“Yoga is one of the oldest systems of personal development in the world. This system of balancing the body, mind and spirit was formulated by ancient yogis, who understood man’s essential nature and realised a way to utilise all of man’s inner resources to live in harmony with himself and the environment.” (Iyengar Yoga Association)
Iyengar yoga is the most widely practiced form of yoga. Practicing Yoga helps you overcome and prevent many stresses, strains, aches and pains. It promotes a firm foundation for health and well-being. It can help our children improve muscle tone, balance and flexibility. It is also masses of fun with our little ones!!
HDSSG have been working with Huddersfield based Iyengar Instructor Jayny Stock for over 12 months now at our venue, The Watershed, Slaithwaite. We try to have at least one session available to our families every month and we have had a fantastic response to the sessions. Jayny is patient, unflappable (it’s a real talent to remain unfazed when mid pose to have a 6 year old jump on you!) and brilliant at pitching the sessions at just the right level to engage our group and keep it fun!
All ages and abilities have accessed our yoga sessions from the bendiest of babies, tensile teens and supple seniors! It’s open to all of our members and their families. So if you haven’t tried it yet please come along! Dates of our upcoming sessions can be found in the members section of this website.
THEY have a simple aim … to celebrate their children’s achievements.
And there was every reason to do so in Slaithwaite, as the youngsters took on the challenge of learning Iyengar Yoga.
It was just the latest attempt by the Huddersfield’s Down Syndrome Support Group (HDSSG) to highlight just how rewarding it can be to work with families.
They had gathered at Slaithwaite’s Watershed – a converted weaving shed used to host creative workshops – to take part in the sessions. Designed to help strengthen the muscles of children with Down Syndrome and aid with hypotonia, the yoga morning also proved to be very sociable.
Hypotonia is a state of low muscle tone which commonly results from different diseases and disorders that affect motor nerve control by the brain or muscle strength.
More than 10 families took part in the relaxing 45-minute Iyengar session led by instructor Jayny Stock.
This form of yoga is often used in physical therapy as it helps target unsupple or injured areas.
Leanne Davies, communications officer for HDSSG, joined the group after giving birth to her son Jack in 2006, and said that popularity in the group has grown.
She said: “We have got over 40 families in Huddersfield and we do various events for different age groups.
“It was founded by parents of children with Down Syndrome in the area and we believe it is crucial to celebrate our children’s achievements, champion their views and aspirations, challenge out-dated thinking and spread current accurate information about Down Syndrome.
“The group has been running for several years but we recently decided to kick it up a notch and make it more visible for families in the area.
“We are now using social media and have launched a website to make people aware that we are here should they need support.
“As a result we have welcomed four new babies in the last 12 months in Huddersfield alone.”
“It can be quite scary at first, but by talking to other parents it helps you know that everything is going to be okay and in fact it is the start of something wonderful.”
Older members of the group were busy taking part in a swimming competition for Kirklees Disability Team in Beverley while the younger ones enjoyed the yoga.
HDSSG have a calendar of events for the next few weeks including World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, which has been recognised for the first time by the United Nations.
The day was originally started in 2005 and it recognises the uniqueness of the triplication of chromosome 21 which causes the genetic condition Down Syndrome.
The aim of the day is to raise awareness and understanding of a condition which affects approximately 1 in 800 births worldwide.
Every day in the UK between one and two babies are born with the condition.
On March 24, the group will join the Wakefield and District Down Syndrome Support Group in a family fun day at Nostell Priory.
There will be dance displays, fairground games, inflatable football and musical entertainment from Slaithwaite’s Shabang group.