Wellness Yoga for Children with Special Needs

childrens yogaWhy do I want to become a Yoga Teacher?

Introduction

Towards the end of 2009 my beloved husband Ashley and I moved to a modest rental home in Jan Juc on the Surf Coast of Victoria with our 2 year old son.  With the intention to bring calm, peace, vitality, good health and wholesome wellness into our lives we sought the clean, coastal, quiet, bush environment that Jan Juc offers.  As we settled into this incredible place on earth I felt an inner urge to pursue peace, wellness, physical strength and stability on a deeper level and therefore began to open and clear my energy channels through meditation, running, surfing, walking and mindfulness that allowed my chakras to cleanse and clear in light of new beginnings.

Background

Since a very young child I have felt a strong connection to Mother Earth and have been blessed to receive subtle and powerful Devine energies through prayer, meditation, and nature.  I have always felt connected, aware, open and devoted to God raised in a loving home nurturing a faith sprung from Christianity.   I grew up thriving in nature’s outdoor elements and became consciously present with God and Mother Earth.  I have felt and continue to experience a strong desire to explore universal energy through dance, yoga, music, and prayer.  With a love of outdoors and Mother Earth and her elements, at age 17 I developed an intense interest in connecting energy systems and the ‘Science of Life’ whereby I gained a degree in Agricultural Science.  I received a scholarship to travel across South Australia and learn the role of an agronomist, which sought to primarily assist farmers in the field of broad acre cropping, viticulture, farm management, animal health and rural finance.

Under confronting and challenging circumstances I continued to follow my inner voice which channelled me to leave my role as a worker in the rural Agricultural sector, flee my maternal family and home town and undertake a solo journey in pursuit of a deeper, more enlightened and liberated self.  On this journey I fled to the Surf Coast consciously letting go of most material possessions, disconnected with family and friends, purged myself of attachments, challenged Western conventional living, experienced pain, hardship, loss and sorrow but with this experience I grew in grand proportions.  I experienced metamorphic personal growth in light of discovering and learning to love the true, unburdened, authentic inner self.  At this point I aimed to fulfil a desire to commence a career in teaching children.

 

Becoming a Teacher

During this time of emotional unravelling, healing, solitude, contemplation and deep forgiveness I commenced my teaching studies. Whilst studying, I received more channelled insight, met my now loving husband Ashley and commenced working with the underprivileged and disadvantaged to become a teacher of students with special needs.  I continue to teach in this field and am currently completing a Masters in Education (Special Needs) as my core work is bringing rich, deep, life-long, inspiring, peaceful, engaging and meaningful learning experiences to children less able and a lot less fortunate.

My husband Ashley and I both continue to work in a school for students with special needs.  Our student demographic is largely very-low to low socio-economic backgrounds, we have a large proportion of students living on the poverty line, many have experienced displacement and are families are often dependent on welfare systems.  A lot of the student population experience intense emotional and social anxieties, low self esteem and poor motor co-ordination as a result of their disabilities.  There are a large proportion of students diagnosed with Autism, ADHD/ADD, Sensory and Motor deficits, and disturbing emotional disorders.

In July 2007 we birthed our first son, Jack, via emergency caesarean in traumatic and enduring circumstances but blessed with his good health. During this time we experienced a lot of fear, emotional distress and lingering unstable mental health but remained committed to returning to a state of wholesome wellness.  We continued to pray, meditate, relax, eat well, exercise and celebrate life in true mindfulness.

Coupled with our own family challenges on a mental, emotional and physical level I felt an inner urge to unravel and explore how I could reach and teach my children and the school children a lot less fortunate.  I sought to teach compassion, peace, happiness, love, emotional understanding, healing, positive state of mind, and wellness through physical activity, mindfulness, sensory awareness and immersion with the environment and the universe.

So began my ever evolving Yoga Journey!

Who is your favourite Yoga Teacher and how did they inspire me?

My Inspiration: In 2009 I discovered a pamphlet in a local cafe about Yoga classes in Jan Juc and commenced a six week training course in Ashtanga Yoga with Sally Louise at Sanctuary Yoga Studio.  During this time I absorbed great energy and continued to learn how the physical body, the mind and the breath are all interconnected.   I began to practice the poses and stretch at home.  I also introduced these and regular meditations into my teenage Dance, homeroom and literacy classes at school; we were all learning awareness, strength, mindfulness and flow together. We were sharing and deepening our connection to the self and the universe by consciously improving our sense of self and ultimate wellbeing.

With regular twice weekly practice in Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga, we conceived our second child, Jedd and we were able to continue practicing Yoga right up until we birthed him in a calm, natural, safe, un-intervened, totally beautiful, blissful experience in January 2011.

I returned to Yoga class when Jedd was 6weeks old after allowing my body to heal and adjust to feeding, caring, nurturing a newborn baby and supporting my family through this transition.  As each class concluded I became more drawn to the Yoga experience and continued to see profound benefits in not only my own emotional, physical and mental health but my family too.  This conscious and practiced state flowed through in my parenting methods, my relationship with my family and with the students I have returned to teaching at school.  We seem to collectively experience improved health, greater enthusiasm, deeper connections of love, faith and trust in each other, and experience more positive, vibrant energy, carried with a deep sense of calm and composure.

I felt a deeper, stronger more concentrated connection to Sally, my teacher, and thus the students, my family, my children, the earth and environment seemed all the more inter-related.  I continued to take some individual sessions with Sally to advance my personal growth to clear and heal some past emotions.  Our connection became one of teacher and student modelled around an unspoken commitment of trust, love, compassion and guidance expressed beautifully in Yoga practice.

Sally Louise is a remarkable woman, teacher, mother, friend, confidant, mentor and guide.  Her teaching is of love, stimulating positive energy, pure devotion and commitment to Yoga in all its dynamic forms.   Sally has evoked deep personal growth for me and lead me to the continued spiritual, physical, mental and emotional journey manifesting as deep happiness, gratitude and love for all of life and its wonderful experiences.

I feel a deep sense of gratitude for Sally’s work.  She conducts her classes with eloquence, grace, strength, and pure devotion.  She holds an inner beauty, great wisdom and knowledge that resonates and permeates her students during her teaching.  She continues to study, share and intrigue me with her own journey.  With her direction, faith and guidance I completed my Rainbow Kids Yoga Training with Gopala Amir Yaffe and am now teaching Yoga to kids at Sancturay Yoga Studio and conduct a weekly class of Yoga at school with special needs children.

Rainbow Kids Yoga completely transformed my life and embedded its philosophies and teachings deep within my core.  This program was the most delightfully intense, engaging, uplifting, deeply transforming personal and professional development I have ever experienced.

The more we practice, the more we learn, the more we grow in complete happiness to experience fulfilling, deep love and universal peace.  My practice has become a lifestyle choice; a state of being, growing and evolving that promotes health, wellness, happiness, love, connection and peace.  I am more deeply connected to universal energies and feel intensely motivated to bring the practice of Yoga to children; especially the underprivileged and less able kids with special needs.

Sally Louise has inspired and continues to gently encourage a wonderful richness and depth in my Yoga journey, and recently encouraged me to undertake training in Qi Goong.  Both elements continue to open, extend, and strengthen my whole self to become centred, guided, intentional, deeply loving, forever compassionate and more uniquely authentic in my life choices, especially as a role of mother, wife and teacher.  As a daily, loving experience I continue to pray, meditate, practice Yoga and Qi Goong as a conscious healthy living being.

My learning and development with Sally Louise that was deepened by the Rainbow Kids Yoga training allowed me to discover my purposeful teaching method, Yoga! I weave Yoga poses and philosophies, music, dance, games, relaxation, meditation, Qi Goong, storytelling, reading, and sharing into classes with children to cater to all learning styles and all abilities with respect to socio-cultural class and backgrounds.

Why do I want to take Yoga Teacher training with Yandara Yoga, Baja, Mexico?

Yandara Yoga Institute stood out in my preliminary research.  As I explored the website the Yandara philosophies, teachings and teaching team resonated most deeply with me.  I also considered the timing and location of which both are important factors when considering overseas travel with my husband and two sons.  We are intensely drawn to the ocean and nature, I also feel invigorated and energised by the sun as I spent many years growing up in a rural desert location, and so all elements of Baja are very inviting to me.  If voted as a successful applicant I would intend to take the 16 day training from December 28 to Jan 12, 2012.

How do you plan to make an impact in the world as a Yoga Teacher?

 

Mission Statement

With sincere and loving intention my devotion is to children, babies, families and learning communities, with particular interest in working with the underprivileged.  Recently I received affirming and great insight after a powerful meditation that spoke to me in volumes.  I must continue and advance my teaching and learning by bringing the philosophies and practice of Yoga to students with special needs.  I aim to continue to weave my prior and current teaching knowledge into my classes that foster and promote unity, happiness, fun, personal growth, emotional understanding and healing, resilience, strength, love and light into the traditional mainstream curriculum.

I embrace and seek challenges like others seek air to breathe.   I will always pursue teaching and learning that is tailored to fit individual student needs and incorporates the complete development of the self emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.  As a mother, wife, teacher and life- long learner my commitment and devotion is to supporting, nurturing, giving, teaching and learning from and with children, families and communities across the globe.  We aim to travel, explore and discover cultural difference and practices worldwide in pursuit of globally educating ourselves and our children.

My personal mission is to continue to bring the practice of Yoga into the lives of children, babies, mothers, fathers, families, partners, schools, learning centres, and communities to ultimately witness the current and forthcoming generations grow with love, peace, and trust with Yoga practice embedded deeply within their hearts. I have a special interest in pursuing pre-natal, birthing and post natal Yoga for mums, dads, babies, families and communities of the disadvantaged and underprivileged.

I want to co-create, co-exist, see, feel, live and be the change I want to see in the world!

2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay

By: Rebecca Collins

If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!

Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.

Join the Conversation

  1. Erin says:

    Good luck on your journey Rebecca, you are truly inspiring. Follow your dreams

  2. Rachael bridgman says:

    Rebecca is a strong, willfull, caring commuted being who takes on many challenges and always gives her ALL in everything that she does. And I know this because I have grown with her through many stages of her life! I truly believe that this is her calling in life and can see many others gaining so much in their lives if Rebecca had the opportunity to take this on.
    Best of luck beck love rach

  3. Dee says:

    Good luck Bec. The world needs more people like you.

  4. bengt carlson says:

    Hey Becky – hope you are successful in getting your scholarship. I know you would be awesome in this role, with your passion and caring.

    good luck

    bengt

  5. Natalie says:

    Goodluck Bec! What a journey!

  6. Chelsea Olson says:

    I truly can not imagine a better person for this…I will ‘like’, ‘like’, ‘like’ on Facebook & hope that everyone else does too!

  7. alana gregory says:

    Hi Shane! Hi Yandara team!

    Rebecca is a truly devoted person and she will spread Yoga love to those who need it most.

    I definitely put in my vote to enable her to experience and share the RAD Yandara!!

    :)

    alana

    • Rebecca Collins says:

      Thanks Alana your support is terrific. I will email a link to Yandara and would love for your team to spread the word in hope of joining you all in Dec 2012. In love and light.
      Becky xx

  8. Jon Perkins says:

    Buena Suerte!

  9. Lisa says:

    Truly inspiring Bec! I wish you all the love, luck and best wishes possible in fulfilling this dream! XX

  10. christine bernaro says:

    good luck!

  11. Libby says:

    Good luck bec!

  12. Natasha Norman says:

    Wonderful Beccy such an inspiration you are. Would love for you to go!!

  13. Rachel Bell says:

    You are so beautiful bec! Good Luck! xxx

  14. Emily Weinert Valente says:

    Your passion and devotion are wonderful. Best of luck with succeeding with your scholarship.

  15. RFriend says:

    A more appropriate recipient I can’t imagine. This is SO Bec … spot on..xx

  16. kay wilson says:

    Bec, lives her life with such Passion,she follows her heart and her dreams. I am a qualified yoga teacher and bec is one of my students and has brought so much to my class, she is a dedicated yogi and is not afraid to share her insights and passion. Bec has inspired me in many ways, I could not think of a more deserving person to receive this scholarship, I believe this is becs calling and she has so much to offer to the people of this world. Good luck bec!

    • Rebecca Collins says:

      With such humble feelings I thank you Kay and love you so very much thank you for sharing your Yoga and friendship with me xxxooo

  17. Chris Cotter says:

    Good luck beccy

  18. Ashley Prosser says:

    Get your yoga on!!!!
    Well done sweetheart, you are an inspiration to me everyday.

  19. Gopala Amir Yaffa says:

    Good Luck Sister!

    Holding your hand
    Angel&Gopala

  20. Ali Dumbell says:

    When you speak of yoga and your quest for peace, happines and health you shine with enthusiasm.
    It is easy to see the motivation behind wanting to share and teach others the inner peace and grounding that yoga gives you. Good luck on your journey wherever it takes you. Hopefully it leads you to Mexico… xx

  21. Amber YOung says:

    You are a shining light that will lead to love and compassion in this world. ” be the change you wish to see in the world’

  22. Tam Kruger says:

    Good luck!!!

  23. Craig Duscher says:

    Good luck Bec :)

  24. Kristy says:

    Was a really interesting read Bec! Good luck with your dream.

  25. Tara Lynch says:

    Learn to take actions that match your intentions …. and you have unlocked the doorway to a brand new life.

    Love your work Bec.

  26. Bronwyn Rachor says:

    Good luck Bec!

  27. Peter Rachor says:

    Yoga on!

  28. Nerissa Tomlinson says:

    I wish you the very best of luck Bec you deserve this xox

  29. Amy Wert says:

    Go girl!! love and light from Amy x

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