Renata Sumar GaertnerC-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RCYT
Renata Sumar Gaertner, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RCYT, has been practicing and teaching Yoga to children and adults for over 25 years. She is the daughter of Sonia Sumar, who developed the Yoga for the Special Child Method®. From an early age, Renata saw the impact Yoga had on her sister, Roberta, who had Down Syndrome. At the age of 12, Renata completed her first Hatha Yoga Training Program through Brazil’s Federal University at Minas Gerais (UFMG) and began teaching Yoga at the age of 15. She continued her studies at UFMG and received a diploma in speech therapy where she completed her thesis “Yoga as a Method of Global Stimulation for Children with Down Syndrome”. After having the opportunity to meet Swami Satchidananda, she decided to spend several months living at the Integral Yoga Ashram in Virginia to further her studies in Yoga under his guidance. Renata is currently the Director of the Integral Yoga Center in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and is Co-Director and Teacher Trainer of the Yoga for the Special Child® Method. She is a member of the Integral Yoga Teachers Association, International Association of Yoga Therapists, and Yoga Alliance, where she is a registered experienced Yoga teacher, E-RYT 500, E-RCYT, and Certified Yoga Therapist.
Sonia SumarC-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RCYT
Sonia Sumar, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RCYT, started teaching Yoga for children with special needs after the birth of her second daughter, Roberta, in 1970. Roberta was born with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by mental retardation and other developmental delays. The changes Sonia saw in Roberta led her to attend a Yoga teacher training program, and in 1972 she received her certification.
Sonia holds a bachelor’s degree in education and has taught at the elementary school level. She has conducted workshops and has addressed special education programs and symposia in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and India. In 1980 she founded the Integral Yoga Center of Belo Horizonte, in Brazil, which is now headed by her daughter Renata. In September 2001 Sonia opened the national headquarters for Yoga for the Special Child, at Satchidananda Yoga Center in Evanston, Illinois. She continues to teach children and adults and offers specialized training courses to Yoga teachers and other professionals who wish to learn her methods.
Sonia is a member of and recognized by Yoga Alliance; IYTA (Integral Yoga Teachers Association); YREC (Yoga Research Educational Center); and IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists).
- Sunday - Friday, July 10 - 15 2022
- $1080 ($980 early bird tuition if you register and pay in full by May 10) including a non-refundable deposit of $300 to reserve your space.
Yoga for the Special Child® – 95-Hour Certification Program, Part 1 (48-hours)
Sunday through Friday • 9:00a.m.−1:00p.m. & 2:00p.m.−5:00p.m.
The Part 1 comprehensive training program provides the essential tools for working with children with special needs. Using hands-on instruction, Sonia (Sivakami) Sumar, guides program participants through each stage of the special child’s development. Topics include how to evaluate infants and children, how to create the optimum home environment and how to work with specific syndromes and disorders.
The Part 1 curriculum includes:
- Specific techniques for evaluating infants and children up to 3 years of age
- The different components of interacting and bonding with infants/children
- The components of Yoga for infants and children with special needs
- The description of the physiological/psychological benefits
- The four stages of development
- Preparatory Stage (birth – 6 months)
- Inductive Stage (6 months – 1 year)
- Interactive Stage (1 – 2 years)
- Imitative Stage (2 – 3 years)
- Specific techniques for evaluating and working with kids 3-12 years old
- Videos and/or demonstration of working with children of different ages
- Relaxation techniques.
YOGA FOR THE SPECIAL CHILD® 95H CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Yoga for the Special Child™ training programs offer a unique learning environment for children and their parents, special education teachers, Yoga teachers, and health care professionals. Courses are taught by the internationally renowned Yoga therapist and author Sonia Sumar, whose innovative teaching methods have been improving the lives of children with special needs for more than 30 years.
The 95-hour Certification Program consists of Yoga for the Special Child Part 1 and Yoga for the Special Child Part 2. Upon completion of both Part 1 and Part 2, participants will receive a certificate for 95 contact hours of training and become eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as RCYT. With the 95-hour certification, graduates are qualified to teach Yoga to children with special needs, and to apply for a Yoga for the Special Child Practitioner License.
Continuing Education Programs are offered in a variety of topics to supplement and enhance the skills and knowledge gained from the Certification Program. Yoga for the Special Child is an approved Continuing Education provider for AOTA, IAYT, and Yoga Alliance.
*These trainings are in-person. All participants must agree to follow covid safety protocols including showing proof of vaccination, wearing a mask, and social distancing.
Who Should Attend
Yoga for the Special Child® is ideal for parents, caregivers, yoga teachers, educators,
occupational, physical, and speech therapists, nurses, or anyone interested in teaching yoga to children with special needs.
At the end of the course you will receive a Certificate that is recognized by Yoga Alliance US and Yoga Alliance UK. Once you receive this certificate you can officially start teaching yoga to children with special needs from 0 to 12 years old. If you decide to do that Privately you will need insurance and valid up to date CRB ( this is only applicable/ needed in UK, other countries may have different rules and regulations. )
You will be also able to apply for Yoga for the Special Child Practitioner Licence which means that you will be able to use the title “Yoga for the Special Child Practitioner”, use the logo of Yoga for the Special Child and also have your contact details listed on the main website. This is a great way of generating clients as the website is worldwide recognized and has a huge number of visitors. It will also connect you to the rest of the Yoga for the Special Child family from all around the world. It is an extensive network of fantastic dedicated yoga therapy practitioners that offers a great support and connection.
We are AOTA CE providers (for more info, please click here)
Please contact Jayadevi, Teacher Training Coordinator at
Phone: 212-929-0585 ext.1116