Jivana Heyman365: How to Teach Accessible Yoga with Jivana Heyman

How can we make yoga more accessible? From financial accessibility to the language we use in teaching, from offering modifications to supporting students who don’t follow our lesson plans, making yoga accessible encompasses many different things. Jivana Heyman shares his insights.

Making yoga accessible is at the core of the work Jivana does. He is the founder and director of Accessible Yoga, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings for people of all abilities and backgrounds. He is also an author, and his latest book, The Teacher’s Guide to Accessible Yoga, was recently released (listen in to find out how you can enter to win a copy!).

In this episode, Jivana shares how we communicate yoga has evolved over the years, although yoga philosophy remains unchanged, and how accessibility is a part of that.  He also talks about figuring things out as new teachers, overcoming imposter syndrome and why maybe a little bit of imposter syndrome is not a bad thing, and many other aspects of making yoga accessible, including how to maintain a yoga practice even when we don’t have time!

Key Takeaways:

[3:52] This episode is powered by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[4:52] Kathleen Pratt shares a little about the upcoming yoga series: Nourish Your Nervous System.

[5:58] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Jivana Heyman.

[10:05] What is the work that Jivana does and who does he do it for?

[11:15] How can yoga teachers find that balance between being paid for their work enough to make a living and making sure people can access their classes financially?

[13:56] Pay-what-you-can models and tiered pricing models are some options to increase financial accessibility.

[15:36] What are some other main things Jivana covers in his new book?

[18:43] Shannon and Jivana discuss the idea that there is one best/correct way of doing a pose in yoga. This is not true!

[20:13] The general public has a very different idea of what yoga is than how it can actually be practiced.

“Mostly the studio model doesn’t really work for making yoga accessible.” ~ Jivana Heyman 

[24:30] What are some new things Jivana has learned recently about making yoga more accessible?

“I just don’t think advanced yoga is advanced asana anymore. That’s not the point.” ~ Jivana Heyman 

[27:31] How does Jivana address situations in his classes where a student gives another student a hands-on assist?

[30:20] Jivana is giving away two of his books! Leave a comment in the show notes to stand a chance to win a copy!

[30:40] Are you signed up for the OfferingTree newsletter? They offer a free workshop or webinar every month for teachers!

[31:53] It can sometimes feel that as we learn more about making yoga accessible, there is always yet more to learn.

[34:36] Yoga has remained the same for millennia but how we interpret, communicate, and share it with people has changed and evolved over time.

[38:40] How yoga is taught has evolved over time but the yoga philosophy has not.

“As a yoga teacher, you’re not simply just channeling the teachings in a pure way, you have to be interpreting them.” ~ Jivana Heyman 

[42:13] It can be tempting to want our yoga practice to be perfect, like we experience at a yoga retreat, but how can we apply yoga to our real day-to-day?

[46:38] What are some tools we can use to bring yoga into our lives?

[50:28] Shannon and Jivana discuss other ways we can bring yoga into our busy lives.

[53:50] We can hold opposing things as true at the same time.

“The question is, how do you make them resonant and applicable to this moment for your students who are in front of you today?” ~ Jivana Heyman 

[56:05] Jivana shares the ABCs of yoga: Agency, Boundaries, Collaboration.

“I don’t think yoga practice is just about my personal enlightenment or the goal of becoming that. Rather, it’s about becoming of service to the world and to others.” ~ Jivana Heyman 

[62:27] How does Jivana handle situations where students don’t do what everyone else is doing?

[68:08] Many yoga teachers deal with imposter syndrome. Jivana addresses this.

“I would say a little bit of imposter syndrome is actually healthier than too much ego.” ~ Jivana Heyman 

[74:08] Join the giveaway for Jivana’s books by leaving a comment and find out more about his work and the books at his website and on Instagram.

[75:43] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this episode.

[79:08] Shannon shares some of the upcoming events in Pelvic Health Professionals, including Nourish Your Nervous System.


Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

OfferingTree all-in-one software

Pelvic Health Professionals