BOCA RATON, Fla. — Boca Raton High School is the only school in Palm Beach County to offer a yoga instructor certification course.
It empowers students to teach others the importance of de-stressing while also shedding labels. Those two benefits are particularly important to senior Michael Gorlano.
”It’s all about being in a judgment-free zone,” Gorlano said. “Being more relaxed.”
Gorlano is the first student with autism to receive an instructor certification through Boca Raton High School since the inception of the course. He says autism doesn’t define him and it’s a message he hopes spreads to students with disabilities far and wide.
”It’s not your average competition. It’s not even your average race trying to get to the top,” said Gorlano.
Recently, Gorlano instructed a yoga class at Pompano’s Citi Center. School administrators who attended say yoga has dually boosted his confidence and shed the stigma associated with autism.
“People with disabilities it’s like, 'Oh, that autistic kid.' No, it’s a student who has autism,” said Pam Gondek, coordinator of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) at Boca Raton High School. “It doesn’t define them. If you’ve one person with autism, you have not met another person with autism. They’re just very unique. Everyone is unique.”
Boca Raton High School’s comprehensive yoga certification program requires 200 hours of training. It involves rigorous written, communication and physical tests for students.