They devoured cake during coffee mornings, ran in marathons until their legs verged turning into jelly, and, in our case, embraced a new experience with yoga. Everyone united between the 27th of March – 1st of April to support children with autism for National Autistic Society’s (NAS) World Autism Awareness Week (WAAW).
The message being rallied was loud and clear – we will not stop until everyone understands. It’s a message that resonates deeply with Special Yoga Foundation, we witness the effects of feeling misunderstood in society as a person with autism first-hand. It can leave people feeling anxious and in some cases isolated, which is why we decided to host a yoga workshop for children with autism in participation with National Autistic Society.
The hour-long workshop brought together a community of families with children of autistic symptoms across the spectrum to explore ways of developing a stronger connection with their thoughts, feelings and bodies. The funds raised from the workshop went towards NAS in celebration of WAAW.
Techniques used to explore ways of developing a stronger self-understanding within the children included breath and sound techniques alongside a series of yoga sequences. The Special Yoga sequences were designed to both entertain the child while encouraging a deeper understanding of how to work with their body.
It was thrilling for the Special Yoga team to see how yoga could contribute to redirecting children’s energy levels to bring a sense of calm, encourage a sense of community amongst families of children with autism, and for some begin a new journey through the practice of Special Yoga! While NAS continue to break boundaries in our understanding of people with autism, we will continue to challenge children with special needs perceptions of their full potential.
This was the first event we’ve held in collaboration with the National Autistic Society, but based on the success of the event it’s unlikely to be the last. Until WAAW rolls around next year we will continue to support children with autism. Check out our weekly classes, family charity events and ‘Special Yoga for Autism and ADHD’ course.