Yoga for special needs classes provide a sense of belonging and community. These adaptive yoga classes focus on building strength, developing regulation skills through breathing, improving mobility and maintaining/improving overall health and emotional well-being.The physical sequences are similar from week to week (or class to class) to build confidence, encourage exploration, gain a sense of empowerment and independence, as well as increasing mobility, strength and balance.


PYR offers 4 Yoga for Special Needs programs:

Aspree Adult Day Services

Running weekly since Spring 2013 

Instructors: Sarah Humphries and Dan Weiseman

Population Served: Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


Founders Center of Commonwealth Autism

Running weekly since October 2012

Instructor: Carrie Puryear

Population Served: Teens with Autism (we work with the Upper School)



Freedom Yoga

Running monthly since Spring 2013 at PYR

Instructor: Carrie Puryear

Population Served: Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, their friends and family, and is also open to the entire community


This was a doorway to yoga for us because there weren’t any other places we could go that was calm and relaxing and enveloping and welcoming and now we even go to a gentle yoga class on the regular schedule with all the other students.  It has opened up a whole world that I never thought we would have the opportunity.” – Parent of a Freedom Yoga Student
Transitions Day Support Services

Running weekly since April 2015

Instructor: Natasha Foreman

Population Served: Adults with Intellectual Disabilities



“My brother and I wanted to thank you and Special Olympics for the So-Fit program and share with you all the difference it has made in his health.  He really took the program very seriously and actively participated in the Yoga and Exercise programs.

I must say the coaches at Yoga and JCC were excellent!  They gave individual attention to each member, which really made him try harder to accomplish especially the Yoga positions.

In July, we went to see his primary care physician, Dr. David Taminger, with results that were remarkable.  Not only had he lost a total of 14 pounds, but also had the best lab results this year.  For his diabetes the results of his HbA1C,  which is a measure of your average blood glucose levels was 1.2 points lower.  His fasting glucose level was also within normal limits. His cholesterol levels was also so much lower. Overall he showed remarkable improvements. His doctor sent us a note saying, ” Whatever you are doing, please keep up the good work.”

This program really worked and I am so glad that we were participants.  Not only was it fun and gave him an opportunity to see old friends at the program, it has made a substantial difference in his health.  My only wish is to have a continuation of this program on a more permanent basis.”

Testimonial from a sister of a participant

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