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Parents Letters

On June 30th 2011 my son Kenneth Tylor was born. Shortly after, John and I learned he was born with Down syndrome. I was filled with so much love, and now I was confused. Kenny looked perfect and still is perfect to us. I was immediately thrown into a researching mania. Where did I start? How was I going to be able to guide and help Kenny be the best he can be if I don't even know where to start?
Eleven years ago I went through my first teacher training for yoga. It was an amazing light that changed and guided the trajectory of my life. I started to research yoga for children with Downs Syndrome. Immediately Sonia's name and info started to trickle in. I was lead to her book, immediately bought it. I felt again like I had found the light in the storm.
Fast forward to Kenny's 4th month when EI (early Intervention) is coming over to assess Kenny, already a stressful experience. How can I protect him? Unbelievably the DT that is at our house mentions yoga and asks me if I've heard of Sonia's program. I said yes, was trying to gather info now. Christie, the DT tells us she is leaving the next day to go to New York to get certified. I was again feeling blessed and excited she agreed to take Kenny's case. Christie came back, enlightened and ready to teach Kenny yoga; she started and from the beginning he loved the work. He loved the OM s and he loved Christie! I watched in complete amazement of his anticipation of this beautiful work. Kenny would get stronger every practice.
The work is a game changer for Kenny and all involved. Developmentally he soared, his attention, his strength building. I was amazed and beaming! Kenny's ears were even in the 1% clear of no mucous, I believe his headstands will continue to keep Kenny's ears clear.  I quickly signed up for the program. I knew I was not a studio teacher when I went through my first teacher training, but as soon as Kenny was born my purpose and the gift of yoga became very clear.
The program is a game changer.  Kenny continues to grow every practice.  His awareness, which is fueled by this beautiful work is incredible. The therapists are amazed at Kenny's progress. Our OT Laura is convinced that the yoga is the reason Kenny is so consistently growing and responding to all of the work. She's astonished by Sonia's program.
I am so amazed and am truly blessed to be able to learn and be guided by Sonia and her wisdom.
Love & Light, Kimberlee Ovnik     April, 2012

When I attended Sonia’s Basic Certification Program several years ago, I had no idea of the profound impact it would have on my own Yoga practice, the way I saw my daughter who has many physical challenges due to Cerebral Palsy, or my parenting as a whole.  I continued on to attend all the levels of Yoga for the Special Child, have worked with other children who have special needs and teach Yoga to my own daughter, Mira.

Sonia taught me that despite Mira’s physical challenges, her soul is perfectly intact.  When I am connected to that soul, the physical body plays a less significant role.  While the physical body is important and needs to be well cared for, the soul is what I see.  The concept of soul to soul is what allows me to see each of my children for who they are and not just what they say and do.  

Yoga has played an enormous role in my own parenting. When I take the time in the morning for my own Yoga practice, I leave with a sense of calm that I can carry with me throughout the day.   Without it, I am unable to give my children the patience, centeredness or calm that they need.  
Sonia teaches from a very deep place within herself sharing personal experiences with a wonderful sense of humor allowing us to self reflect, learn the beauty of Yoga, and truly learn to appreciate children with special needs and how Yoga can impact them.
Cindy Kaplan
Boston, Massachusetts. February 2011

I first learned of Sonia Sumar's Yoga therapy through an article in the newspaper. I immediately felt that Sonia was the kind of person who could understand the heartache I was going through with my child. I was certain she would be able to answer all my questions, because here was a mother who had already successfully completed a journey that I was just beginning.
Now that my daughter and I have had the opportunity to experience some of the benefits of Yoga practice, I thank God for that newspaper article, which led me to Sonia Sumar and her community of Yoga practitioners. I say "community" in the literal sense of the word, since all of us are friends who share a common bond, and we are able to support one another through an open exchange of ideas and experiences.
Lorena began practicing Yoga with Sonia in August of 1983, when she was nine months old, and now it is a part of our daily life. But Yoga is not like any sport. It is much more comprehensive.
Nowadays, "Lo" is nine years old and studies at a public school near our home. It is difficult to describe the light, tranquility, strength and optimism that Yoga brings to us. My little daughter is a happy child, communicative and clever. We are very proud of her.
Glória Buval Moreira
Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 1 December 1991


In a few short sentences it would be impossible for me to relate all that Yoga has done for my daughter. Nevertheless, I would like to share my experience with the many mothers who are searching for a way to improve the lives of their children with Down Syndrome. Thanks to the benefits of yogic breathing exercises and asanas, my 3½-year-old daughter, Eloísa, is a balanced, calm, and happy child, with practically normal development for her age. She walks, talks, and knows everybody in the neighborhood. This year she entered a regular preschool.
We are deeply grateful to Sonia Sumar, a gifted and caring teacher.
Maria Piedade Kilson
Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 1 December 1985  

"Sonia Sumar was the first person to teach me to believe in my child. She taught me that the love I felt for him would surely help us to build a brighter future together. I now see the birth of Henrique and the death of my older son, Elber, as the beginning of a new phase in my life.

With Sonia's help, I have learned to give up my bitterness about the past. I have also learned to view the passing events of my life, tragic as well as joyous, with a measure of equal vision."
Maria de Lourdes Ramos de Souza
Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 14 March 1994