Brilliant Kids

Helping children and teenagers find their place of calm

Divya Jyoti Yoga Therapy is like a body and mind and spirit mesh of cleansing. It’s very in-depth emotional therapy where you do some physical stuff to help with your body, talk about things to help with your mental status, and then spiritual things to help with spirituality… It feels like a whole version of therapy.” K.P., Wellesley. Private yoga therapy teen student, Brilliant Kids Program.

Benefits: life skills for a lifetime

  • Emotional resilience

  • Self-regulation

  • Self-confidence and self-esteem

  • Embodiment (to be more in the feeling body and less in the thinking head)

  • Focus, attention and concentration on school life

  • Optimal physical posture with increased strength and muscle mass

  • Body coordination

  • Physical and mental fitness

  • Better sleeping patterns

  • Healthy balanced metabolism and digestion

  • Sensory, social ( social-emotional skills) and environmental ease

  • Improved lung capacity, energy level and respiration

  • Decreasing stress and anxiety

 

About 11 years ago, DJ was my prenatal yoga teacher. Today I brought my 8 and 11 year old children to her for yoga therapy. She is a true healer. They have had a very challenging year, and after just forty-five minutes each, they both left her office transformed. It sounds too good to be true, I know, but my experience with her in prenatal yoga was similarly holistic and life-changing. DJ brings wisdom and heart into every moment, and sees the light in everyone in the room, helped my children today to be aware of their own light. We look forward to doing the homework she assigned to help with sleep, and to enhance self-care, and to coming back next week. My 11 year old son’s response: “I am enthralled”, my 8 year old daughter’s response, “when can we go back?” Jennifer Moffitt, CNM (Certified Nurse- Midwifery), RNP (Registered Nurse Practitioner), Instructor at University of Massachusetts Medical School (Department of Family Medicine and Community Health).

I want to see young children savor their childhood with unending imagination, joy and ease. I want to see children thrive and grow into happy adolescents. Responsible adolescents mature into purposeful, loving, and  joyful adults! When healing and strengthening take place in the early stages of development, the seed for success is planted. In my book, success is pure, grounded, and contagious happiness. People can then germinate happy families and, I dare to dream, a healthier planet is the ultimate harvest.

Personally, having had the blessing of finding and adhering to a yoga practice since age fourteen has allowed me to develop a strong sense of who I am, and has given me the tools to navigate life’s many adventures, supporting me from my teenage years all the way through motherhood. I have found  firsthand that brilliance is our birthright.

I can clearly see that, as time goes on, more and more caring parents in our society will prioritize their kids’ relaxation response and ability to soothe and center themselves, as these are the most valuable skills one can carry through life.” – DJ

How it works:
DJ offers 30 minute and one hour individual yoga therapy sessions for kids and teens. Most parents are invited to stay in the studio during the session as a silent and loving presence. Parents often ask to come in for a session with DJ to talk face to face about their family’s dynamics and their kid’s particular issues. DJ also offers yoga therapy sessions for parents, to increase emotional resilience, as well as mental and physical fitness.

During their time together, DJ teaches her young students postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas), and meditation to magnify their inherent goodness.

At the end of each session, students have the chance to immerse themselves in a world of ease, poetry, and inner connection with the assistance of deep relaxation (yoga nidra), visualization, energy work, crystal healing, and specially chosen essential oils. In addition, I ask my students to bring a binder with plastic slip covers, and over time, students fill the binder with unique practices — many of them custom made — that they will be able to refer to, time and time again, whenever they are in need of centering and balancing themselves in years to come.

POSTURES (asanas)

Through the postures, kids experience embodiment and learn to exude confidence from within. There is an increase in flexibility, body strength and balance.

BREATHING (pranayamas)

Through breathing techniques, emotions become self-regulated, fostering individual and social resilience.

RELAXATION

Chronic stress can damage kids’ health by disturbing sleeping patterns, mood, behavior, eroding quality thinking,  provoking forgetfulness and emotional and mental fatigue.  In short, stressed-out kids are cranky, tired, and lacking enthusiasm for life! Some studies even suggest that stress can cause the brain to literally shrink. This state of anxiousness is often referred to as the fight/flight mode. Calming of the nervous system is key to re establish the state of health and wellbeing.

Ted Ed. How stress affects your brain

The mechanisms of stress in the brain

Chronic stress can damage brain structure and connectivity

How to prevent stress from shrinking your brain

Deep relaxation allows for restoration and positive resetting of brain activity, encouraging the creation of new neurological pathways that elicit a peaceful yet focused state of being.

The relaxation response gives children a chance to start again from a point of optimum health. When the relaxation response occurs, health and clarity naturally surface, as the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. Anxiety is a normal response to stress, and they often are present hand in hand. Unfortunately, there is a significant incidence  of anxiety and depression among children and, more than ever, learning to relax and to self-regulate have become vital skills to have.

Relaxation response

Using the relaxation response

Relaxation response

Understanding the anxious mind

ENERGY WORK

Energy work, allied with crystal healing and essential oils, potentializes the session, strengthening one’s  immune system and energy levels.

MEDITATION

Meditation is the way to find a retreat within. It allows for the intrinsic state of wellbeing in each of us to surface and lead the way.

There is a vast number of current studies demonstrating the many benefits that a long term meditation and mindfulness practices can provide. To name a few, meditation stimulates areas in our brains that are responsible for self-relevance, cognition, memory, and emotional regulation.

Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain

What should we be teaching young children?

Our daughter is doing the yoga sessions with DJ and really enjoying them. In each session she becomes more excited, relaxed and engaged. We have observed that she is less anxious and more focused. It is very good for us to see our girl so “in love” with this. You are doing a great work with children, thank you!!!” Halissa Simplicio, dentist, Brookline (mom of a Brilliant Kids teen student)

 

Other toys in DJ’s yoga therapy’s chest include: story telling, art, flower essences, ayurvedic treatments (the ancient Indian medicine system), brain gym, sound therapy with crystal singing bowls (nada yoga), marma therapy (activation of strategic points of energy through mantra chanting and acupressure), mandalas, positive belief system, affirmations with eye movement, body talk, brain zone, and story telling.

Investment:

$90 for the first session (45 minutes)

$75  Following  sessions (30 minutes)

or

$150 Following sessions (50-60 minutes)

DJ teaching yoga to kids in a hospital in Mumbai, India (2003)

Frequently asked questions:

  • Who is the Brilliant Kids Program (BKP) for? The Brilliant Kids Program is for kids aged 0-19  years old. Nowadays, more and more parents recognize the importance of being able to center themselves, especially when it comes to their kids’ lives. Thus, yoga therapy can play a great role in strengthening kids’ intrinsic assets,  as well as in teaching tools to restore them to their center whenever life brings a new challenge. Yoga therapy is a lifetime gift to any kid whose parents know that, more important than excelling in maths or in sports, their kid deserves to be able to find happiness and peace independent of external circumstances.

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  • My kid has a special need or a special health condition – can she still benefit from the BKP? Yes,  of course! Our practice exists to support all families, as I strongly believe in the concept of inclusion. The conditions I have helped treat include autism spectrum disorder 6 benefits of yoga for kids with autism , ADHD, yoga for kids with ADHD, ADD,  processing disorders, learning disabilities, motor, emotional and sensorial issues, eating disorders and disordered eating, addictions (substance and screens/video games), celiac disease, diabetes, eyesight problems, respiratory  issues, asthma, and allergies, back and joint problems, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, sleep issues, digestive disorders, dissociative disorders, self-destructive behaviors, and OCD, among many others. That being said, in my work, I focus on the PERSON – that’s one of the reasons I chose to open a private practice. I see the person, and  specially when working with kids, I mostly see their light. Each condition manifests itself in a unique way in every individual, so I have a different protocol to teach to each and every one of my students. And I always ask the parents to get an OK from their kid’s pediatrician before we start our work together, to make sure it is safe for my students to begin yoga therapy.

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  • Why should I take my kid to yoga therapy instead of a yoga class? I think the best answer is simple: because, as a parent, you want the best for your child. And then this gives me the perfect opportunity to explain to you the difference between yoga therapy and a yoga class. The private and individualized setting gives me a chance to give my undivided attention to my students. Most of the time kids are inserted into groups – at school, into a family with siblings. In individual yoga therapy I have the chance to use my fifteen years of experience as a yoga therapist to focus on and cultivate all of the student’s personal strengths in an organic way. At the same time, we get to develop a relationship full of trust, compassion, and a sense of humor. Through this relationship, I am able to identify areas of the student’s life that may need particular support. I can then dedicate time to building a unique program that is holistic and respectful of who your beautiful child is.

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  • Why should I take my kid to a private yoga therapy session instead of a private yoga class? Again, great question! Typically, a yoga therapist has significantly more training under her belt. To become an accredited yoga therapist, one must have several years of experience as a full-time yoga teacher, a great deal of experience teaching one-on-one sessions, and complete a board-certified training regimen – which on average is equivalent to two years or 2000 hours of training. In my case I’ve logged over 5000 hours of training, including specialty training in India and a Master’s degree in Yoga Therapy/Yoga Psychology, as well as courses in anatomy and Western psychology. To draw a simple analogy, a yoga teacher is to a seasoned yoga therapist what a B.A. is to a Ph.D. A yoga therapist should have enough training to treat medical conditions alongside medical doctors, psychologists, and other health care professionals. A yoga therapist is much better equipped than a yoga teacher to work with your kid, regardless of whether she is healthy or struggling with some health issue.

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  • Do you provide support to the parents as well? It takes a village! I often see parents for emotional support, stress management, stress eating, poor sleep, low energy, depression, anxiety, flexibility, and meditation coaching are some of the most frequent issues I support my brilliant adult students. Some parents see me for private yoga therapy sessions due to a physical injury; others are looking for mindful strategies to deal with specific family dynamics or simply to find balance in the midst of particular personal circumstances. I firmly believe that one of the best ways to foster your kid’s health and wellness is to find your own health and wellness as well. Kids learn by example, and my work has supported many families who have come to see me as parents and as children.

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  • How often? Most my students see me weekly, some twice a week. It is very important to maintain frequency and constancy, when it comes to new positive habits formation.

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  • Have more more questions? Please feel free to write to me contact@yogadj.com

Valuable articles you will enjoy:

Brain resilience in the classroom

6 benefits of yoga for kids with autism

Ted Ed.How stress affects our brains.

Inclusion begins within

Neuroplasticity and meditation

Why western doctors are prescribing yoga therapy

Mindfulness for kids

Yoga heals girls in the juvenile system

DJ speaks of joyous focus

What yoga does to your brain

Yoga tools for kids’ anxiety

Using yoga to teach kids to stay calm in stressful situations

Why yoga is changing the schools

5 ways yoga is good for your mental health

Ride the waves of discomfort when dealing with stress

Is your kids dealing with school-year stress?

Change your stress response

Yoga for kids with ADHD

Seven brain benefits from meditationn

Yoga and anxiety

yoga at school

Post natal depletion even after 10 years

Seven ways to do self-care when you are too exhausted to think about it

It’s official: yoga helps depression

The child mental health crisis

What happens to creativity as we age