Using Yoga to Promote Healing in Children

Yoga as Mental Health Treatment with Children

Article by Laura Ornelas, LCSW, Regional Mental Health Director for Kinship Center

Yoga is an ancient practice that has been more recently identified as an effective form of therapy, specifically for those who have survived traumatic experiences. We are excited to experience this evolution in the mental health field as part of a robust treatment regime that extends beyond “talk therapy.” As so many of us have instinctively known, trauma is stored in the body as well as the brain, and as such, symptoms of the trauma impact both. The complexity and simplicity of yoga as trauma treatment is that it is healing for both.

Kinship Center child clients have experienced complex trauma through their prior abuse, neglect or abandonment. We approach healing through relationship repairs, and yoga is a potential opportunity to enhance a relationship with oneself…an inherent opportunity also to improve one’s relationship with others. At Kinship Center we are in experimental phases of including parents physically in the yoga practice with the child, testing our hypotheses about how and when children can optimize mindful practices.

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