Level 1 Yoga for Children (Autism, Neurodiversity & Diverse Needs) GREECE!

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 - Autism, Neurodiversity and Diverse Needs course offers fun and effective strategies for teaching yoga and mindfulness to children with diverse brains, bodies and abilities.

Please note: Level 2 - 95-hour Children's Yoga Teacher Certification is November 6th-December 18th, 2022 - Take both the Level 1 and Level 2 Trainings and Become a 95-hour Certified Children's Yoga Teacher with an Emphasis on Inclusion and Accessibility!

Dates: October 6th-8th, 2023

October 6th 9am-5:30pm

October 7th 9am-5:30pm

October 8th 9am-5:00pm

Location: Athens Greece - Flower Kids Yoga

Address: Ydras 3, Kallithea, Athens, 17676

Where do I stay? There are many AIRBNB options in the area near the studio

Registration Cost:

$685 USD/$630 EURO

Early Bird Pricing: $600 USD/$550 EURO

Early Bird Pricing ends September 1st, 2023

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 online course for a $50 rescheduling fee. Should the training be cancelled for attendance reasons or unexpected circumstances, you will have the option to transfer your payment to an online course or get a full refund.

Attendance in all 3 days of the training is required for completion of the Level 1 Certificate. There is NO Exception to this

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 including Autism, ADD/ADHD, Down Syndrome, Prader Willi, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Sensory Integration difficulties, Language Processing difficulties, Developmental Delays, Limited Mobility, Learning difficulties Anxiety, Trauma, 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 and Book - Asanas for Autism and Special Needs - Yoga to Support Children with their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body Awareness
  • 20% off the C.A.L.M.M Yoga Toolkit
  • 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.



Course Curriculum

Benefits of Yoga for Children with Diverse Needs

  • Common Challenges

Sensory Processing and the 8 Senses

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

Body Awareness

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

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

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

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

Guided Imagery, Visualization and Meditation for Children

  • Meditation/Concentration Activities
  • Chants and Sounds
  • Mudras

Yoga Games and Activities

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

Behavior Management

  • Effective Strategies for Teaching and Reaching Children with Special Needs

Your Instructor

Shawnee Thornton Hardy
Shawnee Thornton Hardy

Shawnee is a C-IAYT -Certified Yoga Therapist, P-SEP 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 and complex and diverse needs for 30 years. She has specialized in working with children and adults with neurodiverse needs, sensory processing challenges, communication differences, developmental disabilities, mental health challenges and trauma backgrounds. Shawnee works with private clients of all brains, bodies and 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 book - Yoga Therapy for Children and Teens.- Embodying a While Child Approve to Wellbeing. Scheduled to be released in 2023.

She has a Yoga School through Yoga Alliance in order to train others in yoga approaches to support children and adults with neurodiverse needs and children and adults with complex needs 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 and somatic practices can provide to health and overall well-being as she is a survivor of childhood trauma as well as multiple significant traumas in her adulthood, resulting in a diagnosis of PTSD. She is also a cancer survivor. She has a unique combination of understanding neurodiversity, developmental disability, trauma and other complex needs and knowing how to support people of all ages in connecting to their essential self and building more capacity and resilience in order to live life in a more embodied and empowered way.

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 and small group therapeutic sessions for children and adults as well as yoga and somatic movement workshops and trainings through her company Embodied Wellness Yoga Therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course is IN PERSON in Athens GreeceOCTOBER 6th-8th, 2023
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 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!