Introduction to Adaptive Yoga
Adapting yoga is more than an exploration of learning to modify [a pose].
It is a journey in self-discovery, subtlety, practicality, and the underlying nature of ability and disability.
– Adaptive yoga pioneer Matthew Sanford
In just a day’s time, this active workshop builds the capacity of adaptive PE teachers, special education teachers, social workers, and occupational therapists—with or without prior yoga experience—to bring the benefits of yoga to students of differing physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral abilities.
In this active, highly experiential six-hour workshop, participants:
Engage in a gentle yoga practice designed to introduce them experientially to some of the key concepts of the day
Learn to translate their yoga experience, both physically and in their languaging, to offer their students a similar experience, whatever their abilities
Become conversant with some of the most portable and accessible tools of yoga – the breath, the gaze, and the positions of the hands (mudras)
Practice identifying the spinal and energetic essence of poses, so that they can bring virtually any pose to any body
Loosen their ideas that yoga is only for certain kinds of bodies or people but is truly for every body.
Participants demonstrate adaptive yoga teaching for the rest of the group and receive coaching from Sara. They build not only skills but confidence in adapting yoga for their students’ needs.
Adaptive Yoga II: Customizing for Diverse Learners: Strategies for Mobility, Muscle Tonicity, and Spatial and Social Awareness workshop
This one-day intermediate workshop allows professionals to deepen their understanding of and capacity to implement adaptive yoga. In Adaptive Yoga II: Customizing for Diverse Learners, participants:
1. Refine the selection process in matching specific yogic techniques with particular student needs.
2. Deepen skills in defining Pose Essences so as to bring the benefits of yoga to every body.
3. Employ the real tools yoga offers for helping students cultivate greater spatial and social sensitivities.
4. Practice offering poses and physical adjustments appropriate for students with limited mobility and/or muscle strength.
5. Share learning by putting into practice some of the strategies from Introduction to Adaptive Yoga I while finding out what creative adaptations peers have found.
6.Problem-solve in small peer support groups around specific student needs and set group and individual goals for your work with specific populations.
7. (If desired) Create an accountability plan for follow-up on yoga in the classroom and for peer networking around the use of yoga.
A graduate of Yale and NYU, Sara K. Schneider, Ph.D. became known throughout the schools of Chicagoland through her work as Associate Professor in the School of Advanced Professional Practice and Director of the Teacher Leadership Program in the National College of Education at National Louis University, Chicago.
Specializing in the professional development of working teachers as well as in arts in education, kinesthetic learning, and qualitative research methods, Sara brings her passion for building teachers’ capacity and confidence to her workshop participants, as well as her deep belief in the power of conscious physicality for promoting students’ readiness to learn, partnership with their teachers, and ability to self-soothe. She is the author of three books on the body and culture and offers workshops to health care professionals, law enforcement, and clergy, as well as educators, furthering how providers in the professions bring their self-awareness, kinesthetic experience, and cultural humility to caring more compassionately—and effectively—for the minds and bodies of others.
A certified yoga teacher, she has taught yoga to the public as well as to teachers since 2004. A member of the Socially Engaged Yoga Network, she directed the women’s yoga program and taught female inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago’s Loop from 2012 to 2014. (If interested, see Huffington Post interview with Sara at goo.gl/EzggMk .) She trained in Adaptive Yoga methods with pioneer Matthew Sanford, author of Waking.
Sara also offers workshops for the general education teacher on the application of yoga to inclusive classrooms and on employing kinesthetic learning methods effectively.