Basic 1, 2017

"Some way down the Holloway Road there is an oasis of calm, nestled amongst coffee shops, cheese shops, petrol stations and post offices, given away only by the small orange tree on the door step- the Mahadevi Yoga Centre.

It was there that I did my yoga for the Special Child training course. Drawn there by my love of yoga and the love of my daughter, Iona,who has been attending since it’s opening in 2015.

The course was taught by the founder of yoga for the Special Child, Sonia Sumar. A Brazilian by birth with a warm, passionate, mesmerising and engaging style. She taught with a breadth and depth of knowledge that stems not only from her 45 years work in this field but also as a mother of a beautiful child with Down Syndrome, who has sadly passed away. Sonia bears her wisdom lightly and anyone from the quiet beginner to the experienced yoga teacher is embraced warmly.

The programme takes you not only through the physical action of teaching but also prepares you for the emotional empathy that is central to the work. At times it can be intense, at times it can be challenging but it is always stimulating.

The group of students from Canada to Belgium to Portugal to Poland, laughed and occasionally cried, concentrated and celebrated, focussed and supported each other.

It was a life changing and enriching experience and one that will resonate for many years to come "  

L., mum of a child with special needs.