Though one of our Community Grants Autism Ontario was able to, among other things, offer yoga classes and yoga mats to the families they work with. These classes were geared to a child on the spectrum alongside a caregiver, sibling, or friend. A goal of the yoga program was to encourage families to continue yoga outside of the programmed activity as a beneficial practice that addresses both the emotional and physical condition. For example, the calming techniques learned in yoga can also be used to help self-regulation in social situations or during periods of hyperactivity, and the physical movements develops muscle tone and balance. The program has helped so many families with managing the anxiety and uncertainty the pandemic has created. In this way the yoga sessions became a safe space for the families.
These yoga classes were so successful that a dedicated following was created of those who look forward to the program every week. Due to the pandemic, the yoga program was delivered virtually with the mats staying at the families’ homes. One family reported that they practice so often their yoga mats started to wear out! As the program had consistently sold out, it will be continued to be offered as a hybrid model if in person is possible.