This course is one of a series developed by Jyoti Manuel

Jyoti has led the path in the UK for the delivery of therapeutic yoga for children with special and additional needs.

It is with great humility and gratitude that we welcome you to Special Yoga for this course to teach you to work with children with special needs. This course aims to give you an understanding and experience of yoga and meditation to support your work with the children. Over the many years of being blessed to share yoga with thousands of children, what we see over and over is the extraordinary power of yoga that allows us to truly reach our fullest potential. That potential is certainly not only physical, but mental, emotional, physiological, energetic, neurological and spiritual. Through Special Yoga we want the children to gain the most strength and balance they can in every way, to release their fears and to achieve what they have come into this life and this body to do. Yoga gives them this opportunity.


Your Foundation

This Special Yoga for Special Children Foundation level course introduces you to the Special Yoga methodology, teaches you accessible practices and adaptations to begin to teach children with special and additional needs. After taking this course you will be able to progress to our Special Yoga for Special Children Level One training which will build on the knowledge and skills you have learned here and may lead to accreditation as a Special Yoga Practitioner. You can read more about our complete training programme on our home page.


The Special Yoga for Special Children Foundation course

Right from the start of our foundation course you will be guided through highly effective and accessible strategies for integrating the remedial advantages of the Special Yoga methodology into the lives of children with special and additional needs. On our courses you'll learn the three different aspects of the Special Yoga methodology taught using a variety of tools with mentor and community support throughout.


Learn how your state matters

We start by seeing how our state matters and look at the value of our self care and self observation in relation to the children. Throughout every day our state changes, we may have moments of anguish, joy, fear, anger, agitation, happiness, sadness, contentment, etc. and it is so important, especially with any of the more challenging emotions, to learn to be gentle and kind with ourselves. When we truly learn to embody and to live with humility, patience, loving kindness, empathy, compassion and trust not only does it change our inner landscape and our relationship with ourselves but it also changes our relationships with others.


ASANA - using deeply effective postures and movements

Special Yoga uses a few simple but deeply effective postures and movements to bring balance, core strength, flexibility, motor planning and coordination, and calm. A therapeutic yoga programme gives us the understanding of the value of the postures energetically, emotionally and physiologically creates a natural flow of movement that supports each child. This module will offer a variety of techniques on how to share these postures with the children and how to create useful sequencing.


BREATHWORK - engaging the breath to regulate and calm

Our breath is our best friend. It is always there for us. The emotions and the breath are intertwined. Our breath changes our emotions and our emotions changes our breath. The brain listens to the lungs. The deeper we breathe, the more we oxygenate our bodies, the calmer we are and the more the varying systems of the body are improved. We will share a variety of practices to support the child to find their breath and support the child's vital energy and emotional regulation.


SOUND & SONG - using the vibration of sound to calm the nervous system

The value of sound is becoming more fully understood. Sound is a vibration and can be used to calm the nervous system. The vibrational quality of simply singing stimulates vagal tone which in turn impacts the nourishment of the nervous system. This module will also introduce you to the rhythmic sequencing of movement to sound to help develop concentration and motor coordination.


RELAXATION - help the child(ren) drop into the deepest place of relaxation

Our intention at Special Yoga is to help the child(ren) drop into the deepest place of relaxation. We know that when our system is at rest and peace, our brains and beings are in the optimum state to reach our potential. This module offers a variety of different practices and tools to support the child to deeply relax and find that deep connection within, helping all the systems of the body to balance, calm and bring inner peace.


MINDFULNESS - managing and accepting our human emotions

This module offers a variety of mindfulness practices to help children become more self-aware and bring an understanding of what is happening in their brains. We will share a variety of mindfulness tools to help the children to manage their emotional state compassionately and kindly. Learning how to manage and accept our human emotions of frustration, rage, anger, emotional meltdowns, as well as fear and anxiety is an important life skill.


MASSAGE AND ENERGY - enhancing the wellbeing of children with special needs

This module will offer a variety of massage techniques that we have learned and used at Special Yoga to enhance the wellbeing of children with special needs. These are not full modules in any specific modality but will offer practices within each. These include Indian Head Massage and acupressure. We will also share some energy medicine techniques for calming, reducing anxiety, increased immunity, and concentration


WORKING WITH THE FEET - to open up the body

Undo a lot of the bodily tensions through the feet. This module teaches you how to work with the feet to open the body up, stimulate the lungs and digestive organs, and support the health and wellbeing of the child.


Discover how different practices can be adapted for different children

Discover how different practices can be adapted for children with different diagnoses and energetic states. With these skills you will have the ability to tailor this therapeutic intervention in various settings to the specific needs of the child or group you support. These include autism and ADHD, down syndrome, PMLD, sensory processing disorder, OCD, sensory impairment and cerebral palsy.


This course will be taught using a variety of tried and tested methods:

--- 3 live teaching webinars with Jyoti and the Special Yoga Team -- ------ 3 live study group webinars with the Special Yoga Team ------ ---------- Self study with video, audio and written materials ----------- ------------------ 4 one to one mentor support sessions ------------------- --------------------- an online course community space --------------------- --------------------- regular quizzes and assignments ----------------------


Running our courses online gives students the flexibility to complete the self study aspects of the course at the time that is best for them. Because we have students joining from different time zones and because we recognise many of you are too busy to focus on webinars during the working day we offer two options for ‘live’ webinar events within the course - Wednesday evening or Saturday morning; when booking the course you choose which suits you best.

  • Various pre-course self study materials are available from 23rd August.

  • The WEDNESDAY webinar course begins on 30th September with the first teaching webinar, the remaining two are held on 2nd December and 3rd March. Study Group Webinars are on 4th November, 6th January and 3rd February. All Wednesday webinars are held between 7.00pm - 9.00pm except the first which will run until 9.30pm to allow time for introductions.

  • The SATURDAY webinar course begins on 3rd October with the first teaching webinar, the remaining two are held on 5th December and 6th March. Study Group Webinars are on 7th November, 9th January and 6th February. All Saturday webinars are held between 10.00am - 12.00pm except the first which will run until 12.30pm to allow time for introductions.


Yoga experience is not required.

This training has been designed in a way that occupational therapists, school teachers and staff, parents, yoga teachers, yoga therapists, trainee yoga teachers or anyone interested in exploring Special Yoga will find it accessible. You will be individually supported throughout by one of our Senior Practitioners in one to one mentoring sessions. No prior experience of yoga is required just an open heart and mind and passion to work with these very special children.


When you take a course with Special Yoga you can be confident that our approach to training, our practice methodology and the years of experience we have of delivering training will leave you well equipped to teach and support children with special and additional needs in a variety of settings.

  • Parents - This course offers the opportunity for parents to have the pathways to to work with their own child and support them to reach their potential, manage their emotional, physical and physiological wellbeing.

  • Teachers - This course offers skills that teachers can use in the classrooms to enhance both the child's potential to learn. It will also empower you with tools to improve your own mental and emotional health as well as the mental and emotional health of the children and supporting staff.

  • Therapists - This course supports the emotional wellbeing of therapists as well as giving them extensive skills that they can use within their therapeutic settings.


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Watch Intro Video

Our Work

with Special Children