A few weeks ago, I pledged to highlight an interesting person that I know every Wednesday. Well, due to circumstances beyond my control -- a death of a dear loved one, a stressful meeting with the Powers That Be for in-home supportive services, a raging case of chicken pox, a cancelled spring break, the reviewing of federal grants -- do you want me to go on? -- well, here's a much delayed post on one of my dearest friends, Limor Landau.
Limor teaches yoga, using the Yoga for the Special Child technique, to many children with various special healthcare needs. I met Limor more than ten years ago, well before I became pregnant with Oliver, when I began exploring more alternative treatments for Sophie. Recreational activities for children with disabilities are very hard to find, and when I read about Limor and about how beneficial yoga can be for children with disabilities, I signed up. At the time, Sophie was going through a very difficult period, not only with seizures, but with a near-constant agitation and sleeplessness due to whatever drug she was on for her seizures. The first time Limor came into our house and worked with Sophie, she fell calmly asleep during the relaxation period, flat on her back with her hands at her sides. It seemed a miracle at the time, and I can still tear up when I think about the sweet songs that Limor sang to her through those sessions.
|Limor, working with Sophie and her cousins and brothers several years ago.|
Limor is a certified practitioner for the Yoga for the Special Child program and has worked with children from 7 weeks to 20 years old. She received her training from Sonia Sumar, a renowned yoga instructor and the creator of Yoga for the Special Child. Limor works with physically and mentally disadvantaged kids throughout the Los Angeles area. She is also a certified Yoga instructor and Shiatsu massage therapist, as well as a certified physical education teacher with a major in special children. She has used her extensive knowledge and experience on a personal basis after giving birth to her daughter, Tamar, who was born prematurely at 24 weeks weighing only 1 lb. 4 oz.
Here are a few questions that I've asked Limor and her responses. I hope that if you live in the southern California area, you'll contact her to see whether yoga might benefit your child.
Why is yoga for special needs children good for the children?
Yoga for the Special Child is good for the child because it is a warmer, more soulful approach to therapy.
What sort of results do you see in children with severe disabilities?
After some time during yoga, I have seen children improve their breathing, their flexibility and their ability to relax.
How has doing this changed your own life?
Practicing yoga has taught me patience, compassion and appreciation for the positive aspects of life.
Your now twelve year old daughter was born prematurely, at twenty-four weeks weighing a little more than 1 lb. I know that you were able to treat her with yoga as well. How is your daughter today?
Today Tamar is a thriving energetic 6th grader. She has some learning disabilities but is confident and a go-getter. She never gives up in face of life's challenges.
To contact Limor: