Sonia Sumar began teaching Yoga for children with special needs after her daughter Roberta was born with Down Syndrome in 1972. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by mental retardation and other developmental delays. Sonia noticed many positive changes in Roberta from using Yoga therapy, so in 1975 she became a Certified Yoga Teacher. At that time, she dreamed of visiting India to find a living Guru to help her deepen her Sadhana, her spiritual practice. However, she was unable to afford it. Her favorite Yoga teacher was Sri Swami Sivananda. Much of his work was already available in Brazil where she lived, so Sonia followed his teachings through his books.
Sonia's life dream is to help the world's special children achieve their full potential and become active and productive members of society. Nothing can better express her success than the letters she receives from the parents of her students.
Sonia holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and has taught at elementary school level. She has conducted workshops and addressed special education programs and symposia in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and India. In 1980, she founded the Integral Yoga Center of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, now headed by her daughter Renata. In 2001, Sonia opened the U.S. Headquarters of Yoga for the Special Child, Satchidananda Yoga Center, in Evanston, Illinois. She currently resides in Florida. Sonia continues teaching children and adults and offers her specialized training courses to Yoga teachers and other professionals worldwide.
Her book Yoga for the Special Child has been published in English, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish. The eBook is available in English.
Sonia is a recognized member of: Yoga Alliance, UK and USA; Integral Yoga Teachers Association and International Association of Yoga Therapists. (C-IAYT.; E-RYT500, E-RCYT, Senior YAP and YACEP)