WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – “It’s really fun just in general,” said 11-year-old Maeve O’Shaughnessey, at a yoga class that is a blast and much more.
It’s for children with special needs.
“It also just you know helps you stay calm, it’s good for your mind and body,” said O’Shaughnessy.
“And deep breaths for calming because most of the kiddos that are in class have a hard time self-regulating their emotions and this really is something that benefits all of them,” said Alicia Duarte of North Haven, whose son has taken the class.
This class takes place each week at APEX Educational Solutions, an Applied Behavioral Analysis Program in Wallingford.
Meg Spaulding, also known as Miss Meg, brings her talents to two different age groups. She got her start in teaching the practice to adults with Down syndrome.
“I’ve got a bunch of mats and I drive around to ABA programs like this one, people’s homes if they like private sessions, I go to schools and do workshops,” explained Spaulding, owner of Aspen Yoga.
In addition to keeping these kids centered, Spaulding said it’s also huge for their confidence.
“They come up to the big mat and teach their peers. When I first started it, no one wanted to go to the big mat, they were all too nervous,” she said. “But now, they love it and are so excited to get up and teach.”
O’Shaughnessy has even mastered some really tough moves.
“It’s cool that I get to do headstands because I never could do them before,” she said with a smile.
But the coolest thing is the relationships that have formed, the love that flows, along with the routines.
“You grow close with the kids. I love them – not like their parents but maybe like an aunt,” laughed Spaulding.
There are challenging days and times full of wins. But, either way, Spaulding said yoga is a great fit for this community and she can’t wait to further share her skills to touch more lives.
“I just kept thinking, ‘It makes sense,’ and it did,” she said.
“She’s really great and I feel like she’s not even just a teacher but she’s also a really good friend,” said O’Shaughnessy.
This class is just for APEX clients but Miss Meg will be hosting community days for anyone to try it out coming up on October 1 and 15.
To sign-up, email email@example.com.