Introduction to YOU & ME Yoga – DVD

Fabiola Wiseman recently joined the YOU & ME Yoga Modular Training Programme. On her very first day of home study she watched the 24-minute Introduction to YOU & ME Yoga – DVD, completed and submitted her first assignment explaining what the film meant to her. She was pleased to allow me to include it in full as follows: 

While watching the Introduction to YOU & ME Yoga - DVD, I noticed firstly how my enthusiasm for starting the YOU & ME Yoga Course increased, and that I have, no doubt, chosen the correct course. I think this was due to the fact that there were marked benefits and improvements in all aspects for the students – proving that the YOU & ME Yoga system works!

The fact that the colour system is so simple and yet so effective, struck me
immediately. I am beginning to understand how the students can identify the
colours with the different body parts and how that in turn allows them to
identify which part of the body is being strengthened. Allowing the students to match the cards with the body parts and then move their bodies into shapes on the mat, really encourages them to take part individually and as part of the group, and begin to follow precise instructions. Allowing students to describe how they feel also gives them greater awareness of body and mind and confidence in their practice. The 20 postures are such that every one allows for variations to suit the individual student, which is absolutely essential due to all the clients having differing abilities and challenges.

The wonderful use of sound was very interesting too, as this feels so natural, for example when breathing out, saying ‘Ah’. This, and the use of words, pictures and song to help people of all ages and abilities enjoy the benefits of yoga, is marvellous.

I think the thing that struck me most was the clear and proven benefits that the YOU & ME Yoga system continues to provide for people. This is to do with the fact that every posture can be modified to fit individual physical needs, but the modifications are also possible on an emotional and mental level, so that every person can have a version of yoga that improves their life.

As a teacher it is crucial that I can assess a student and modify sequences according to what they can do, what they need to improve on and what will be most beneficial to them. The fact that students found the YOU & ME Yoga enjoyable, relaxing, gained more muscle control, are more responsive and observant in their activities; and in general appear to be healthier is the perfect incentive for me to succeed in the course.
Fabiola Wiseman, YOU & ME Yoga Module 1.1

Extracts from 'Introduction to YOU & ME Yoga' - DVD

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Autism yoga case-study

Jade’s YOU & ME Yoga
A report by Dharmani Hart

Jade is a 46 year old with extreme communication and speech challenges. She is autistic, has learning difficulties and chronic epilepsy. Jade is able to respond to familiar behaviour patterns in a small way but her concentration span is almost nonexistent. Consequently her YOU & ME Yoga is mainly on a one to one basis.
Jade is tall and heavy-set, with excess weight being carried around her hips and thighs.  This results in certain movements being quite difficult for her to perform. 
As Jade has no concept of colour or numbers, she does not choose which Looseners or Postures to perform. However, Jade is encouraged to share in the process of choosing movements, so she does have some control over her yoga The blue, indigo and violet Loosener cards are used at every class to help body and spatial awareness. The orange cards have enabled Jade to work on strength and flexibility in her hips and lower back, areas that are both comparatively weak for Jade.
The first two classes consisted of mainly getting to know each other and using the Loosener cards to give Jade awareness of her own body with the ability to move freely in a safe and flexible way.
The YOU & ME Yoga programme has enabled Jade’s self-esteem and confidence to grow. Her love of yoga is evident when, at the end of each class when we work towards a salute of the sun, Jade excels. In fact, her behaviour in class is always excellent. She is always willing to work with any Loosener and Posture I ask of her and Jade’s support workers are impressed with her progress.
Dharmani Hart, Yoga Teacher, YOU & ME Practitioner, MacIntyre Care
In addition, here is a video of Maria Gunstone teaching Peter (with autistic tendencies) two of the Orange YOU & ME Joint Loosener techniques.

YOU & ME Yoga Basic Techniques - CD tutorial
Loosener Dislay Cards Instruction Pack

Learning Difficulties and Associated Conditions Explained with YOGA CASE STUDIES
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Downs syndrome yoga case-study

John’s YOU & ME Yoga 
Case Study by Daniel Mold
John who has Downs syndrome, age 23, has attended for three years at Orchard Hill College of FE, Carshalton, Surrey.  It was determined that it would be useful for John to engage in some physical activity to use and maintain his physical abilities and to help with weight control.  Thus two years ago John began the YOU & ME Yoga programme.  John showed little interest in sport, or adapted sport activities, but was interested in walking, obstacle courses and mat exercises.
John can move quite quickly although he likes to engage in tasks at a slower, more careful pace.  He usually chooses not to use his verbal language skills and as a result of this it is hard for staff at the College to identify problems when John is frustrated or unhappy.  It was thought that yoga might provide a way for John to express himself.
John was keen to participate in the yoga group from the very beginning.  The group is small and each session lasts for thirty minutes.  After watching a demonstration he copies the Postures quite easily.  John chooses the Postures he wants to carry out by pointing to the printed cards.
John has practised YOU & ME Yoga at least twice a week over the last two years and can now complete most of the Postures independently.  The yoga session begins by sitting crossed legged on a mat and John will do this without needing to be asked.  He has gained the confidence to use his voice during yoga sessions - he knows the names of the Looseners and Postures and occasionally says which ones he would like to try.
John’s general confidence has grown.  He will demonstrate movements to others in the yoga group, something that he was reluctant to do in the early stages.  Also, yoga has been a means of new staff developing a trusting relationship with him.
When John does the Cat Posture, he imitates the action of a cat licking a dish when his head is down.  This initiation of communication through mime has led to John beginning a drama course, which he also thoroughly enjoys.

Here is a video showing different students in different parts of the UK performing the Cat Posture in their very special way.