from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Special Yoga Centre : Yoga Therapy for Children with Special Needs

Thank you to Aimee Hartley for sending me information about the Special Yoga Centre.

In my early twenties I spent a summer volunteering at a Cheshire home, basically just spending time with the kids and helping around the place. Thinking back to that time now I remember a couple of us rented a van and took Lee, who was around eighteen at the time and had MS, to Glastonbury. This must have been around 1980-81, one of the years with a lot of rain.....a LOT of rain. We would try and push Lee's chair through the mud but always end up with a bunch of people coming over and carrying the ruddy thing from the tent city to the main Pyramid stage and later back again, UB40 that year I seem to remember.

Reading about the centre below and watching the video I'm reminded of that time and wish there'd been something like this back then, that I'd have been able to do a little more than teach a couple of the kids to play chopsticks together, one able finger each.

If I ever do get around to teaching I hope the centre is still open , that it survives the current financial climate and is still offering courses like those below.

This is a long post, I've kind of run amok through their website cutting and pasting all kinds of bits, hope you manage to come back a couple of times to read the different sections. If your not in the UK you might find an international course here http://www.specialyoga.com/ or encourage your studio to host one.

Have a look at the website, the centre is a big space and runs all kinds of courses and workshops not just in the area of special needs. It also rents out it's space should you be looking for somewhere to run a workshop of your own.

The Special Yoga Centre (www.specialyoga.org.uk) is a registered charity based in London.  This unique centre offers yoga therapy to children with special needs and dedicated support to the parents and families.  Through the training of yoga therapists, the work now reaches 1,000’s of children and families across the UK.  The Charity is currently seeking new patrons to help with annual fundraising projects to enable them to continue with their wonderful work.




Jo's Story

Jo Manuel is the founder and executive director of The Special Yoga Centre.  

Jo Manuel is the founder and executive director of The Special Yoga Centre.  Passionate about the healing and therapeutic qualities of yoga, Jo established the centre as a registered charity dedicated to making yoga available to everyone irrespective of age, ethnic background, religion, financial status, physical or mental condition.  
Jo was introduced to yoga as a teenager and began her yoga journey studying with Sri Dharma Mittra in her early 20s while living in New York.  What deeply attracted Jo to this ancient practice was the peace and spiritual connection she felt, the depth of the life teachings in the scriptures and the ability to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually.
When Jo returned to the UK in her early 30s she immersed herself in yoga, studying with various teachers and embarking on a range of teacher training courses. Jo began teaching yoga to adults but after her daughter started imitating her on the mat she also offered yoga classes to children. This was to become a life-long passion and the vision behind the Special Yoga Centre.
Jo’s journey working with children with special needs started in 2001 when she took her first  Yoga for the Special Child®, LLC training with Sonia Sumar, her inspiration, teacher and guide. Jo studied extensively with Sonia, taking her children with her to training courses in Brazil and Mexico and completed her training with her as an Integral Hatha Yoga instructor. She knew this was the path she had to follow and felt blessed when Sonia encouraged her to open a centre to house the  Yoga for the Special Child®, LLC programme in the UK. Jo is now the UK's leading trainer in yoga therapy for children with special needs and offers the basic training in  Yoga for the Special Child®, LLC in the UK and internationally, and a highly regarded Yoga for Children teacher training course.

Jo, who continues to study with Sonia, founded the Special Yoga Centre in 2004 to give the  Yoga for the Special Child®, LLC programme a nurturing and inclusive home in a place that made the gifts of yoga available to all. The centre offers yoga therapy to infants, children and adolescents with a variety of conditions including cerebral palsy, autism, Downs Syndrome, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as physical and developmental difficulties.

About us
The Special Yoga Centre is a sanctuary of peace, which provides yoga, meditation, chanting and workshops in a nurturing space for everyone. As a registered charity, we offer yoga therapy programmes to children and families with special needs, aiming to bring about positive and transformational change. We believe that yoga provides a pathway to help people reach their full potential and we nurture that journey.


The Special Yoga Centre is a UK Centre of Excellence offering a comprehensive package of unique teacher training courses for yoga for children of all ages including yoga for children with special needs and mainstream children.



What we do

We offer one-to-one sessions, group therapies, school out-reach programmes and teacher training courses Our aim is to help every child reach their fullest potential and improve their physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.

The healing practice of yoga strengthens the body, balances the mind and nurtures the spirit. Using the renowned Yoga for the Special Child®, LLC techniques, the benefits of yoga therapy for children with special needs include:
  • improved motor control
  • greater physical strength, muscle tone and balance
  • increased flexibility
  • better postural alignment
  • improved self-awareness
  • greater sense of inner calm and mental clarity
  • Specialised breathing exercises and deep relaxation help:
  • improve concentration
  • reduce hyperactivity
  • relieve respiratory ailments
  • release tension
  • reduce fear, frustration and stress
  • enrich the quality and quantity of sleep
We support individuals with a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, hemiplegia, autism, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other physical and development difficulties.

Teacher Training



About Teacher Training

The Special Yoga Centre is a UK Centre of Excellence offering a comprehensive package of unique teacher training courses for all those working in the mainstream and special educational needs arenas. 
The Special Yoga Centre is creating the most comprehensive training for yoga for children and adolescents in the UK. These programmes are designed both for children in the mainstream and children with special needs and other additional needs. 
Through our renowned teacher training programmes we are expanding our network of yoga therapists nationwide, enabling more children to receive the significant benefits of yoga and equipping them with a therapeutic tool that they can use throughout their entire life. 
Our courses are also suitable for child-centred practitioners such as Occupational Therapists, Paediatricians, Speech Therapists, Child Psychotherapists and Children’s Yoga Teachers, as well as parents and carers of children with special needs. 

Yoga for the Special Child®LLC 
This seven day intensive programme provides the essential tools for teaching yoga to infants,  children and adolescents with special needs.

Yoga for the Special Child

About Yoga for the Special Child®LLC 

Using hands-on techniques and video instruction, you will be guided through each stage of the special child’s development. 
The programme was originally created in Brazil by Sonia Sumar. It has been running successfully since its inception there in the 1970s and in the USA since the early 1990s. The programme was founded by Sonia as a result of her practicing yoga with her daughter, Roberta, who was born with Downe Syndrome. Jo Manuel has trained extensively under the guidance of Sonia Sumar and is the only YSC teacher in the UK and Europe accredited to teach these deeply profound and life-changing works. 
This training is open to all those working in the mainstream and special educational needs arena. It is particularly suitable for child-centred practitioners such as occupational therapists, paediatricians, speech therapists, child psychotherapists and yoga teachers, as well as parents and carers of children with special needs.

Upcoming dates for this training are:
  • November 28th - December 4th, 2011
  • March 12th - 18th, 2012
  • July 9th - 15th, 2012
  • October 20th - 26th, 2012 (with Sonia Sumar)
For further enquiries about this training or to register interest please contact Meera by completing the enquiry form or contact the Special Yoga Centre on 020 8968 1900.
Yoga for Developmental Challenges
2-day course introducing a balanced therapeutic approach for children challenged by a variety of conditions.

About Yoga Therapy for Children with Developmental Challenges (Y4DC) 

Yoga for Developmental Challenges is a 2-day course which introduces a balanced therapeutic approach for children challenged by autism, PDD/anxiety disorder, and motor planning issues, AD/ADHD, general developmental delays and degenerative conditions. 
The course covers breathing techniques, emotional control, yoga postures and deep relaxation. This training can be taken independently of or in partnership with the Yoga for the Special Child (YSC) programme.  
This course is open to teachers, teaching assistants, yoga teachers, occupational therapists, parents and anyone with an interest in working with children with special needs.
This training is suitable for yoga teachers, school teachers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and those in the special educational needs arena.


Upcoming dates for this training are:
  • September 22nd - 23rd, 2011
  • May 10th - 11th, 2012
  • September 20th - 21st, 2012

For further enquiries about this training or to register interest please contact Meera by completing the enquiry form or contact the Special Yoga Centre on 020 8968 1900.

Studio rental
We have a stunning, spacious environment perfect for yoga, workshops and therapies, ask us how book today.

About our studios

Teachers and musicians can hire space at The Special Yoga Centre to run events. We are committed to bringing interesting, engaging events to the community and welcome inquiries and suggestions for workshops. 
We have a stunning, spacious environment perfect for yoga, workshops and therapies. There are two private studios for hire including the use of changing facilities, the kitchen and disabled access.  Our space – located in the heart of Kensal Rise, North-West London – is easy to find. 
All prices include
  • studio hire
  • cleaning
  • sound system
  • use of projector/screen
  • toilet facilities
  • changing facilities
Prices may vary according to length of time and room hire. In some instances, marketing costs may also be included.
Contact alap@specialyoga.org.uk for more information.  
In order for The Special Yoga Centre to help promote your workshop in the future, our staff is expected to be able to attend the workshop for free. 

Studio One – Jyoti  
 

Jyoti is our largest studio, with capacity for 50 yoga mats. This stunning south-facing space – featuring laminate wood flooring, exposed rafters and cast iron beams – is full of natural light. The studio is equipped with an altar, yoga mats, bolsters, belts, cushions, rugs and a CD player. Heating can be controlled from within the studio.
Size: 8m x 12m

Capacity: 50 (yoga mats)
 

Studio Two – Shanti
 

Shanti is an incredible space, with natural light spilling in from windows in the ceiling and on three sides. There are exposed wooden beams, laminate wood flooring and original brick walls. The studio is equipped with an altar, yoga mats, bolsters, belts, cushions, rugs and a CD player. Heating can be controlled from within the studio, which has capacity for 40 yoga mats.
Size: 7m x 10m
Capacity: 40 (yoga mats)


DonateYou can help support The Special Yoga Centre financially in many ways. We are grateful for donations small and large. 

How to Donate

 

Cash Donations 

You can help financially support The Special Yoga Centre in many ways. We are grateful for cash donations, small and large.  By donating through our JustGiving page we are able to claim GiftAid, making your donations go even further. Money collected will be injected into our yoga therapy programmes and helps support our charity work.

Non-cash donations

We always welcome new or second-hand items, especially:
  • computer monitors
  • PCs, Macs and laptops 
  • office furniture and equipment 
  • kitchen equipment
  • items to sell in our shop

eBay

You can support The Special Yoga Centre simply by buying and selling through the eBay for Charity programme. Clear your clutter and sell unwanted items through eBay, donating 10% -100% of the profits to The Special Yoga Centre.  

Easy fundraising

Shop at your favourite online stores while raising money for The Special Yoga Centre by joining easyfundraising.
Each purchase you make using links from this non-profit organisation, will generate a cash back donation to The Special Yoga Centre. For example, spend £25 at Amazon and 2.5% will be donated to our charity. Up to 15% of your purchase can be donated depending on what you buy and which retailer you use.
It’s so easy to help raise funds for The Special Yoga Centre, especially if you already shop online, and it won’t cost you any money. You can also raise 5p an internet search for The Special Yoga Centre by using easysearch.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. As a big sister of someone who had developmental challenges it fills my heart to see these children being touched and mobilized in ways that bring joy and relief. Donating for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can I also add that on the 29 October 2011, yogis will be participating in Yogathon to raise money for Special Yoga Centre http://www.omyogathon.com/
    You can either support one of the yogis or participate in the event. Jo Manuel is also one of the teachers leading 9 sun salutations on that day.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for commenting Serene, does look a good place, hoping to visit sometime soon and will of course do a post on it.

    Thank you too HD, have a post coming up with links to the yogathon.

    ReplyDelete

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