Yoga for the Special Child® Online


Yoga for the Special Child® Online

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.


CPD: Asana, Pranayama and Meditation – with Sonia ‘Sivakami’ Sumar
October 14−17, 2021
Thursday through Sunday • 7:00−11:30a.m. Eastern Time
Cost: $430
• Click Here to Apply​ (please note on your application that you are referred by IYINY)

95-Hour Certification Program, Part 2 – with Sonia ‘Sivakami’ Sumar
October 18−29, 2021
Monday through Friday • 8:00−10:30a.m. and 1:30−4:00p.m. Eastern Time
Cost: $980
• Click Here to Apply​ (please note on your application that you are referred by IYINY)

For trainings offered in other languages, please see the full list of upcoming programs here.

Please visit the Yoga for the Special Child website for in-depth information regarding individual course descriptions and certifications.

Teacher Bio

SoniaSumarSonia Sumar 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).

RenataRenata Sumar Gaertner 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.


YSC Logo For Yoga for the Special Child training at Integral Yoga Institute in New York, please call 212-929-0585, ext. 16, or email

Learn more about Sonia Sumar (Sivakami) at or call 941-882-4833 or email


“An excellent ... program—clear, comprehensive, and compassionate. I was particularly impressed by the profound transformation in Sonia’s students, which came as a direct result of their practicing Yoga.”

—Dean Ornish, M.D., author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease
Yoga Alliance Provider

iayt_approved_pro_dev_ce Please visit for more information on our yoga therapy credentials.