Making Your Yoga Teaching More Accessible with Jivana Heyman

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Jivana Heyman

It was such a delight to have Jivana Heyman back on the show to talk about his latest book, The Teacher’s Guide to Accessible Yoga. (You can listen to our first chat at

Jivana Heyman (he/him), C-IAYT, E-RYT500, is the author of Accessible Yoga: Poses & Practices for Every Body (Shambhala, 2019), Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage & Compassion (Shambhala, 2021), and The Teacher’s Guide to Accessible Yoga: Best Practices for Sharing Yoga with Every Body (2024).

Jivana’s work focuses on creating equity and access, starting with his AIDS activism in the 1990’s as a member of ACT UP. He also worked as a reporter for AIDS Treatment News, focusing on alternative treatments for AIDS.

Once he became a teacher, Jivana immediately started sharing yoga with people with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities. In an effort to encourage his students with disabilities to become yoga teachers, he created the Accessible Yoga 200-hour Training in 2013, coining the phrase, “Accessible Yoga,” which is now used widely in the yoga community.

During this time, he also trained other yoga teachers to make their classes accessible. In 2014 he launched the 38-hour Accessible Yoga Training, which he still offers today through the Accessible Yoga School, cofounded with Amber Karnes. The Accessible Yoga School is an online portal focusing on equity and accessibility in yoga.

The episode explores: What it means to be more collaborative in your teaching, how being more collaborative could help break down traditional hierarchical power dynamics that have led to teacher-student abuses in the past, the importance of overcoming impostor syndrome (especially if you don’t think you look the part of the “typical” yoga teacher), his love of asana because of how accessible it makes the spiritual practice of yoga, and the importance of de-stigmatizing chair and bed yoga.

Links related to the episode

Jivana’s first interview on Yogaland: Making Yoga More Accessible

Learn more about and order Jivana’s latest book: The Teacher’s Guide to Accessible Yoga: Best Practices for Sharing Yoga with Every Body

To learn more about Accessible Yoga’s offerings, including their teacher trainings, conferences, and community, go to

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