Accessible Yoga Community Forum


Yoga for Children with Disabilities


April 30th, 2021  |  4pm-6pm Pacific  |  7pm-9pm Eastern

Eligible for 2 CEUs through Yoga Alliance.
Replay will be made available for those who cannot attend live. Captions available.

Join teachers Hersha Harilela Chellaram, Sarah Henderson, Shawnee Thornton Hardy, Mary Gengler Fuhr and Brenda Bakke as they discuss bringing the benefits of yoga and mindfulness to diverse children with diverse brains, bodies and abilities. Our presenters will share ways to get creative so kids of different abilities can participate in poses, thinking about commonalities that might be shared, ways to make meditation practices fun and inclusive for all kids, and why nurturing our own creativity is essential as an inclusive kids yoga teacher. 

As part of this discussion, we will invite you to ask questions, share your own work and wisdom, and network with other yoga teachers and organizations whose work centers children with disabilities and special needs.

Continuing Education

Learn how yoga can support children with disabilities from our experienced guest presenters.


Build community and learn how you can support individuals and organizations whose work centers children with special needs.


Learn together and meet other teachers who teach classes for children with disabilities.

Meet The Presenters

Hersha Harilela Chellaram (she/her)

Hersha Harilela Chellaram is a yoga educator, therapist and teacher trainer specialising in serving people with disabilities and special needs.

She is the founder of a charity called YAMA Foundation, making yoga, art, and meditation accessible to Hong Kong’s most vulnerable communities. Her work involves educating and training people on how to bring accessibility into wellness spaces, while teaching the complete system of yoga in the context of community service. She is an authorised trainer for Integral Yoga and Accessible Yoga and advocates for disability rights and inclusion in wellbeing spaces.

Hersha made the list of the 20 Yoga Teachers of Colour to Watch in 2020, and the 2014 Women of Hope Award as Children’s Advocate, presented by the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation.

Sarah Henderson (she/her)

Known for her imaginative teaching that brings stories to life through yoga, Sarah is recognized as an innovator in the kids yoga movement, particularly in adaptive yoga for people with disabilities. She is passionate about teaching kids of all ages and abilities to connect with themselves and others through movement and meditation.

Sarah’s motivation for teaching special populations is a heartfelt connection with her sister Hannah who lives and thrives with Down syndrome. Sarah became a Kids Yoga Teacher in 2011 after a career in Early Intervention for ages 0-3 and integrative preschool experiences for kids with and without disabilities.

She is a kids and adaptive yoga specialist, an Accessible Yoga ambassador and graduate, and the Director of Curriculum and Communication for the kids yoga brand Next Generation Yoga where she teaches others to share yoga + mindfulness with kids of all abilities and authors their inclusive lesson plans.

Sarah lives in Charlotte with her husband and three kids. You can find her on Facebook at Sarah Henderson Yoga and Instagram @sarahhendersonyoga.

Shawnee Thornton Hardy (she/her)

Shawnee Thornton Hardy is a Certified Yoga Therapist, M.Ed, Advanced Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and the Founder of Asanas for Autism and Special Needs and Founder/Director of Yoga Therapy for Youth. She has worked with children and youth of diverse abilities and backgrounds for close to 30 years.

She authored Asanas for Autism and Special Needs - Yoga to Help Children with their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body-Awareness and is the creator of the C.A.L.M.M Yoga Toolkit, a yoga and mindfulness curriculum designed to support children's diverse sensory, communication, emotional, physical and learning needs.

Shawnee leads workshops and trainings online and throughout the US and Internationally on Yoga and Mindfulness for Children and Youth with an Emphasis on Making Yoga and Mindfulness Inclusive and Accessible to Children of Diverse Needs and Backgrounds.

She is passionate about supporting youth with developing self-regulation skills, connecting to their own inner power, building resilience and allowing their unique strengths and gifts to shine.


Brenda Bakke (she/her)

Brenda is an experienced pediatric physical therapist who has successfully integrated yoga methods into her treatment sessions since 1999. Brenda is a Certified Yoga Therapist through the IAYT and a Certified Accessible Yoga Teacher. She has her Master’s degree in education, is NDT trained and has extensive training in Sensory Integration. Brenda enjoys teaching Yoga and PT workshops around the country and especially helping to bring yoga into educational and healthcare settings. Brenda currently works in a school district and private practice, Bakke Physical and Yoga Therapy.

Mary Gengler Fuhr (she/her)

Mary has been a practicing Occupational Therapist specializing in pediatrics for over 35 years. She has a passion for sharing yoga and pediatric massage with neuro-diverse children and adults and their families. Mary is an Accessible Yoga Trainer and Yoga Therapist. She teaches workshops throughout the country and internationally on various topics including, "Yoga and Mindfulness for All Children."


Community Forum Pricing

We recognize that financial barriers to access are just as real as physical ones. As an organization committed to equity and promoting financial accessibility, we've created three pricing tiers for individual Community Forums. If you do not see a tier that reflects your financial situation, you're invited to apply for a scholarship. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Accessible Yoga Ambassadors are invited to attend all nine of our 2021 Community Forums for FREE. If you would like to attend multiple Community Forums in 2021, becoming an Ambassador offers you the best price. Sign up today to make your first monthly or annual sustaining contribution to Accessible Yoga (as low as $9/mo. or $108/yr.) and immediately gain access to the free registration link OR register for a single event (below).

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