Level 1 Yoga for Children with Autism & Special Needs Dec. 10-20, 2020

Gain the knowledge and confidence to teach yoga and mindfulness to children of diverse abilities and backgrounds!

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The Level 1 - Yoga for Children with Autism and Special Needs course offers fun and effective strategies for teaching yoga and mindfulness to children of diverse abilities and backgrounds.

Please note: Level 2 - to equal a 95-hour Children's Yoga Teacher Certification is scheduled online May 13th-June 27th, 2021! Take both the Level 1 and Level 2 Trainings and Become a 95-hour Certified Children's Yoga Teacher!

A combination of Online Learning and Virtual Connection to the Lead Trainer and Community of Participants.

Participants will begin the course starting December 10th. Curriculum will be available Monday, December 7th. We will meet 4 times via Zoom throughout the course. The rest of the time will be online videos, lectures, reading and homework assignments.

Dates: December 10th-20th, 2020


$550 USD if registered by November 15th, $650 following - please note registration for the course is non-refundable for any and all reasons. By registering for and paying for the course you are acknowledging that there will be no refunds given. Should there be a conflict with timing you will have the option to transfer to a future course for a $50 rescheduling fee. Once you begin the course there will not be an option to reschedule.

Zoom Meetings

The Zoom meetings are an opportunity to connect as a community, review course content, ask questions and practice together.

You will receive the Zoom Meeting invites with the links once the course begins. Please arrange your schedule accordingly so you are able to be present and engaged during the meetings.

Attendance in the meetings is required for completion of the Level 1 Certificate.

Zoom Meetings

Group 1

December, 12,13, 19 and 20 from 9:00am-12:00pm PST

Attendance in the meetings is required for completion of the Level 1 Certificate

Global Time Zones:

United States - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 9:00am-12:00pm PST


PDT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 9am-12pm

MDT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 10am-12pm

ADT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 1pm-3pm

EDT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 12pm-1pm

Greece: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 7pm-10pm

Europe: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 5pm-8pm

Germany: December, 12,13, 19 and 20- 6pm-9pm

Netherlands: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 6pm-9pm

France: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 6pm-9pm

India: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 9:30pm-12:30pm

Israel: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 7:00pm-10:00pm

Poland: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 6:00pm-9:00pm

Italy: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 6:00pm-9:00pm

Brazil: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 1:00pm-4:00pm

Group 2

Alternative Zoom meetings 3pm-6pm PST December, 12,13, 19 and 20

Attendance in the meetings is required for completion of the Level 1 Certificate.

Global Time Zones:

United States and Canada as well as any other US or International locations registrations on August 17th or following will be in Group 2.

United States - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 3:00pm-6:00pm PST


PDT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 -3pm-6pm

MDT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 4pm-7pm

ADT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20- 7pm-10pm

EDT - December, 12,13, 19 and 20 - 6pm-9pm

Australia: December, 12,13, 19 and 20

ACDT - 8:30am -11:30am

ACST - 7:30am - 10:30am

China: December, 12,13, 19 and 20 , 6am-9am

Japan: December, 12,13, 19 and 20, 7am-10am

Participants will learn tools to support children ages 5-17 with self-regulation, body awareness, interoception, social skills, expression of difficult emotions, language and communication, social skills, reducing anxiety and much much more!

Learn strategies, supports and modifications to teach yoga and mindfulness to children with Autism, ADD/ADHD, Down Syndrome, Prader Willi, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Sensory Integration difficulties, Language Processing difficulties, Developmental Delays, Limited Mobility, Learning difficulties Anxiety, Behavioral Challenges and more!

  • Yoga Teachers
  • Pediatric Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Therapists
  • Behavior Specialists
  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • Educators
  • School Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Therapists
  • Pediatric or School Nurses
  • Parents
  • A.P.E/P.E Teachers
  • Anyone who is passionate about sharing the benefits of yoga and mindfulness with children of all abilities!

Participants Receive:

  • Playful and compassionate connection with like-minded community.
  • Comprehensive Course Manual, Online Videos, Webinars, Resources and Group Meetings.
  • Hours packed full of Learning, Yoga Lesson Plans, Games, Songs, Mudras, Mantras, Chants, Stories and Activities.
  • Anatomy and Physiology, Precautions and Contraindications related to children with special needs.
  • Creative, Fun and Safe suggestions for Asanas (physical poses), Pranayama (breathing strategies) and relaxation and mindfulness activities.
  • Suggestions for Props, Modifications, Adaptations, Tools and Supports to meet the needs of diverse cognitive and physical abilities.
  • Chair Yoga for "yoga breaks" and for children with physical limitations.
  • Positive Behavior Strategies
  • Understanding the Nervous System, Fight/Flight/Freeze and the impact of unmanaged stress.
  • Strategies and tools to support social/emotional learning and improved mental and physical health and well-being.
  • Trauma Sensitive Approach.
  • Poses and Breathing Strategies to support Self-regulation, Sensory Processing and Expressing/Releasing Difficult Emotions.
  • Suggestions for how to structure classes and lesson plans for groups with diverse needs.

PLEASE NOTE: There is required reading for this course. Pre-order the book in this link prior to the start of the course. You have the option to order the paperback book or the Kindle version. Asanas for Autism and Special Needs - Yoga to Help Children with their Emotions, Self-regulation and Body Awareness

This course will be a combination of online self-paced learning and group learning and connection via Zoom meetings. Please Note: You will be required to attend the scheduled Zoom meetings. Please see scheduled times and dates along with dates and times for global locations above.

Sample Course Curriculum - Once registered full Curriculum will be available by December 8th, 2020

Lesson 1

Benefits of Yoga for Children with Special Needs

  • Common Challenges

Lesson 2

Sensory Processing and the 8 Senses

  • Vestibular System
  • Proprioceptive System
  • Interoception
  • Crossing the Midline
  • Self-regulation

Lesson 3

Body Awareness

  • Visuals
  • Tapping
  • Songs, Games & Activities
  • Right/Left

Lesson 4

Asanas/Yoga Poses

  • Categories of Poses and Contraindications
  • Calming Poses and Variations
  • Energizing Poses and Variations
  • Chair Poses
  • Poses for Vestibular Input
  • Poses for Proprioceptive Input
  • Poses for Crossing and Coming to the Midline
  • Poses for Core-Strengthening
  • Motor Planning and Bi-lateral Coordination - Accessing both sides of the body
  • Practice Teaching

Lesson 5

Supporting Complex Needs

  • Adaptations, Modifications and Contraindications for Specific Needs
  • Children with Cerebral Palsy
  • Children with Down Syndrome and Prader Willi
  • Children with Autism and ADHD
  • Hypermobility and Low/High Tone
  • Hyperactive/High Arousal
  • Motor Apraxia, Speech Apraxia and Dyspraxia

Lesson 6

Breathing Strategies and Visualization Strategies

  • Autonomic Nervous System - Fight/Flight/Freeze Response
  • Calming (down-regulating) Breathing Strategies
  • Energizing/Alerting (up-regulating) Breathing Strategies
  • Releasing Difficult Emotions through the Breath
  • Sensory/Self-Regulation
  • Digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Core Activation
  • Cause/Effect Breathing Activities/Tools

Lesson 7

Guided Imagery, Visualization and Meditation for Children

  • Meditation/Concentration Activities
  • Chants and Sounds
  • Mudras

Lesson 8

Yoga Games and Activities

  • Developing Yoga Based Lesson Plans
  • Structuring Yoga Class by Age and Stage of Development
  • Yoga Games and Activities

Lesson 9

Behavior Management

  • Effective Strategies for Teaching and Reaching Children with Special Needs
  • Visual Charts

Zoom Meeting Agenda Sample

Day 1:

  • Introductions
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Review Syllabus and Schedule
  • Review Expectations for Course
  • Review Lessons 1-3
  • Q&A
  • Closing

Day 2:

  • Journaling
  • Mediation & Mantra Work
  • Review Lesson 4 & 5
  • Break out Room for Practice Teaching
  • Closing

Day 3:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Group Practice Teaching
  • Closing

Day 4:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Review Lessons 6-9
  • Closing/Graduation

Course Curriculum

  Daily Zoom Meeting Requirements
Available in days
days after you enroll

Your Instructor

Shawnee Thornton Hardy
Shawnee Thornton Hardy

Shawnee is a Certified Yoga Therapist, Intermediate Somatic Experiencing© Practitioner, M.Ed., and Educational/Behavioral Specialist. She is the Founder of Asanas for Autism and Special Needs and the Founder/Director of Yoga Therapy for Youth Certification Program. Shawnee has worked with children and adults with autism and special needs for over 20 years. She has specialized in working with children and adults with significant cognitive and language delays, sensory processing deficits, as well as severe behavior challenges. Shawnee works with private clients of all abilities to facilitate health and healing. Her goal is to bring the experience of yoga to all individuals no matter their differences or challenges. She wrote a published a book, Asanas for Autism and Special Needs – Yoga to Help Children with Their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body Awareness and is the creator of the C.A.L.M.M Yoga Toolkit. She is in the process of writing her second published book on the topic of Yoga Therapy for Youth.

She started a Yoga School through Yoga Alliance in order to train others in yoga approaches to support children and adults with autism and special needs and travels globally to share her teachings. Shawnee is dedicated to helping support youth and adults in developing strategies to cope with stress in order to live happier, healthier more peaceful lives.

Through her study and experience teaching yoga to her students in her classroom, she quickly realized the benefits of yoga on her students attention and focus, reduced anxiety, body awareness and development of calming strategies. She also noticed the positive reaction from her students and the excitement they displayed each time they practiced yoga. She has experienced first hand the benefits yoga can provide to health and overall well-being. She has a unique combination of understanding autism and other special needs and knowing how to teach and reach these young people.

Shawnee has led several workshops at major conferences both in the US and Internationally; including MISTY (Montreal International Symposium for Yoga Therapy) and IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) SYTAR Conference on Yoga for Sensory Processing and Self-Regulation for children with ASD, BOOST Conference (Best Out of School Time) on Yoga for Children with Special Needs , Yoga and Mindfulness for Youth and Yoga to Reduce Stress and Increase Relaxation for Educators. TRUST Conference (Teens Understanding and Reflecting Stigma Together) on Learning to Breath, Yoga and Mindfulness for Teens, including teens struggling with mental illness and UCSD Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference on Yoga and Mindfulness for Sensory Integration and Self-Regulation.

Shawnee has written for and has had her work featured in several magazines and online resources. See media features here.

Shawnee also offers private, small group therapeutic sessions and corporate sessions for adults as well as yoga workshops and trainings through her company Embodied Wellness Yoga Therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course begins September 18th and Ends September 27th, 2020.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Are refunds available?
This course is non-refundable for any and all reasons. Should you have a time conflict your course registration can be transferred to a future online course for a transfer fee of $50.00
Will I have contact with the lead instructor and other participants for this course?
Yes, you will be expected to join daily Zoom meetings with the group arranged by the course instructor.
Will I receive a Certificate following this course?
Yes, once you have completed all of the requirements for the course you will receive a Certificate of Completion in 25-hours Training in Yoga for Children with Autism and Special Needs.
Do I need to be a yoga teacher or have yoga experience to take the course?
There are no pre-requisites to take this course. You'll come out of this course with a giant toolbox regardless of your knowledge or understanding of yoga!
Are there options for continued education courses with Shawnee?
Yes, Shawnee leads a Level 2 - 70 hour Training (combined with Level 1) to equal a 95-hour Children's Yoga Teacher Certification with an Emphasis on Making Yoga and Mindfulness Inclusive and Accessible to Children of Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds and a Level 3 - 100-hour Yoga Therapy for Youth Training. The combination of Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 courses with Shawnee equal a 200-hour Certification in Yoga and Mindfulness for Children and Youth with Complex Needs! Shawnee also offers individual coaching and mentorship. Contact Shawnee for more details!

Get started now!