A Personalised Approach to suit Special Needs
Annabel follows the Yoga for the Special Child programme which includes body work, special breathing techniques and deep relaxation to benefit a range of conditions. It is suitable for all ages, on an individual basis or in a group.
Regular yoga therapy increases emotional stability, resilience and self-esteem, thereby promoting an overall sense of well-being. Yoga will help all who practice it, but some benefits can be especially helpful to those with particular conditions; for example:
✓ increased flexibility - particularly beneficial for maintaining and increasing the flexibility and range of movement for those with Cerebral Palsy
✓ improved muscle tone - particularly beneficial for those with Down’s Syndrome
✓ greater calm and awareness - particularly beneficial for those with learning difficulties and with mental health issues
I was contracted by an NHS Trust to teach yoga on three mental health wards, including two acute wards which offer treatment for clients with all sorts of difficulties including schizophrenia, mood disorders, depression, anxiety and personality disorders.
“Annabel was able to respond to the group and adapt the session to suit the needs of the individual group members. This is no easy task on an acute ward where you may have people vastly differing in ability and mental state – Annabel was able to deal with this and pitch the level of intensity at an appropriate level for the group members whether they were new to the group or had already attended a few sessions.
Annabel took a keen interest in clients and their progress and how yoga could aid their recovery. Over time, she built up excellent relationships with clients, even those difficult to engage – she would continue to attempt to engage them, week after week, in the benefits of yoga. Annabel was so good at this that some clients who did not or were unable to engage in any other groups, would engage in yoga. For example, clients with mobility issues would be assisted to enter the class and Annabel would adapt the class appropriately for these clients.
Here are some of the comments made by those who attended Annabel’s yoga class:
‘After the yoga session I felt a peace of mind that I thought I would never experience again with my condition.’
‘The best thing about yoga on the ward is it makes the patient feel that they are capable of doing something.’
‘Give me yoga every day at 4pm instead of Valium.’
‘I was able to relax and find more peace of mind after and during a session.’
‘I really enjoyed the yoga last week. I’ve told the staff that we should have yoga every day.’
Together with the staff and clients on Seacole ward, I can honestly say Annabel would be an asset to any team. Were it not for funding issues (which we are trying to sort out) Annabel would still be a part of our team as she has made a valuable contribution to the lives of the people we serve.”
Sean Ede, Occupational Therapy Activities Coordinator on Annabel Yoga for mental wards at South West London & St. Georges Mental Health NHS Trust
“Working in a residential home for adults with learning disabilities and behaviours that can challenge can, at times, be a very stressful and mentally exhausting profession. Yoga sessions with Annabel Broom were initially introduced (and predominantly remain) for our residents whose lives are affected greatly by heightened levels of anxiety. The truth is that the positive benefits of these sessions are there to be seen in both residents and staff members. I observe behavioural patterns for a living and there has been a significant reduction in behaviour on days following a session with Annabel. Once or even twice may be looked upon as coincidental, however, this being a regular occurrence for the best part of 2 years it is fairly definitive. Regrettably, my position hinders my regular involvement but in talks with staff following a session REFRESHED and REJUVENATED are words that are mentioned a lot.”
Brendon Coll, Unit Manager, Oakfields Care