Yoga instructor teaching child

In the run up to All Aboard for Autism, we spoke to Denisa, who teaches therapeutic yoga at the MahaDevi, Roberta Sumar Yoga Centre. Denisa will be leading autism-friendly yoga classes at our All Aboard event. Here, she explains more about what therapeutic yoga involves and what you can expect on the day…

How long have you been a yoga teacher?

I have been a yoga teacher for 12 years. MahaDevi, Roberta Sumar Yoga Centre opened in 2015.

What is therapeutic yoga?

The yoga methodology we offer is the unique and the pioneering yoga method for special needs called Yoga for the Special Child - Sonia Sumar Method. Sonia Sumar founded this method 47 years ago in Brazil in dedication to her daughter Roberta Sumar. Roberta has Down’s syndrome. Through yoga, she was able to over many life challenges and grow strong and healthy.

What adjustments are made for autistic people and those with special needs?

The methodology we use is gentle but effective. We apply classical hatha yoga and adjust each position for the needs of the individual. The practice includes singing, specific breathing exercise, stretches called asanas, deep relaxation and positive thinking to build inner strength and resilience.

Yoga instructor teaching child

What are you most looking forward to at the All Aboard yoga sessions?

I’m most looking forward to sharing the goodness of yoga with everyone – big and small.

I want to show them that yoga is totally accessible to everybody and is a great tool for life - to keep the body fit the mind focused and the emotions calm and peaceful.

I’m also very much looking forward to meeting many people from all walks of life. It is always such a joy and such a gift to share yoga with new people and make friends through it!

How long would the session be at All Aboard for Autism?

Each session will be family friendly all-inclusive, relaxing and fun. It will last no more then 25/30min and it will be a great way of preparing the body, mind and spirit for the walk!

Do you need to have done yoga before to take part?

No, our very experienced team of teachers will lead sessions suitable for everyone, even those who have never done yoga before!

Can anyone do it?

Yes, absolutely! The more people join, the more fun it is.

Sign up for All Aboard for Autism