Introduction to Ryan McGraw and Access2yoga
2:10 When Ryan started yoga he did the maximum expression of the pose, because he wasn’t given modifications. He met a teacher who showed him modifications for the poses using a chair, the wall, and props for supporting his body. It brought a new level of understanding and brought more peace to the body. He could more easily bring in the breath to the pose
4:50 He developed an Adaptive Yoga Manual for yoga teachers. It is available on his website (www.access2yoga.com) for everyone. He teaches Adaptive Yoga workshops and contributed a chapter to Yoga and Body Image (2015) that tells the stories of 25 yogis who don’t look like the public perception of yoga.
6:30 In the last 10 years, adaptive, accessible yoga had become mainstream due to the efforts of Mathew Sanford and Jivana Heyman. They are talking and writing about making yoga more accessible. More teachers are becoming interested in accessible yoga as more demographics learn the about the benefits of yoga and want to participate. 1 in 5 people have a disability and others have injuries that need modifications, others are curvy and all may need some modifications.
10:00 Teachers in workshops need to know that yoga can be inclusive. Can adapt poses and still receive benefits. For instance Tadasana (mountain) pose can be done in a chair and the upper body receives the same benefits as if the pose was done standing.
13:25 The accessible yoga ambassadors program came from the Accessible yoga concept to make yoga inclusive. Ambassadors work to make the public aware that yoga can be inclusive. A recent review by Yoga Alliance included people from Accessible Yoga. Ryan was on the Teacher Qualifications workgroup and he hopes that accessible yoga ideas are included in teacher training requirements as a result of this review.
16:34 Three things that a yoga teacher should do to make sure his/her class is inclusive?
a) Greet the student and ask them what modifications, if any, they might need
b) Don’t leave the student out, but don’t needlessly point the student out either
c) Offer modifications if they are struggling.
Most importantly make them feel safe and welcome in class.