When I started teaching yoga it was a hobby. Something I wanted to share with my friends and family. I have been practicing some form of yoga for the past 43 years of my life.
My yoga evolved from a form of exercise to life altering experience. My teaching developed from a small class of my friends and family to a worldwide stage. My mission: more accessibility for more people. I wanted the yoga mat to be a place of surrender and community. I wanted people to enjoy practicing no matter what their skill level and to me, that meant I had to make more accessible in as many ways as possible.
Accessibility in yoga has become code for working with disabled bodies, but accessibility doesn’t only mean that it can mean “how do we make the practice about everyone?” The people missing from the mainstream yoga culture are the disabled population, the LGBTQ community, people of color, people with larger bodies and older communities.
What sparked my fire and ire for that matter about the portrayal of yoga was not seeing all people represented on the yoga mat. There was this singular narrative yoga which idealized flexible, able-bodied and fair skinned people practicing, but when I taught a class, I saw all kinds of bodies enjoying movement. I felt it was time to speak for diversity and inclusion on the mat.
My mission became creating a brave space for people to try yoga. Hence Yoga for All was born. A place where no matter your ability, size, gender, age or ethnicity there was a place for you in yoga. Yoga for all is about breaking down the barriers that keep us off the yoga.
First, being ashamed or embarrassed by our bodies is wrong and unhealthy. Yoga tells us we are perfect as we are and Yoga for all invites us to explore that idea. The yoga mat can be our ceasefire zone where diet and fitness culture take a back seat. Through yoga, we learn to how to appreciate and accept our bodies exactly as they are, even if it is only for a moment in time. Yoga for all celebrates our bodies with all their beautiful limitations and possibilities. The mantra of Yoga for All is “No Yogi Left Behind.” You are welcome here; everyone can do yoga so let figure this out together.
Yoga for All classes uses props and tools to make asana more equal for different body types. It encourages you to explore yoga your way in your body by offering different options and progressive stages for more challenging poses or poses that you may have trouble with for some reasons.
Everyone has a place on the mat, and no one deserves to be left behind. Having Yoga for All on one0eight.com makes it available anytime anywhere as long as you have access to the internet. Affordability is a huge barrier to asana classes so it was important to me that Yoga For All have space where more people could afford to be part of a vibrant community.
Finally, you have a chance to explore yoga in your space, whether it be at the beach, in your home or anywhere else. You don’t have to worry about entering a studio where you may feel intimidated. You have the support of your community right here online through social media, or you can interact with a teacher by leaving a comment on their class.
My mission is to help you find you and make peace with the body you are in. Yoga for All is designed to help you with that. I hope you will find the courage to step onto your mat and try something outside your yoga comfort zone. I look forward to practicing with you!