my head.

But, off I went yesterday and met with a wonderful woman whose daughter has Down Syndrome. She used to take her daughter to Yoga for the Special Child and then became a Yogi instructor herself. I think that is the right term, Yoda doesn’t seem quite right.

ANYWAY, as she sat there serenely as Boo buzzed around her studio she went over the benefits her own daughter had seen by using Yoga. The program was designed by Sonia Sumar, a woman whose own child had Down Syndrome. (You can find out more about the program here:

She did warn me that it would take years of patience and practice to see a difference. She almost gave up herself and then one day her daughter ‘clicked’ with what the instructor had been teaching.

One of the biggest benefits, she told me, was that her daughter’s constipation issue resolved.


And she knows it is due to yoga. If they skip a week of yoga, her daughter suffers. But daily practice decreases any constipation suffering.

Now, I am not one to believe in fate or karma but I had never even mentioned Boo’s bowel issues. I mean seriously, how could you in polite company?

I admit it, I will not / can not, stop looking for ways to make Boo have a week without a stomach issue. I have tried diet changes, medications, XLAX, suppositories, Miralax, surgery and physical therapy.

Nothing has worked. Every week we face the same cycle: Constipation followed by diarrhea caused by the medications to relieve the constipation. It is not a pleasant clean-up.

I asked what it was about yoga that would relieve IBS/constipation. She believes (in the interest of full disclosure, no scientific fact) that it has something to do with toning the muscles. That the twisting and stretching of yoga has a direct benefit to the bowel system and gets everything, well…moving in the right direction.

So while I am unsure if Boo will ever calm down enough to sit thru a meditation, she will be starting Yoga for the Special Child as soon as possible.

I hope we have better success than we are currently having with the PECS program.

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