YOGA  FOR THE SPECIAL CHILD ®
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Renata Sumar Gaertner


Renata started to practice Yoga with her mother, Sonia Sumar, at three years of age. While still a child, Renata participated in many Yoga courses and conventions with her mother. At twelve years, she completed her first Hatha Yoga Teacher's Training Program through Brazil's Federal University at Minas Gerais (UFMG). And, at fifteen years old, she began her teaching career in Hatha Yoga.
In 1989, Renata advanced her teaching skills by completing the Teacher's Training Program for Yoga for the Special Child. In 1990 Sri Swami Satchidananda, the great teacher and founder of Hatha Yoga Integral, visited Sonia Sumar's Yoga Center in Brazil and this visit caused Renata to begin following a new path. By the end of 1991 Renata went to Satchidananda Ashram in VA.
 In 1994 she received her university diploma in Speech Therapy. Her thesis, "Yoga as a Method of Global Stimulation for Children with Down Syndrome", describes her original research which indicates Yoga is an effective method for stimulating the development of children with Down Syndrome.
 
In 1995 Renata returned to Satchidananda Ashram where she spent six months under the guidance of Sri Gurudev. During that time Renata participated in many courses and attended many lectures, constantly trying to increase her knowledge about Yoga. Renata also assisted her mother by helping to teach her annual courses of Yoga for the Special Child at the ashram and in New York City.
 
In 2000-2001, Renata spent several months visiting various Yoga masters in India to increase her knowledge about the different branches of the Yoga family, including Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga. Outstanding among the different teachers that she was honored to have is her Ashtanga Yoga teacher, Saraswati Rangaswami, the daughter of Pattabhi Jois, who is the founder of the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, in Mysore, India. From Sree Sarawati, Renata learned not only about how to deepen her Ashtanga Yoga practice, but also more about the India culture and Hinduism.
 
The year 2002 was very special for Renata, as she gave Light to her first child, Noah. Noah, who began his Yoga "practice" while still in the womb, is the inspiration behind Renata's work in developing a Teacher's Training Program for Yoga for Mothers-to-be, Mothers, and Babies. Noah continues his practice in private classes and serves as Renata's best validation for her teaching methods.
Renata is the Director of the Integral Yoga Center in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and a member of the Integral Yoga Teachers Association, Yoga Alliance, where she is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 hour level, the Yoga Research and Education Center and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
 
She moved to Sarasota, Fl in October of 2007 with her family and pregnant of her second boy. She is now working with Sonia and still running the Yoga Center in Brazil, where she goes with her family once a year in order to teach programs and workshop.
 
In February of 2008, a new addition to the family - Nathan was born. He is a very special soul. He loves practicing Yoga and always asks his mom to practice with him: : “Mom, I want to do Yoga!”
Now, Renata and her family lives in California, from where she is still working for Yoga for the Special Child® and coordinating Yoga for the Special Child® Programs.