I offer eurythmy classes or one-to-one sessions to organisations working with people with special needs of any kind, including learning disabilities, autism, mental health problems, people who have had strokes or anything else that might present a difficulty in life. Eurythmy for special needs isn’t any different to what is being taught in other workshops, but the teaching style is adapted to suit the needs of the people who join the class. Eurythmy is a healthy activity for anyone and has been taught in organisations which support people with extra support needs all over the world for many decades.
A typical eurythmy session would consist of a variety of exercises and include both elements that can be more challenging and elements that are easier and fun. Exercises would always be tailored to suit the needs of people in the group, but there would usually be exercises that help improve awareness of what our body is doing and spacial awareness (including recognising left and right), as well as exercises that can be either calming or energising. We would also work with cultivating an awareness of the group as a whole and in becoming more socially confident.
A group would ideally consist of 5 – 10 people. All that is needed to do eurythmy is a willingness to join and the necessary support, as well as a large space. It is suitable for all levels of fitness as it is not physically taxing, and it is possible to arrange groups for people with mobility issues as there are many exercises one can do whilst sitting down.
“I like all the exercises. Eurythmy stretches and relaxes my joints and it helps my scoliosis as well.”
JL, member at Garvald Edinburgh
I also offer one-to-one eurythmy sessions to people with any support need (or without). I am not a Eurythmy Therapist, but work with the same exercises in the individual sessions that I would work with in a group. Exercises are often chosen to help improve posture, flow of movement, bodily awareness, sense of rhythm and ability to meet and give to and receive from another person.
“CS is a young woman with profound hearing loss and autism. She communicates mainly through BSL and has limited verbal communication. When she started attending one-to-one Eurythmy sessions in September 2017 she had never done Eurythmy before. After the first session she was very keen to come back and she took part in all the exercises with great enthusiasm. Her enthusiasm was so great she regularly arrived in the morning with a list of geometrical shapes she wanted to move in space and she was happy to move them again and again until she got them right. CS altogether had 26 sessions and in that time there was a marked improvement in her posture and movement. When she started her movements were very exaggerated and jerky and she found it hard to stand still with a straight back and neck. She would usually let her head sink down so her neck was bent and when I asked her to straighten her neck, she would lean it back so she looked at the ceiling. Through working with copper rod exercises her posture slowly improved until she at the end of the sessions stood completely straight with her neck straight and relaxed as well. Her jerky movements also changed over time. Throughout the sessions we worked with giving a small wooden ball to ourselves in different ways and then to each other. Slowly through this exercise her movements become rounder and softer and in the end very flowing and graceful.”