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

 

 

 

Accessible Yoga with Jivana Heyman

Jivana Heyman and Accessible Yoga

Opportunity: Hersha Yoga is offering an online course to expand your knowledge of teaching pregnant women with medical issues. To explore the course: http://bit.ly/HERSHA  If you choose to take the course, use this code CFOYHERSHA to receive 15% off. This is a limited offer with set amount of places available at this reduced rate.

2:12 Intro to Jivana Heyman and Accessible Yoga

3:24 Changing the message of what yoga is and can be. Yoga is accessible. Jivana became involved with accessible yoga as an AIDS activist and teaching yoga to those with Aids and other disabilities. Yoga helped with the sadness and sorrow of losing so many friends for both Jivana and his students. He was inspired by students with disabilities. Even though they be sick and dying, they were learning through yoga to cultivate peace of mind.

7:18 Gym yoga was increasing in numbers and in the process becoming less inclusive. Jivana trained teachers over 20 years but students with disabilities wouldn’t consider taking teacher training. In many cases it was too difficult because of short time periods, etc. People with disabilities did not have the opportunity to participate in the depth of learning/understanding of philosophical and other aspects of yoga that occur in a teacher training course.

9:45 Wanted to connect the physical with the philosophical aspects of yoga.

10:15 Trained with Integral Yoga which is a classical yoga lineage developed by Satchidananda. It includes clear and understandable teachings in yoga philosophy.

11:38 Jivana wanted to add a clear community component to Accessible yoga. Developed conferences and the ambassador program; both of which concentrate on building community and providing support to teachers who are teaching special populations. Conferences also provides a platform for marketing the teacher’s skills that may be more authentic than the business model of marketing.

15:51 Currently there are 600 ambassadors = a free program to support yoga teachers who teach underserved populations. There are several FB groups based on geography and language to support each other.

16:52 Jivana wants to develop an alternative model to the business model which fosters competition. We need another method to support teachers teaching accessible yoga

17:54 Jivana did develop a teacher training for people with disabilities. It was a year long and provided individual support. Now Accessible Yoga’s teacher training now helps yoga teachers to learn how to adapt for people with disabilities. How to teach a class that has people at multiple levels of wellness. It is basically a skill-building course.

24:25 To become an Accessible Yoga Ambassador, (although Accessible Yoga’s Ambassador program is changing shortly –details on the website) complete the application form and just have to explain how you are bringing yoga to underserved populations.

26:10 Jivana has emphasised the community aspect to get beyond the competition driven by the business model. He believes the only way to be successful is to collaborate with other teachers.

28:06 The Accessible Yoga conferences are opportunity for the community building component of Accessible Yoga. It is a gift to support each other. Approximately ¼ attend on a scholarship. Conferences planned: October – Germany, May 2019 – St Louis.

Contact details:

Website: www.accessibleyoga.org

FB:           AccessibleYogaProject

                Accessibleyogatraining

Insta:     #accessibleyoga