There is a lot more reading to be done on the topics below, but let us do a quick Q&A about accommodating kids with disabilities in your classrooms.
I met a student in her early twenties (maybe 23 or 24) who is keen on Yoga over the weekend. It is her third pregnancy, and she is now in the first trimester. Do I have any cause for alarm?
I have gone to a few Yoga courses when the pregnant women were quite advanced in their pregnancies, and I remember that the teacher paid extra attention to the safety of the pregnant women in the class.
The first three months of pregnancy, A. For this reason, and because of the risk of lawsuits, I now recommend that my students see a prenatal specialist. Pregnant students should only practise Yoga if they are taking a class taught by an experienced instructor who specialises in teaching pregnant students.
A student (now in her fifties) had hip replacement surgery about 14 years ago; this brings up another point concerning these operations. Is there anything I should warn her about or let her know she can not do?
Answer: Before attempting to instruct this student, I would advise extensive reading into the topic of yoga for hip replacements. Inconveniences, which depend on the type of hip replacement being performed, are, of course, common.
If a student has had a hip replaced, it is prudent to request either a doctor’s recommendation or a note from the treating physician detailing the specifics of the hip replacement.
The specifics of the surgical method her doctor used are crucial. For instance: How extensive was the swap? Which came first, the implant or the scar? Depending on the context, you may need to adjust your body language or perhaps abandon some postures altogether.
While we are on the topic, I should mention that my neighbour in her late 40s underwent neck surgery approximately 6 years ago, so I know that she has limited mobility in her cervical region. Is there anything to worry about?
A: There are many worries, that is for sure. If she is already experiencing pain in her cervical spine from Yoga, then it is imperative that she discontinues this practise.
Because of the nature of the procedure and the underlying cause, her prognosis is contingent on the advice of her physician. Her routine needs to be adjusted so that she does not force her neck to bend or twist in extreme ways. No student, regardless of their health, should perform neck rolls or other forms of neck hyperextension.
A little twisting or bending might sometimes be painful. She should not risk more injury by trying to ignore the pain now. Students having a history of back discomfort should take special care to avoid aggravating their condition.
When working with a student who has a history of illness or injury, yoga instructors should proceed with caution and offer gentle direction. Some kids may benefit from seeing a Yoga specialist, and teachers should know when to make that recommendation.
Paul Jerard, who holds the designation of “E-RYT 500,” is the author of several volumes on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner of Aura Wellness Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where he also serves as the center’s Director of Yoga Teacher Training.