Bringing the gifts of yoga to people on the autism spectrum while bringing the gifts of people with autism to the yoga community.
YogAutism, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by yoga teacher Scott Anderson. Scott began practicing yoga in 1981, and has taught publicly since 1989. He first encountered Autism Spectrum Disorder in the late ‘80’s while teaching preschool in Minnesota. As he developed his skills as a yoga teacher, he continued to encounter those with ASD. Observing yoga’s power to help them to improve self-regulation, he began searching for more and better techniques to benefit them.
In the last few years, based on his decades of yoga experience, Scott has assembled a set of specific exercises that address the common physiological patterns of individuals with ASD which inhibit breathing. When breathing is restored, there is a corresponding reduction in anxiety and increase in the abilities to self-regulate and remain calm in response to external stimuli.
Scott trained a number of his yoga students in the Madison area in these techniques, and together they have offered public classes or individuals with ASD since 2008.
“My daughter thrives on the individual attention she receives from the instructor and the yoga poses she is learning are helping her in many ways. We feel very fortunate to have access to this unique form of yoga instruction.”
“As a teacher, it is gratifying to work with someone with ASD because the positive changes that yoga brings to the body, such as relaxation, are even more pronounced, more visible than they are with other students.”
-Sarah, volunteer teacher
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