Down syndrome (DS) results from an extra chromosome added to an individual’s genetic makeup and is the most frequent chromosonal disorder occurring in 1 in 800 live births. DS is caused by an error in cell division at conception. Individuals with DS will have developmental delays which need to be taken into consideration, but they are more like others than they are different.
Yoga can help individuals with Down Syndrome by stimulating both physical and mental abilities. For many with DS, yoga can serve as a personal physical therapy routine which can be practised alone, with a partner, or in groups.
Some of the benefits for yoga in regards to DS include:
improving the central nervous system
toning the body
developing concentration & memory
regulating sleep/wake rhythms
teaching decision making with respect for self & others
increasing body awareness
providing a safe and fun form of exercise
Parents, teachers and care givers need to pay strict attention to individuals with DS when they are practicing yoga poses so as to ensure that they do not overstretch. The loose nature of their muscles and ligaments allows for more flexibility than normal. This combined with their exuberant nature and lack of knowing their own limits may lead to injury. Please proceed carefully following guidelines and working safely. Also keep in mind that yoga poses may need to be modified to accommodate shorter limbs and smaller stature common with DS.
Hypotonia (or low muscle tone) is characteristic in most children with DS. Yoga poses will help strengthen the muscles, tighten the ligaments, and tone the overall body. Standing poses such as Mountain, Triangle and Warrior II are especially beneficial for unstable knee caps, weak ankles and flat feet.
Twists will assist in massaging internal organs and relieving digestive ailments and constipation. They work by compressing the organs while performing the twist, then bathing then in oxygen rich blood upon release. Twists will also help promote good posture and teach how to move with the breath, improving oxygen absorption and body awareness. A number of safe and easy twists are explained in Yoga Twists for Kids.
Thyroid dysfunction, which affects growth and metabolism, is often a concern for children with DS. A regular yoga practice will stimulate the thyroid gland via jalandhara bandha, a restriction of the throat, and practicing Bridge Pose and Shoulder Stand. Please be certain that no atlantoaxial instability exists before attempting these poses. It is recommended that these be taught under the supervision of a certified yoga instructor familiar with the physical challenges of DS.
Sound therapy through chanting, mantras, drumming, etc. is especially beneficial. Sound vibrations have healing qualities and children respond readily to any activities involving instruments or singing. One such example is Singing Stuffies.
Yoga practice also stresses breathing exercises or pranayama. These exercises will help ease pulmonary hypertension and provide a safe workout for children with congenital heart defects often associated with DS. In addition, they will ease nasal congestion and help protect against pulmonary problems and infections by building the immune system. Two exercises which are beneficial are Observing the Breath and Air Walk.
Relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation, are especially enjoyable during Corpse Pose. Engaging in these activities, children can empower themselves, create calm, reduce tension and improve concentration.
Over the past couple of years I’ve received great feedback regarding the YIMS Yoga for Special Needs course and manual. For those attending the workshop there was lots of time for hands-on experience and interaction to explain the various activities and expand on the notes in the manual. However many who bought the manual online asked for more.
We’re please to announce that we have expanded and revised the YIMS Yoga for Special Needs Manual and it is now available for purchase online as an environmentally friendly PDF download.
The new version includes everything from before:
7 Tips to Teaching Yoga to Children w Special Needs
the Most Powerful Message and Most Powerful Tool at your disposal
suggested breathing toys and props
core musculature discussion and tips to improve
4 B’s of Self Calming
description of Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and FASD
techniques for working with each diagnosis
classroom management tips
research supporting effect of yoga for children with special needs
Plus so much MORE:
more breathing exercises & games with full descriptions
specific poses to develop core musculature
sample guided visualization
all new meditation section
extensive yoga techniques for sensory processing
safe variations of yoga poses with instructions
fun & engaging yoga games
links to videos, interviews and more
our recommended resources including books, flashcards and webinars
Every page is packed with yoga and mindfulness techniques to use as complementary therapy when working with differently abled children .
Yoga for Children with Special Needs Manual
Discover how to effectively use yoga based techniques as a complementary therapy for children with special needs. Understand the needs and challenges and explore creative, fun ways of engaging and supporting children with special needs in the practice of yoga. Covers specifics for Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy and FASD. 51 full color pg PDF.
We are thrilled to offer a new expanded, robust, and extensive online course which mirrors our weekend workshop. This is one of four online courses for you to earn your RCYT if you so desire. Anyone with interest in emergent language skills, early physical and cognitive development, teaching young children, toddlers, preschoolers and individuals with special needs and varying abilities will find this workshop highly valuable. We invite students from all countries to join us. A A prerequisite is that you have a regular yoga practice of your own.
Learn how to teach the youngest yogis as well as those with emotional and mental challenges techniques to control impulsivity and self-regulate. This workshop will provide a foundation to promote the healthy development of the hearts, minds and bodies of individuals diagnosed with: ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, mild Cerebral Palsy and FASD. Explore creative, fun, inclusive ways to support and encourage children in the practice of yoga.
Yoga for Preschoolers/Toddlers
Yoga for ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, FASD
Music in Kids Yoga Class
Meditation for Kids
Yoga for Literacy
Using Props & Visual Assists
What You Can Expect:
You can expect the course to take 20-25 hours depending on how deep you want to go. Each topic has a wealth of information with webinars, resources, interviews, videos, and best practices curated over 2 decades of teaching kids yoga. Your access to the course will never expire. You can work at your own pace. You may want to binge and get it done quickly or take it slower, giving yourself time to integrate and apply the knowledge. There is a final written assignment which when completed you will receive a Certificate of Completion.
If you completed our earlier version of Yoga for Children with Special Needs online course and want to upgrade please email email@example.com.
Are you ready to expand your Kids Yoga Expertise?
NOTE: Price listed in US$
Yoga for Preschoolers and Kids w Special Needs Online
Develop all the tools to teach yoga and mindfulness to the littlest yogis and those with unique challenges. This course is a robust exploration of movement, mindfulness, creativity, and inclusivity with a focus on language, social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Includes: literacy, music, meditation, breath, use of props, ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, FASD.
This course is recognized by Yoga Alliance. Additional professional organization may recognize this course. Please inquire directly with them. We are happy to answer any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Understand the needs and challenges while discovering effective ways of using yoga and mindfulness as a supplemental therapy to support children with special needs. This online course provides essential information for professionals working with children with ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Mild Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and FASD. Explore creative, fun ways to support and encourage children with special needs in the practice of yoga.
For a limited time gain access to
Sensory Processing through Yoga & Mindfulness
a special 1 hour webinar with YIMS founder Donna Freeman with specific ways yoga and mindfulness can provide essential sensory input for all children promoting greater understanding of themselves and their world.
This course includes:
3.5 hours of video training, including:
7 Tips to Teaching Yoga to Children w Special Needs webinar – 30 minutes
Yoga for Children w Autism webinar – 1 hour
Yoga for Children w ADHD webinar – 1 hour
EMBRACE: Inclusive Yoga and Creative Expression webinar – 1 hour
Take advantage of our introductory price of ONLY $197.00
Upon purchase you will be granted 31 days access to watch the webinars and download the manual. Within 48 hours your year long Teacher’s Lounge All Access Pass will arrive in your inbox.
Looks like you have entered a product ID () that doesn't exist in the product database. Please check your product ID value again!
NEW Certificate of Completion
Want to receive a Yoga for Children w Special Needs certificate? Includes a 30 minute SKYPE discussion/Q&A with Donna Freeman to solidfy your knowledge plus a homework assignment.
Looks like you have entered a product ID () that doesn't exist in the product database. Please check your product ID value again!
This course can be used as Yoga Alliance non-contact hours for RYTs. Additional professional organization may recognize this course. Please inquire directly with them. We are happy to answer any questions: email@example.com.
Here are the 4 webinars included in the Yoga for Children with Special Needs Online Training. You have one month to view them as many times as you’d like. We highly encourage you to print/save the accompanying HANDOUTS. You’ll also find access to the YIMS Yoga for Children with Special Needs Manual via digital download and some suggestions on getting the most out of your YIMS Teacher’s Lounge All Access Pass.
Yoga In My School is a Yoga Alliance RCYS. You can take any one of these workshop or all four. Your hours also count toward 500-RYT with Prana Yoga.
Enjoy a weekend of discovery and learning while having a blast with our hands-on, interactive workshops. Yoga In My School believes teaching kids yoga is a serious business, however we don’t take ourselves seriously and love to learn through play, no matter what our age. Join us for a weekend workshop. You’ll have fun and come away inspired and empowered with valuable tips, tools and techniques.
Please note all our in person training are listed in CD$
Spend a weekend immersed in the world of kids yoga with this fun, interactive and inspiring workshop. Teaching Kids Yoga Level 1 is a research-based foundational teacher training course, providing comprehensive education on how to effectively teach yoga to children 4-12 years of age.
Learn how to teach the youngest yogis as well as those with emotional and mental challenges techniques to control impulsivity and self-regulate. This experiential workshop will provide a foundation to promote the healthy development of the hearts, minds and bodies of individuals diagnosed with: ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, mild Cerebral Palsy and FASD.
Empower teens to discover themselves from the inside out, foster focus and concentration. By increasing strength and flexibility, teenagers learn to nurture themselves through positive practices and relaxation, and develop health and wellness habits that last a lifetime. This training addresses how yoga and mindfulness skills advance the physical, mental, social and emotional development of teenagers.
Elevate your skills and extend your reach to include chakras, mudras, yoga in schools and the business of kids yoga. This comprehensive workshop enriches your understanding as you delve deep into child friendly yoga and mindfulness skills to help children be peaceful, positive and productive.
Access the best in kids and teen yoga teacher training from the comfort of your own home. Yoga In My School provides the highest quality kids yoga teacher training conveniently and economically. From anywhere in the world you can learn at your own pace, connect with other dedicated professionals and gain access to extensive resources.
You’ll love the ease and accessibility of our online courses while gaining valuable skills to transform your kids yoga classes.
Please note all our online courses are listed in US$
Hooray – now you can bundle all four courses (Level 1, Level 2, Teens, Preschoolers and Special Needs) together. Get your 95 hour Yoga Alliance Children’s Yoga Teacher recognized certificate while studying at home.
This self paced, in depth advanced study will provide everything you need to create amazing, interactive, and impactful yoga and mindfulness classes for children and youth from 2 to 18 years of age. Begin today and complete the course at your pace, from the comfort of your home. Support from Yoga In My School founder, Donna Freeman, is provided throughout your certification journey.
Online 95 Hour RCYT Certification. Get certified to teach youth yoga and mindfulness. Save big when you bundle all four of our flagship courses together. With self paced, at home study, you are the master of the pace you'd like to earn your certification. Support throughout from Yoga In My School founder, Donna Freeman. A personal gmail account is highly recommended for ease of access. Enroll today to earn your RCYT designation.
Discover how easy it is to teach engaging and impactful kids yoga classes. Through a combination of media and homework our 8 week online certification course offers comprehensive training for anyone interested in bringing yoga to children. This training shows how to share the joys and benefits of yoga with children ages 4-12. Whether you are wanting to incorporate yoga into work you already do with children or want to become a kids yoga instructor as a career the YIMS Kids Yoga Online Training Level 1 will inspire and empower you.
Take your knowledge deeper, expand your expertise, and do it from the comfort of your own home. This learn at your own pace course takes 20-25 hours. Topics include: Classroom Management, Mudras, Anatomy, Chakras for Children, Essential Oils, Partner Poses, Yoga in Schools, Business of Kids Yoga. Each topic has a wealth of information with webinars, resources, interviews, videos, and best practices curated over 2 decades of teaching kids yoga. Your access to the course will never expire.
Learn how to teach the youngest yogis as well as those with emotional and mental challenges techniques to control impulsivity and self-regulate. This workshop will provide a foundation to promote the healthy development of the hearts, minds and bodies of individuals diagnosed with: ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, mild Cerebral Palsy and FASD. Anyone with interest in teaching young children, toddlers, preschoolers and individuals with special needs and varying abilities will find this workshop highly valuable. Explore creative, fun ways to support and encourage children in the practice of yoga.
Discover how to effectively engage teenagers in a supportive yoga practice. This online course certifies you to teach yoga to teens and is designed to provide you with insightful, practical and time-tested tips, tools and techniques that help teens manage stress and develop physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. Help teens increase resiliency, promote compassion, and develop health and wellness habits that last a lifetime.
Online learning with Donna is a delight! The course content is thorough, diverse, well organized, and so easy to access online. The at-your-own pace learning that’s flexible enough to fit my schedule finally made Yoga for Kids training accessible to me. Donna shares her many years of experience as a leader in Kids’ Yoga through online webinars, podcasts, free online resources and much, much more. The content that I’ve learned online makes me feel confidant to lead an engaging and fun kids’ yoga class. I’m excited to get back in the classroom and play yoga!
– Micha Flynn, M.Ed.
I have just finished an Online Kid’s Yoga Teacher Training course and feel fortunate to have came across this opportunity. The 8 week course was very manageable with work and other things happening in my life and provided me with a great starting point for my beginning of teaching kid’s yoga. Donna is wonderful, she is knowledgeable, supportive and has many skills as a teacher. I now feel confident and have the tools I need. Thank you so very much Donna for your time and work creating all these resources to share with others.
– Stella Sage
I just completed Teaching Kids Yoga Level 1 and I was very impressed. The content was thorough, broad and very informative, and Donna is very supportive and encouraging. Even the resources provided through the course and through the website is helpful and impressive. I’m looking forward to taking other trainings in the future.
– Melissa Austin
Taking the Kids Yoga Training Course with Donna Freeman is one of the best things I have done lately. A wonderful and engaging teacher, fantastic and meaningful content. Individualized attention to each and every student. I got this and more out of this experience. Highly recommended!!
– Mapy Chavez Askins
We HIGHLY encourage Trauma Informed Training for everyone working in the yoga community
Explore trauma using yoga and mindfulness as tools for healing. This course examines key concepts in understanding trauma, the impact it has upon the mental, physical and emotional body, and provides vital tools to create a safe, healing environment. This compassionate exploration and learning opportunity invites study and reflection to unlock the body, befriend the inner experience and foster positive response patterns. The primary focus of this training is understanding trauma. The secondary focus is on assisting children, youth and families.
These courses count toward continuing education credits with Yoga Alliance. Additionally they count toward earning your 300 HR RYT certification with Lahari Ambassador Yoga.
Described as “a unique triumph,” this guide will provide parents and teachers with all they need to know to practise yoga with kids. This one-of-a-kind book shows you step-by-step how to teach yoga to kids aged 3-12. Here you’ll find
pose descriptions with cheerful models
suggestions for asthmatics
relaxation techniques with easy to implement five minute guided imagery sessions
a multitude of fun yoga games and activities, and
a section on yoga for special needs.
Each of the 10 yoga adventure stories have French translations and take 20-40 minutes to complete, making it perfect for meeting the Daily Physical Activity (DPA) requirement. Included are 108 classroom applications for Preschool to Grade 6, along with numerous ideas to incorporate yoga into the program of studies taught in schools. In depth yet ultimately usable, Once Upon a Pose was designed for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in working with children. Doing yoga with your kids has never been easier.
Donna Freeman carries the torch onward to keep imagination in children’s education and lives, connecting mind with the body to keep children healthy and literate. – Sydney Solis, founder of Story Time Yoga
Once Upon a Pose is a unique triumph! Donna Freeman has successfully produced a comprehensive and ingenious guide for students and teachers. She represents a strong voice in thoughtful demonstrating the value of yoga on the body and mind. I’m particularly impressed on the coverage given to special needs cases with ADHD, autism and Downs and the way she connects yoga poses and storytelling. It’s truly the first book of its kind that covers it all in a very clever way. – Mary Kay Chryssicas, author or I Love Yoga, Breath and Yoga for Teens
Chapter 1 – Yoga 101 – an overview of what yoga is, it’s origins, the different styles of yoga, yogic language, yamas & niyamas, and what you need to practice yoga
Chapter 2 – How to use Yoga – the benefits of yoga for kids, the classroom applications of yoga for Pre-School to Grade 6, Yoga Clubs, Yoga Camps, and Special Needs including ADHD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy & Down Syndrome
Chapter 3 – The Stories – 10 unique yoga adventure stories in English and French
Chapter 4 – Asanas – how to perform 60 asanas with photographs and step-by-step instructions
Chapter 5 – Breathing – understanding the breath, yoga for Asthma, and a variety of breathing exercises safe for children
Chapter 6 – Relaxation – why relaxation is so vital for our children, a selection of guided imagery relaxations to use with children
Chapter 7 – Fun with Yoga – creative exercises, yoga games & activities
I just received the copy of your wonderful book. Thank you so much for sending! I look forward to exploring it and recommending it to teacher training students around the world. Thanks! —Shana Meyerson, founder MiniYogis
I’m not sure what to say without sounding stupid or corny but suffice it to say I was moved to tears. Do you have any idea what a benefit this book would be to homeschoolers? The related learning objectives alone put me OVER THE MOON!! I’m actually having a hard time breathing I’m so excited! —Stacey Ibach
I have been using your book at my literacy visits and it is wonderful. One little fellow, who was having problems with speech, created a new yoga move called ‘the meatball’ it involved putting his feet behind his head. The yoga was great for him! —Steph Sachar, Building Blocks Program Instructor
Just wanted to say a GIANT thank you for publishing your book ‘Once Upon a Pose’. I ordered it as soon as it came out. I’m a fairly new yoga for kids teacher (since last summer), and these stories help me SO much. I’ve just recently opened my own business and so you’ve saved me a lot of time in lesson planning going forward. Can’t thank you enough! This past week I taught your ‘Flying and Crawling’ story about 10 times. The inchworm is a huge hit. —Lisa Kelly, founder Centre for Art and Soul
I wanted to let you know that I love your book, Once Upon a Pose. It’s a wonderful resource, full of ideas for stories, flow of poses and background information on benefits. Thanks! I actually used your book in the classes I taught yesterday and it went very well. Very easy to follow and the kids enjoyed it too. I also really like the fact that you put the letter to parents in the book for schools to use….anything that can simplify the adoption of the program is a good thing. —Laura Bakosh, teacher
Trauma Informed Parenting with Hala Khouri November 10, 2022
The incredible Hala Khouri is our guest in this episode of the Yoga In My School podcast.Hala brings her extensive expertise in somatic experiencing, psychology, social justice, movement, and mindfulness as we discuss trauma informed parenting. Discover parenting with curiosity and awareness of our own conditioning so we can be more sensitive to the complex […]