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Local Children Benefit from Yoga-Infused Mental-Health Counseling

Posted: February 09, 2017

Ten tiny shoes sat in a pile outside the room, and the laughter of children burst through the door as Brianna Schiavoni and her class of children struck a dead bug pose on a Sunday afternoon last month. Some had spent their young lives battling depression, dyslexia and bipolar disorder. But as they contorted their bodies and quieted their minds, their symptoms subsided.

In Schiavoni’s eyes, yoga has the power to heal. Through her business, Yoga 4 Youth, the 34-year-old renaissance woman — she’s a mental health counselor, clinical social worker and yoga instructor — has channelled all of her passions to help children in the community achieve mental-health equilibrium. Schiavoni said she wants her classes to be a place parents and caregivers can turn to, as they are often too spread-out to have the resources they need for children with conditions.

Through yoga poses, games and discussion, Schiavoni helps students identify what makes them feel happy and how to create “ups” when life has them feeling “down.” She said she has seen her students improve their social, motor and communication skills, along with their self-esteem.


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