Yoga for Children with Special Needs
Yoga is for everyone. Every person, every mind, and every body. Yoga for Children with Special Needs is a program designed to help all children experience the transformative and empowering effects of a regular yoga practice, regardless of medical condition or intellectual ability. Every child deserves the opportunity to experience for themselves living in a healthy body with a healthy mind, positive self esteem, and to cultivate their own inner wisdom. Yoga for Children with Special Needs incorporates gentle stretching, muscle strengthening, conscious breathing exercises, and singing to engage each child’s body, mind, and spirit. Yoga for Children with Special Needs is open to children of all abilities including but not limited to autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, ADHD, down syndrome, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, and more. An initial intake form is required to give the teacher as much information as possible to set your child up for success and a first meeting for child and parents with Spencer is welcomed and encouraged.
Private one on one lessons are offered to support the individual needs of each child. Every child is unique, and every child with special needs is just as unique. Private lessons create an environment where each child is set up to be successful in their own practice in the way that they define their own success. Each class is offered in a space free of judgement or expectation, with the child’s health, happiness, and safety being the primary objectives. Each private lesson is 45 minutes and allows time for introduction, breathwork, performance of yoga postures adapted to the child’s ability, and deep relaxation. One on one lessons are available in sessions of 3 for $100 or 8 for $200.
Small group yoga classes are available to children of all abilities who desire peer to peer activity. Class size is limited to five children to set each child up for success and to ensure the class can be adapted to the needs of each child. Group classes incorporate singing, breathwork, performance of yoga postures, games, and deep relaxation. Group classes are offered at the normal rate of $15 per class.
RYT 500, RCYT, Yoga for the Special Child Licensed Practitioner, Accessible Yoga Ambassador
Spencer Jones is a Buffalo area native yoga teacher who has served children and adults with special needs his entire adult career. As a direct care provider for over eight years he has experience meeting people where they are and providing them with the support they need to be successful in day to day living. As a program counselor at summer camps for children with special needs since 2010 Spencer designed and facilitated therapeutic recreation activities that are both educational and fun. Spencer has completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training with Yoga Alliance and 95 hours of Yoga Alliance accredited instruction with Yoga for the Special Child. Yoga for the Special Child is considered the world leader in offering yoga to children with special needs, based on the Sonia Sumar method established in 1972. Spencer is also an Accessible Yoga Ambassador. Accessible Yoga is a not for profit that advocates for creating more inclusive yoga classes around the world. Spencer serves on the logistics team of the 2018 Accessible Yoga Conference in Toronto, Canada.