Accessible Yoga: Now and In the Future

Introduction

2:02 Awareness of benefits of yoga for everyone has led accessible yoga to become more mainstream. Work to make yoga more accessible has been going on for some time – extending yoga to different populations.

4:50 Yoga media is not reflecting reality. Yoga Journal did not fully commit to putting Jessamyn Stanley (a black, large-bodied yogi) on the cover as they had said they would. But when the most conservative yoga media moves in that direction, there is progress.

6:34 Progress but push back from corporate yoga. Specialized classes are not as profitable. Large yoga chains offer “gym” yoga. There are two different yogas “gym yoga” and everybody yoga. Accessible yoga is getting back to what yoga is. Yoga is 1000’s of years old and started for monastic males but has changed many times. Yoga is the west is more physical but it is changing as the spiritual aspects of yoga become more important. Also, the potential injuries of extreme physical yoga are becoming known as more high profile yogis are having hip replacements.

10:52 In the future, dichotomy will remain. Physical yoga needs a new name and will be subsumed into the gym culture .Accessible yoga teachers need to have skills to have a diverse, integrated, mixed level classes to address anyone who comes into the room. Many just want to participate in a yoga class.

12:20 Teaching skills to teaching levels of pose at same time. Most teach one level and then other level. Find language to teach both. Preparation can be different and then the cues for the pose are the same. Example: cobra pose explanation for mat and chair students.

16:13 Awareness growing of simple, subtle yoga. Body mechanics for safety. Yoga why do we do this practice; why do we do this pose – what are benefits and how do we make this benefit available for everyone.

17:50 Western yoga is maturing. Questions about what is yoga, how do we make it beneficial for everyone.

19:10 Extreme physical yoga practice will become subsumed in gym environment. Other yoga focusses on spiritual, mental health, emotional health is growing up and maturing. So much more diverse inclusive classes available

20:57 Large yoga brands will see this “accessible yoga” as marketing opportunity. May take away accessible yoga’s opportunity to own the message, not letting the brands to formulate the message. Clothing brands sell on aspirational model. Will start campaigns based on accessible yoga. Don’t let them co-opt the message. How do we maintain control of the message. It can feel like success to be included but what is lost. How well do these corporations support the community.

25:44 Accessible yoga is not as profitable; can’t be scaled up as easily. It may be a financial burden for students to pay for classes. Accessible yoga teachers can not make a living from teaching yoga classes. They are often asked to teach for free. Value in well trained teacher who should be paid and make a living. We need additional financial models. Yoga industry multi-million dollar industry. 99% of yoga teachers can’t make a living. That’s not acceptable. Teaching training and private classes are more profitable. Accessible classes need to be profitable to continue. Corporates need to support yoga teachers. Yoga Alliance is considering paying teachers directly to teach accessible courses. Recently added to their mission M making yoga accessible.

30:00  Making progress – lululemon  could be the model. Yoga Service Council – supports accessible yoga organisations.

31:04 Accessible Yoga book by Jivana will be out in the fall. It is for students who think they can’t do yoga to shift awareness.

Contacts:

Email: jivana@accessibleyoga.org

FB and Insta: accessibleyo gaproject

                        accessibleyogatraining

                        accessibleyogaambassadors

Website: www.accessibleyoga.org

www.accessibleyogatrainings.org (30 trainings worldwide this year)

Conference: Accessible Yoga in St. Louis end of May and in New York in the fall