Sensory Integration Continues to Wind its Way into Yoga
May 15, 2020
The two are the same really. It's a matter of merging language. Yoga is the science of right living. It helps us organize and integrate our experiences. The process is based in the mind with the body as a tool of interaction or exploration. Sensory integration is the process of organizing and integrating our experiences. This process too is based in the mind with the body as the tool of interpretation - eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin, inner ear fluid and pressure receptors in the joints. When that is not happening effectively, we feel "out of whack". Some of us are able to regulate this input better than others. Those who have difficulty managing sensory experiences often display behaviors that look hyper, distracted or defiant. Labels often follow.
At a workshop I facilitated some time ago, yet another Occupational Therapist approached me and said she was so thankful to hear the words "sensory integration" being used. The two fields of Yoga and OT are merging in many ways. She even commented that she read an article suggesting that Yoga was the original form of Occupational Therapy.
There is value in continuing to define and refine how Yoga and sensory integration work together. We have to choose terms and techniques that the average person can relate to and in doing so, hope to provide an environment for the children we work with that supports their engagement with the world, which the yogis call "Union."