Neurodiversity & Yoga: An Overview of our March Programs

ableism accessible yoga association accessible yoga community adhd announcements asana autism community forum developmental disability intellectual disability m camellia mental health monthly programs movement disorders neurodiversity neuroscience sensory processing disorders teaching yoga workshop Mar 04, 2022
This month, Accessible Yoga’s monthly programming focuses on neurodiversity and yoga, featuring neurodivergent teachers and presenters, and those who serve community members with neurological difference. Each offering aims to affirm and bolster accessibility for neurodivergent yoga practitioners (and teachers!), whose accessibility needs are often not considered in mainstream, Western yoga spaces, inclusive of those with Autism, ADHD, IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities), mental health conditions, and sensory processing and movement disorders. Presenters will draw from personal and professional experiences to address accessibility considerations for members of neurodiverse communities, as well as the specific forms and impacts of ableism on those with neurological differences.
First up, Kristen Shuman will offer a workshop on creating accessible, affirming, neuro-inlusive yoga spaces. Shawnee Thornton Hardy will then offer an asana class to help participants embrace and embody their own neurologic differences. We’ll close our programs for the month with a community forum featuring Noha Arafa, Jess Nabb, and Sherene Cauley, hosted by AY Blog Editor M Camellia. Forum presenters will discuss topics ranging from the depths of cultural conditioning and ways that systems of oppression and other traumas impact the brain, to non-neurotypical thought and processing frameworks, and what we can all learn from neurodiverse people about awareness, the senses, emotions, and community care.
Below you will find more details about each event and our lineup of presenters for the month! You'll also find the direct links to register for these programs.
Did you know that Accessible Yoga Ambassadors get to attend all of our monthly programs and access the replays for free as a benefit of membership? Ambassadors support our organization and programs with a monthly or annual contribution to our work. Access to these monthly programs is only one of many perks to becoming an Ambassador. Learn more and join the program today!


March 2022 Programs: Neurodiversity & Yoga


Creating Accessible, Affirming and Neuro-Inclusive Yoga Spaces

A Workshop with Kristen Shuman

Monday, March 14th, 2022

9-10:30 pm PST (Los Angeles)
12-1:30 pm EST (New York)

Closed captions & replay available for registrants.

In this 90-minute workshop, Kristen Shuman (she/they), LPC, RYT-500, shares from both their personal and professional experiences as an Autistic yoga teacher and psychotherapist, offering participants an opportunity to learn how to make their yoga classes more accessible and affirming for neurodiverse practitioners, including those on the Autism spectrum. They will share important considerations related to vocabulary, diverse sensory needs, appropriate support for emotional regulation, the specific impacts ableism, the potential psychological and physical benefits of yoga for neurodiverse people, and other considerations the Westernized yoga model typically doesn’t take into account.

Incorporating lecture, a short, accessible Yin practice, and time for reflection and questions, this workshop aims to present opportunities for interactivity and engagement, while also reserving the option for participants to simply listen and/or remain off camera if that is their preference.

Recommended props: any props that will help you feel supported for a short, accessible, Yin-style asana practice, plus a journal or preferred device for recording notes and personal reflections.


Learn More & Register >>

Embracing & Embodying Our Neuro-Differences

An Asana Class with Shawnee Thornton Hardy

Thursday, March 24th, 2022

1-2 pm Pacific (Los Angeles)
4-5 pm Eastern (New York)

Closed captions & replay available for registrants.


The emphasis of this class will be tuning in to body, mind and nervous system states. The practice will support with building more proprioceptive and interoceptive awareness, easing anxiety, grounding, stability, and honoring our own beautifully unique and intuitive ways of moving through the world. Specific strategies will be integrated in the class to create an inclusive and supportive experience for neurodivergent practitioners.

Shawnee will lead a 50 minute class with time for Q&A.

Recommended props: 2 blankets, 1 block, 1 eye pillow.


Learn More & Register >>

Community Forum: Neurodiversity & Yoga

A Panel Discussion and Mixer Featuring Noha Arafa, Jess Nabb & Sherene Cauley, with host M Camellia

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

3-5 pm PST (Los Angeles)
6-8 pm EST (New York)
March 31st, 9am-11am AEDT (Melbourne)

Closed captions & replay available for registrants.

Join experienced, neurodiverse teachers Noha Arafa, Jess Nabb, Sherene Cauley, and host M Camellia for our March 2022 Accessible Yoga Community Forum on Neurodiversity and Yoga. Panelists will offer a deep exploration into the vastness of neurological biodiversity and patterning. Discussion topics will range from the depths of cultural conditioning and ways that systems of oppression and other traumas impact the brain, to non-neurotypical thought and processing frameworks, and what we can all learn from neurodiverse people about awareness, the senses, emotions, and community care. The panel will also offer best practices for language and accessible teaching, ways of combating ableism both internally and externally, and other practical knowledge aimed at cultivating greater inter-community understanding and more affirming spaces for neurodiverse practitioners.

The panel discussion will last 90 minutes, including some time for audience questions. Participants are invited to stick around after the panel concludes for a 30-minute social mixer and networking session, with the option to share their own experiences and meet other community members who are working at the intersection of neurodiversity and yoga.


Learn More & Register >>


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Most grant applications require organizations to submit demographic information about the communities they serve. You can help Accessible Yoga access grant funding and keep our programs running and expanding by responding to this short, anonymous demographic survey! Thank you in advance for your responses.

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