Shawnee is a C-IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) Certified Yoga Therapist, Educational/
Behavior Consultant, M.Ed and a 500 E-RYT, RCYT (Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher), YACEP - Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider through Yoga Alliance and a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner through the Trauma Institute.
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 autism/autistic children and adults, and individuals with diverse needs for almost 3 decades. She has specialized in working with children and adults with significant cognitive and language delays, sensory processing challenges, significant behavior challenges and trauma histories. Shawnee works with private clients of all abilities to facilitate health and healing. Her goal is to bring the experience of yoga and somatic practices 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 has a Yoga School through Yoga Alliance in order to train others in yoga approaches to support children and adults with diverse needs and backgrounds 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 can provide to health and overall well-being. She has a unique combination of understanding autism, neurodiversity, sensory processing, developmental disability and trauma and knowing how to teach and reach these young people.
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 & small group therapeutic sessions for adults integrating yoga therapy and Somatic Experiencing as well as yoga workshops, trainings and retreats through Embodied Wellness Yoga Therapy
Through her experiences teaching yoga to children with diverse needs and backgrounds, Shawnee became excited about developing a program that encompasses mindfulness and encourages children and youth to be in tune with their bodies and emotions and how to use breathing strategies, yoga poses and visualization to support their social, emotional, physical and sensory needs.
Shawnee's book Asanas for Autism and Special Needs provides fun and interactive activities, breathing strategies, yoga poses and guided imagery to support children with special needs in
body awareness and awareness of breath
communication and expression of emotions
balance and coordination
focus and concentration
strength and flexibility
self-confidence and self-esteem
Shawnee has also developed a curriculum - the C.A.L.M.M Yoga Toolkit for parents, educators, therapists and others who work with children to support the visual, kinesthetic, auditory social/emotional, physical and sensory needs of children. The curriculum provides visuals and tools to easily implement a yoga program in the home, school, program or 1:1 setting. The curriculum supports the needs of all children and youth of ALL ABILITIES. Click here to purchase!
Her second published book - Yoga Therapy for Children and Teens with Complex Needs - A Somatosensory Approach to Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing is coming out in 2023!