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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Yoga Therapy

Embracing Neurodiversity

Help promote mobility and improve confidence, reduce anxiety and enhance quality of life for your clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder using Yoga Therapy.

Embracing Neurodiversity

Teaching clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is often very different from teaching other Yoga therapy clients.  What might work in your regular yoga classes may not work with these clients, so a different approach is required.

Clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder have a wide variety of characteristics that range from differing learning capabilities, communication, motor impairment, behaviour and social capabilities.  Although these characteristics may present challenges for the client and their Yoga teacher or therapist, the client often has unique skills which can be drawn upon by the Yoga teacher or therapist to enhance the session. With so many varying presentations, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

It is estimated that 1 in 70 people in Australia have Autism. Estimates of the number of people on the spectrum rely largely on the reported number of people who have received a diagnosis. Diagnosis is now more common in childhood, which means the reported number of children is higher than adults. In Australia, up to 2.5% or 1 in 40 parents with children born 2004-2005 reported their child had received an autism diagnosis by the age of 7 years, whereas 1 in 67 parents with children born in 1999-2000 reported the same thing.

(Source: https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/

In this Workshop You Will Learn:

  • How to prioritise what the client needs
  • To use the doshas and gunas to make your consultations more effective
  • How Yoga therapy may assist the client to
  • Promote mobility
  • Improve confidence
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Enhance quality of life by using Yoga therapy’s “whole person approach.”

Module 1: Characteristics of clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder and why a different approach to teaching is often needed

  • What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
  • Understanding the client’s different style of learning, communication and behaviour
  • Motor impairments associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Where to start: prioritising what the client needs

Module 2: Using an Ayurvedic lens to assess the client’s needs and inform the Yoga session

  • How to identify dominant elements/doshas in your client
  • How an excess in a dosha or guna will help inform how to structure the session
  • Examples of session structures and asanas to address excess in the different doshas and gunas

Module 3: Thinking outside the square when teaching clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Why a good understanding of bio-mechanics in asana is important
  • Teaching clients with dyspraxia 
  • Open chain vs closed chain exercises and why this matters
  • Looking for areas of physical weakness and ways to get a client to engage the muscles you want them to when they can’t do it voluntarily

Workshop Schedule:

This workshop will include:

  • 1 hour 20 minute Presentation with slides
  • 10 min Q&A
Module 1Wednesday 19 October 20221:00pm -2.30pm AEDT
Module 2Wednesday 2 November 20221:00pm -2.30pm AEDT
Module 3Wednesday 16 November 20221:00pm -2.30pm AEDT

Who Should Attend the Autism Spectrum Disorder and Yoga Therapy Workshop?

  • Yoga therapists, Yoga teachers and Yoga teacher trainees
  • Medical doctors, health professionals and complementary therapists who want to use Yoga practices in their work

Benefits of Attending this Workshop:

  • Learn from Tracy Gray – over the past 7 years, Tracy has completed over 1000 hours of Yoga therapy with her clients who have severe ASD and intellectual disabilities
  • Learn practical tools and techniques that you can apply immediately with your students and clients
  • Educate yourself about the safest and most effective way to teach Yoga to your students and clients with ASD
  • Connect with a network of yoga teachers and therapists working in this field
  • Deepen your knowledge of Yoga as a therapeutic practice
  • Yoga therapists/teachers are eligible for 4.5 Continuing Professional Development points.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Yoga Therapy Workshop:

Delivery: Online via Live Zoom
Cost: $199. Prices include GST.

Assumed Knowledge – Basic anatomy

Note: this course does not teach set yoga sequences for ASD. You can use the information provided to help you develop programs for your students.

Remember, if you are unable to make the live class, it will be recorded and available to you for 3 months after the event.

You will need: a computer and stable internet connection.

This event is Sold Out

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Tracy Gray

Tracy Gray has been working with clients with severe Autism and intellectual disabilities in her Yoga Therapy practice since 2016. She currently has regular clients that she sees weekly or twice weekly for 1 on 1 Yoga therapy sessions and already undertaken over a 1000 hours of Yoga therapy with these clients.

Teaching clients with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) requires thinking “outside the square”. By applying her knowledge of Yoga therapy, anatomy and, physiology, she can identify what to target in the Yoga therapy sessions and creative ways to do this when a regular approach doesn’t work.

Tracy has been teaching Yoga since 2009 and a qualified Yoga therapist since 2014. She is a senior registered teacher with Yoga Australia and a C-IAYT with the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

She has a keen interest in bio-mechanics and completed the Applied Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga Therapy with Simon Borg-Olivier in 2010.

Her Yoga therapy and Yoga classes are also informed by her training in Ayurveda, having completed the Certificate in Clinical Ayurveda with Rama Prasad in 2020 and with Caroline Robertson in 2021.

Tracy is a Yoga teacher trainer (specialising in anatomy and physiology and Yoga asana) and has taught on numerous teacher training courses since 2013 both in Australia and overseas:

Tracy is a Zenthai shiatsu therapist and continues to teach weekly general Yoga classes in addition to her Yoga therapy.

She also has a Bachelor of Science in Computing (1989) and brings an analytical mind to all that she does.

Tracy’s passion is educating others, be they Yoga therapists or teachers, health professionals, or her Yoga clients and students to gain a better understanding of how they can use Yoga to improve physical and mental wellbeing and longevity.

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