IN COLLABORATION WITH Joshua Hellmann FOUNDATION & FUNDED BY Swire Trust
Art In Your Life | Yoga In Your Heart at Cornwall School
Art In Your Life | Yoga In Your Heart (AIYL) is a unique bilingual expressive arts therapy and yoga therapy program for children and youth with rare diseases and special needs, inspired by renowned contemporary artists.
Through yoga and expressive arts therapy, our program seeks to improve the children’s quality of life. Children with rare genetic diseases seldom have opportunities to participate in activities that develop their physical, emotive and social aspects of their lives on a therapeutic basis. The program also reaches out to children from qualified low income families who have special needs including cerebral palsy, autism and other physical or intellectual disabilities.
This program is a 30-week program to take place alongside a school year at the Cornwall School — a government funded day and residential school. Many of the children here have profound and multiple physical and learning disabilities. Our team visits twice each week to deliver targeted therapies. Yoga and expressive arts are by their very nature mediums for proactive self-expression. Children get better acquainted with their bodies and how to use different parts of their bodies to communicate visually, linguistically/para-linguistically, and somatically.
The sessions are designed to help students become aware of different body parts, build connections on how to move and use them proactively. Connect body parts to certain functions and then be able to use them through a variety of modes (linguistic and paralinguistic) to self-express. Yoga sessions include music, breathing, postures, relaxation, mindfulness and meditation adapted to suit each child’s individual capacity.
When the children feel calmer yet alert, we introduce expressive arts through a variety of mediums such as sounds, textures, rhythms and visuals, allowing children to experience and then proactively create their own interpretations from them. Children participating in the program create individual art, music or rhythm works. The children are provided with instructions on how to use these experiences as tools for mindfulness.
The grant was awarded to Joshua Hellmann Foundation. YAMA is a sub-grantee offering the yoga therapy expertise. For more information about the good work that Joshua Hellmann Foundation is doing for children with rare genetic disease (orphan disease), please visit their site.