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Asanas for Autism and Special Needs Registered Children's Yoga Teacher Training with an Emphasis on Inclusion and Accessibility!

Asanas for Autism and Special Needs is a Registered Yoga School through Yoga Alliance and a YACEP - Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider 

Asanas for Autism and Special Needs

70-hour Level 2 Training to equal a 95-hour Children's Yoga Certification with an emphasis on

Children and Teens with Diverse Needs and Backgrounds

Participants who have completed the Level 1 - 25 hour Training can complete Level 2 - 70 hours of training. 62 hours direct contact with the lead trainer Shawnee Thornton Hardy M.Ed., Educational/Behavior Specialist, CIAYT - Certified Yoga Therapist, 500 E-RYT, RCYT. and SEP - Somatic Experiencing Practitioner - Shawnee Thornton Hardy has worked with children and adults with special needs for  3 decades,  She is the author of Asanas for Autism and Special Needs - Yoga to Help Children with their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body Awareness and Yoga Therapy for Children and Teens with Complex Needs - A Somatosensory Approach to Mental, Emotional and Physical Wellbeing and the creator of the  C.A.L.M.M Yoga Toolkit.


Trainees will learn and practice:

  • Child Development: Physical, Cognitive and Social/Emotional Developmental stages for children ages 5-17 years, including non-typical developmental stages and how that applies to children with special needs. 

  • ANS: Autonomic Nervous System, Fight/Flight/Freeze and how unmanaged stress and trauma impact the developing brain as well as physical, mental and social/emotional well being.

  • Yoga Philosophy: as it applies to working with children, including children with special needs. How to teach and integrate the 8 Limbs of Yoga in your own life as well as your children's yoga lessons and classes. Chakras, Mudras & Chanting.

  • Workshop with Pediatric Physical Therapist : Anatomy and physiology related specifically to each level of child development with a focus on modifications and adaptations for children with special needs. 

  • Asanas, Pranayama and Visualization Strategies: Including modifications and adaptations for children with special needs. Suggestions for specific poses and breathing strategies to support the needs of children with sensory integration difficulties as well as language processing disorders/difficulties, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Down Syndrome, Prader Willi, Fragile X, Cerebral Palsy, ADD/ADHD, LD and other developmental disabilities as well as children with behavior challenges, trauma and anxiety. Special emphasis on sensory processing and teaching children self-regulation and how to cope with anxiety and difficult emotions.

  • Teaching Methodology:

    Teaching and Developing yoga-based lesson plans, activities, games, songs, stories, group lessons and individual/private sessions for children of all abilities.. Understanding specific teaching approaches and strategies for each developmental stage and learning style.

    Participants will learn specific teaching approaches, use of voice and tone, structuring a group class, implementing positive behavior supports and programming, developing a yoga-based curriculum and structuring individual/private sessions to meet the specific developmental needs of the group or child to include active and restorative asanas as well as chair yoga in a variety of settings including home, studio and classroom settings.

  • Workshop with Music Therapist: The benefits of music therapy, music and sound and finding and connecting to your authentic voice with Sita Rose (San Diego location only)

  • The "Business of Yoga" - How to connect to and manifest your dreams, develop attainable goals and create/grow your yoga business.

  • Observation & Practice Teaching

  • Final Project: Creating/Developing your own class/lesson plan weaving in the teaching from throughout the training.







Great For...

  • ​Yoga Teachers

  • Pediatric Physical Therapists

  • Occupational Therapists

  • Speech Therapists

  • Behavior Specialists

  • Educators

  • Therapists

  • Mental Health Practitioners

  • Social Workers

  • Pediatric or School Nurses

  • Parents 

  • A.P.E. Teachers

  • Anyone who is passionate about sharing the benefits of yoga with children of all abilities.



Participants must have completed the 25-hour Level 1 training. Upon completion of the training, trainees who are 200 hr RcYT's will be qualified as Children's Yoga Teachers and will be eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as RCYT's, Registered Children's Yoga Teachers. All participants who complete this training will be certified as Children's Yoga Teachers with an emphasis on making yoga INCLUSIVE and ACCESSIBLE to children of diverse abilities.




Level 2 - 70 hour Training to Equal

95-Hour Children's Yoga Teacher Certification with an Emphasis on Making Yoga and Mindfulness Inclusive and Accessible to Children and Teens with Diverse Needs & Backgrounds




Please follow link below for details on the Level 2 Training Online!

Please note the Level 1 Training is a pre-requisite to the Level 2. See details for both trainings in the link below

Dates: June 1st-July 27th, 2024

Cost: $1,200.00 - includes manual and materials necessary for training.


Early Bird Registration:

$1,100.00 ($100 discount) if payment is received by May 1st, 2024

Please contact Shawnee with questions 

All Registrants Receive:

An in depth downloadable PDF manual, videos, webinars and lectures online, a Children's Yoga Teacher Certification with an Emphasis on Teaching Children with Diverse Needs (upon completing the course hours and requirements) and 20% off the C.A.L.M.M Yoga Toolkit.



Pre-requisite to the Level 2 ONLINE training is the Level 1 - Yoga for Children with Autism and Special Needs Online or IN-PERSON course 

Next offering of the Level 2 Training will be November 9th-December 29th, 2024


What Attendees Say About the Training


"The training was a unique and wonderful opportunity. Everyone in our class came from a different background and we all learned from each other. A lot of class time was devoted to practice teaching, interactive games & releasing your inner child! Never a dull moment! You learn a bunch of modifications and adjustments for children with unique challenges. Shawnee is full of energy, wisdom and passion; a terrific and inspiring teacher!" 

♥ Gabby - Behavior Interventionist


"This training was an experience I will never forget. Shawnee has opened my eyes to so many new strategies, from behavior management to opening my own business. She not only covers behavioral management techniques and yoga poses, but dives into the therapeutic aspects of yoga and pranayama breathing strategies. Every lesson covered in the training is beneficial to working with special needs populations and can also be implemented into your own personal practice. Her creativity and passion for this field is admirable. I highly recommend this training to anybody working with children: special needs or neuro-typical. Shawnee is nothing short of amazing!" 

♥ Kelley - Behavior Interventionist


"Asanas for Autism and Special Needs training with Shawnee was more than just educational and fun, it was an inspiring experience. Shawnee does not just direct a yoga training, she guides you on a journey to your inner child and helps you recognize all the love and power you have within yourself to achieve your dreams. I can honestly say this training has had a very large and positive impact on my life." 

♥ Carlee - Behavior Interventionist


"The Asanas for Autism and Special Needs training reached far beyond my expectations. I not only learned ways to help and teach the children that I work with through a variety of styles and techniques, I learned a lot about myself. The training was very in depth with not only the how-to, but I also gained a lot of background knowledge so I know the importance of sequencing classes properly for each child or group. I also found ways to incorporate what I learned from the training in my own life and practice. Shawnee is so creative, and it was so much fun to unleash my inner child in a non-judgmental place each day. I am completely inspired and beyond grateful that I took this training with Shawnee!"

♥ Denyse - Behavior Interventionist

"This was an outstanding training designed and led by a Special Education professional. With more than 15 years in the field, this class was designed for a full spectrum of special needs. The workbook was very well written with full descriptions of different spectrums covered and options to work with different needs. Our instructor/facilitator has worked in this field for such a long time, that the actual hands on work was designed to pair with developmental goals for every child we might work with. I work with adult developmentally disabled and the entire course could be, and now that I have integrated it into my own teachings, used for those who are not chronological children....but developmentally respond positively to this program design. I have already taken what I have learned here and adapted it to my adult delayed clients in all the spectrums this course was designed for. I highly recommend this course." 

♥ Jo-San - Yoga Teacher

"It was such an honor to be in Shawnee's teacher training. From the moment I met her up until the moment she gave me my certificate, Shawnee displayed an awe-inspiring amount of passion. Her extensive experience working with individuals with special needs made her training very specific and practical. I felt very comfortable asking specific questions about my own students and how to best support them with yoga. She listens carefully and is not quick to reel off an answer and move on. It is this quality of hers that makes her so caring and helpful. She creates a safe space to explore your questions, try on different teacher voices, and make mistakes that ultimately result in growth. Shawnee is a wonderful teacher. I left the training with many new tricks and ideas. Before the training I felt alone and often wondered if I was leading my yoga classes well enough. Afterward I feel supported by a community of like-minded and like-hearted people. She continues to be a resource to me months after the training has ended. I talk about her program constantly to other professionals and it has been a highlight of my year to say that I completed her training. If you love yoga and love working with individuals with special needs you will gain more than you could imagine from this experience."

♥ Jane - Special Education Assistant

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