The second part of our flagship course, Special Yoga for Special Children.

For practitioners of Special Yoga, the advanced course you have been waiting for is here. This intensive course runs over a period of nine months. It aims to substantively deepen your personal practice while giving you an increased tool box of practices and a more comprehensive understanding of the methodology of Special Yoga to enhance your work with the children. At the end of the course you will become a registered practitioner of Special Yoga.

The course focuses on three key areas: personal development, tools and yoga. Recognising that where we are as practitioners directly impacts where we meet the children, the course offers practices which are supportive mentally, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. These will deepen your experience of meditation, mindfulness, self-understanding and yoga, all in order to enhance your work.

Developing your skill-set with further tools will lead to an expansion of knowledge, experience, techniques and methods in your service to the children and to the adults who support the children: parents, carers, educators and health professionals. You will be deepening your knowledge of yoga and all its attributes, and receive an introduction to other compatible methodologies to use alongside your core practices.

Current Course


Dates: 8th September 2018 – 27th April 2019

Weekend 1:                   8-9th September
Weekend 2:                  1-2nd December
Weekend 3:                  1-3rd February (Wiltshire retreat)
Weekend 4:                  27-28th April

Upcoming Course


Dates: Spring 2020 TBC

Location: London

£1,500 full price (£600 deposit + £100 x 9 monthly payment)
£1,400 reduced price (payment in full at time of booking)

As student numbers for this course are limited, there will be an application process. Students who have completed the course, Special Yoga for Special Children, will be eligible to apply. Please express your interest in joining the course by completing the form:

Course Format
There will be four weekends over the course where we will meet, three in London and one as a retreat weekend in Wiltshire. Each participant will be allocated a course mentor who will support them through this training journey, as well as a “buddy” group, giving the opportunity of peer-to-peer support. There will also be six sangha meetings led by Jyoti.

The combination of learning methods alongside the sharing of experiences of working with children will prove invaluable. You will benefit from being directly connected to a Special Yoga senior practitioner/trainer throughout the course, while sangha meetings will offer a forum for peer evaluation and support where experience and advice are shared. Personal tutor and peer evaluation lend support and affirm your progress as a practitioner. All the topics covered aim to support you in providing the best practices for the children. There will be a requirement of self study, self reflection and essays that you will be required to submit to your mentor during the course.

Personal Development

Cultivation of Heart Practices
We will share with you and support you with personal and practical knowledge to use heart-based practices. This will help you to further develop your own spiritual practices by entering deeply into the place of the heart to find more ease, peace and connection in your being. You will be invited to keep a spiritual diary as part of the process.

Cultivating Self-compassion
Drawing on ancient Buddhist practices, the course gives you insight into a wealth of different paths that are being used today to lead to the heart of compassion, with the underlying understanding that radical self-care is the key. Self-compassion leads to compassion to others and changes the energy field around ourselves.


The course will offer an extensive array of tools around communication to enhance the quality of our interaction with adults who care for the children and also to enhance the connection that we have with the children. Following the principles and precepts of Marshall Rosenberg’s non-violent communication practices the course will cover various aspects of communication.
– Listening​: this is the key to all communication.
– Non verbal​: the power of touch, what and how we “hear”, heart, body and eye communication .
– Verbal​: skills to develop our ability to communicate authentically.

There will be study and teaching around basic neuroscience of the nervous system, basic understanding of the vagus nerve, how to work with the koshas, the nadis, qualities of the doshas and gunas and how they relate to the practices.

Mindfulness for Mental and Emotional Resilience
Dharana is a fundamental principle of all our work. Providing the cornerstone of presence: being here now, non-reactivity and meeting the child. Throughout the course we will be exploring mindfulness practices and our relationships with mind. This is further expanded to include how to teach mindfulness with adaptations for those that we work with.

Sound and Rhythm Techniques
Develop a deeper understanding of how to use sound, rhythm and chanting as a valuable part of the practice. Learn how to use and integrate sound into your sessions for healing and harmony, and for clearing energy blockages in the children.

Further Techniques
This course will also introduce you to practical techniques including Indian head massage for children with special needs, neural reflexology, Tui Na for autism, and working with the feet and hands.

Working with the Adults
How to inspire and encourage the adults around the children, from parents and carers to educators and therapists.


Study of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. This will include the eight limbs of Raja Yoga as the principle of the way and the realisation of the essence of yoga.

Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention
The course will deepen your understanding of yoga as a therapeutic tool for children with special and additional needs, and will include how to work with the Koshas, Doshas and Gunas while incorporating the practices mentioned earlier.

Anatomy & Physiology
The course will offer anatomy and physiology (A&P) in terms of its practical application to the work with the children.

Asana Practice
Understanding and deepening your knowledge of the asana practice: why and how it works and its benefits. Including:
– How to use restorative practices for yourself and the children.
– How to use somatic yoga for certain populations.
– Understanding sequencing emotionally, physiologically, physically to bring the greatest balance to the child. We have filmed some yoga sessions with Jyoti which will be made available to you in order to help you develop your personal exploration of the methods through your own daily personal practice.
– Yoga Nidra: for special needs and for self-practice.
– Pranayama: a deeper exploration of pranayama practises for yourself and the children.

Course tutor

Jyoti ManuelJyoti (Jo) Manuel

Founder of Special Yoga and a leading expert in Special Yoga for children and the creator of this course. Jyoti Manuel has devoted her life to increasing awareness, knowledge and practical experience in the therapeutic effects of Special Yoga and making the practice available to as many children as possible.


Jyoti will be joined by guest tutors throughout the course.

Course Tips