Here is the little subtle poster signing people to the very popular yoga quota classes for families in Autism Family Support. We're completely booked out for the whole series of 6 classes.
We were subtle about the logos because as the CEO of AFS said: as a teen (who these classes are focussed towards) you're not going to want the charity plastered everywhere. It already takes lots of bravery to do something probably quite out of the ordinary for you (ie yoga) don't worry everyone has email instructions to get there!!
Last week went surprisingly smoothly. So smoothly I could barely tell a difference between the regular non charity studio classes and this one. And today is the second of the series. People had the same concerns, the same challenges and enjoyed the same poses. We'll see if a slightly different group today will be much the same or not. I'd prepared for many more eventualities after guidance from the charity... So it was pleasant to have a smooth class.
I changed a little of what a yoga teacher might usually do- just to adapt to nuances of some people on the spectrum. Mainly avoiding some metaphors that would draw you in too much to yourself, and being more explicit on the breathing instructions. I also bigged up the mindfulness aspect of yoga (something arguably I should do in every class!) There was a recent study both my Dad (a doctor) and the lady in charge of the autism charity pointed me towards extolling the virtues of mindfulness for autism. I'm sure it also has experimental backing - if my dad referred to it it certainly would do. I must be honest I haven't read it. But even anecdotally- mindfulness is the thing that is particularly beneficial when you have autism.
This class and my next one I have some chaps coming to yoga too. Which I am pleased about- in particular because the guys have tried and loved it before and want to extend their experience. I think they've tried online classes and the like. So that should be good an with a little guidance in person in May kick off a life time of yoga and benefits for them! Fingers crossed.
We'll see and I'll report back on the feedback from people who went last week to see how yoga effected them this week.