Accessible Yoga – Yoga for All (Including Attorneys)

Virginia Knowlton Marcus, J.D.

This workshop will raise awareness that accessible yoga – yoga for all – is a component of the disability justice movement. We will discuss the need for and importance of mindfulness practices for advocates and people with mental health and substance use disabilities, how the cultural appropriation of yoga has made it inaccessible to people who can most benefit from these practices, and the movement to diversify and make yoga accessible. We will also engage in experiential learning of accessible yoga practices.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the connection between mental health and substance use disabilities, the pandemic’s impacts, and why advocates may be at increased risk
  • Recognize the benefits of mindfulness practices in mental health and addiction recovery
  • Discover what yoga is and is not, and how cultural appropriation has rendered the benefits of these practices inaccessible to many populations who could most benefit
  • Learn about the accessible yoga movement, its progress and some of its pioneers
  • Consider the importance of mindfulness in creating a strong social justice movement
  • Experience the tangible benefits of a single, brief accessible yoga practice