Written by Sachiko Eubanks, E-RYT
Last week I received an email from Accessible Yoga. The exciting news was the founder of the organization, Jivana Heyman, had been invited to teach and to present accessible yoga at United Nations in Switzerland for International Day of Persons with Disabilities. They asked the accessible yoga community to help celebrate this special occasion and to share "the power of Yoga with people of all abilities" by posting photos or by writing a blog about accessible yoga we teach on December 3rd.
"Let's come together on December 3rd to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of person with disabilities to our families, workplaces, schools and communities. On this day, let's also reaffirm our commitment to embrace diversity in our lives. This truly a DAY FOR ALL, to celebrate and welcome persons with disabilities as part of our wonderful human diversity."
In August of this year, I was in the process of bringing a yoga program to The Joshua Tree Community, and I was researching what is available for teaching yoga to people with disabilities. I came upon Accessible Yoga website, and was very excited to read about the adaptive yoga community they have been building. As soon as I read the email from Accessible Yoga, I emailed Amy, the founder and teacher at The Joshua Tree Community, and asked her if I can take some pictures at our yoga class, and post them online along with the information on The Joshua Tree Community. I also asked Amy if she can ask the parents of participants if I can have permission from them. The reply from Amy and parents were so warm and encouraging. It made me so happy to see words like "God bless them", or "How awesome" in their reply email.
Since September, with the help of 7 volunteer yoga teachers in rotation schedule, we have been having yoga class every Wednesday morning. We have regular participants who love morning yoga class; Gregory, Krissy and Courtnie. It has been such a pleasure to move our bodies together, stretch together, rest and relax together. We practice breathing. We practice focusing our mind. It is amazing to see the improvement on their movement, balance and coordination in the short period of time since September. It is so inspiring to see them try their best, but at the same time they know not to push themselves too hard in order to practice safely. And the most importantly, we never forget to joke and to laugh together during our class!
*Photographs of real students were taken and posted with permission.
~~~~~ Sachiko Eubanks, CYT, RYT, is a graduate of Temple of Kriya Yoga teacher training program in Chicago, and has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her first teaching experience at a cancer resource facility helped her establish the compassion and connection centered yoga teaching. She is the founder of Whole Life Whole Yoga, and program coordinator for Joshua Tree yoga program. She is also a photographer, and enjoys taking yoga related photos.
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