Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise out there these days, and as it has grown, there has also been a movement to make yoga accessible to more people than ever before. One outgrowth of this is adaptive yoga, where instructors tailor poses and practices to the abilities of people who use wheelchairs, have limb differences, or other mobility-limiting conditions. Now that most yoga studios have been forced to close temporarily due to COVID-19, online yoga classes are proliferating and are an excellent way for people with disabilities to get started with their own yoga practice at home.
Yoga is Everywhere
Yoga is an ancient art that has been practiced for over four thousand years. It originated in India, but has now spread throughout the world with a diverse array of schools, or styles, of practice. Hatha yoga is perhaps the most well-known style of yoga in North America and combines breathing with holding the body in particular poses, called asanas. As yoga has gained in popularity and moved into the mainstream, accessible or adaptive yoga classes have also sprung up to offer the practice to people with a variety of physical limitations. There are chair-yoga and yoga-for-arthritis classes being offered at senior centers. Gentle or restorative yoga classes that can be found at many community yoga studios. Teaching yoga to people with specific conditions—including multiple sclerosis, autism, and spinal cord injuries—are even addressed in certain yoga teacher training programs. Now more than ever is a great time for people of all abilities to practice yoga.