Jivana Heyman is on a mission to bring the heart of yoga and its practices to long marginalised and under-represented groups. As a social activist, he advocates equal and fair treatment for all people in the yoga space – the disabled, the elderly, the chronically ill, the bigger bodied, the economically disadvantaged.
He founded Accessible Yoga, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to bringing the practices of yoga to everyone, regardless of their economic status, race, sexuality, gender identity or ability. In doing so he helped spark a movement to make everyone and anyone feel welcome in a yoga class so they can experience the benefits of yoga.
In this episode of triyoga talks, we hear Jivana’s views on yoga as a human right, how to work with students with differing abilities and whether there should be more specialised classes in studios.
On diversity, he says: “There is this universal truth that we all share a spirit; that’s what the yoga teachings tell us, that we have this atman and it’s the same in all of us. But then experience of our lives is so different and unique – and I feel that piece is lost in most yoga spaces.”