What is Accessible Yoga?

A place at the table where wisdom is passed~~Matthew Sanford

In January of 2017, I had just recently completed my yoga teacher training (YTT) in vinyasa.  Within a week of completing my YTT, I began to teach twice per week.  Was I ready?  Goodness no! but a good friend of mine said, “start before you’re ready” and with that, I said yes!

I knew that completing my YTT was only the beginning of my journey so I began to seek out modifications, chair yoga, props and other iterations to allow for yoga adaptability and to build my knowledge base.

After consulting several books and videos, I landed on a video with Matthew Sanford and my perspective of yoga completely changed.  His words, intention and serving as a connector of yoga was powerful.  Matthew had a way about drawing the individual into the sensation of yoga rather than the outer reflection of bendy, twisty, complicated poses.  I had to meet this person.

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Matthew Sandford, nationally recognized author and yoga teacher. http://www.matthewsanford.com/

Matthew led me to the upcoming Accessible Yoga Conference which was going to be held in New York this year for the first time!  I was so excited and the timing was perfect.  I was teaching a class which was open to all and I wanted to be equipped to serve all that came.

 

In my very first class, a few people walked in.  After about 10 minutes, another couple walked in, a mature couple and the one person had an upper extremity amputation.  I must admit, I panicked for at least 10 seconds but I quickly snapped out of it and simply approached the couple and clarified the time of the class and asked about their previous yoga practice.  They weren’t new to yoga and I figured that if they showed up then they should know what would work for their own bodies however, I wanted to reinforce that principle to all of the practitioners in the room.

The class went as planned and I continued with the flow and offered variations.  Who had time for nervous jitters?! Before I knew it, I had to get them into savasana!!

To my delight and humbleness, I had regulars.  Even the elderly couple continued to take my class and I was happy that I did not scare them away.   I learned much more from them than what I felt I could share.  With that, I was committed to attend the Accessible Yoga Conference to cultivate awareness and better serve all populations.

 

 

Laddy Lau_

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