Yoga and Mindfulness for Students with Autism – No Mats Required


The study began in 2014 as part of a student’s doctoral project

at Touro College, School of Health Sciences, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  After a lengthy process of obtaining approvals, the research began.

Research Design

The research study was an experimental, pre-test/post-test control group design.   Subjects were students with a diagnosis of autism, ages 8-12.

The experimental group were subjects who participated daily using the Educate 2B Yoga and Mindfulness Program in their classroom, led by their teacher. Although the program teaches 30 breath, movement and mindfulness tools to be introduced as short 2 minute breaks, for this study, teachers only chose from 15 of the tools. Tools were used with the students 3 times per day for a total of 6 minutes per day.

The control group subjects did not receive the intervention.

The Educate 2B Yoga and Mindfulness Program provides tools to build self regulation, focus and resilience, helping students engage more actively in the learning opportunities within the classroom. The program’s training course teaches 30 short breathing, movement, and mindfulness exercises to achieve this goal. In the one-day training, teachers and therapists learn how to determine the appropriate tools to facilitate students’ physical, emotional, sensory, and behavioral development.


 The study spanned 11 weeks from pre-test to post-test. The results of this study are very promising.

The experimental group demonstrated statistically significant improvement (p<0.05) in behavior and social-emotional learning, from pre to post testing.  The control group did not show any improvement.

In terms of gross and fine motor skills, the experimental group did not show statistically significant improvement, although there was some.  The control group actually demonstrated a decline in gross and fine motor skills.

Introduction of the Educate 2B program in the classroom DID protect students from declining in their skills. This finding is extremely significant for occupational and physical therapists working in the school environment. Results show that this intervention can assist students in maintaining therapeutic gains and decrease the incidence of regression. Attainment of therapeutic goals is significantly impacted on what the student does outside of therapy.  The EDUCATE 2B program gives teachers an easy to use method of supporting students learning and therapy simultaneously.

View our slide presentation from the BRIDGING HEARTS AND MINDS OF YOUTH, 2017 Conference in San Diego, CA, sponsored by UCSD Center for Mindfulness

Stay tuned for a more detailed publication. Check out our upcoming trainings and bring EDUCATE 2B to your students.