Your weekly source for questions and answers around equity in yoga

Accessible Yoga Podcast

Join us for powerful conversations with thought leaders at the intersection of justiceknowledge, and practice.

Hosted by Jivana Heyman and Amber Karnes. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Accessible Yoga Podcast Episodes

Episode 9 : Yoga Is Not About Fixing Others with Jivana Heyman and Amber Karnes

In episode 9, Amber and Jivana talk about a recent article Jivana has featured with Yoga Journal talking about yoga’s response to disabilities and illness. Together they explore the belief that folks with disabilities or illness need to be fixed or cured, especially within yoga spaces. Jivana talks in depth about the connection between ableism and white supremacy, making it pervasive and easy to ignore by those who think they are unaffected. Jivana also shares more about the ways ableism is upheld in our wellness spaces by centering healing and curing people. This episode invites us all to investigate the stories we hold about our bodies, disabilities, illness, death, and yoga’s place aside those identities

Listen: Episode 9

Episode 8: Yoga philosophy through a South Asian perspective with Shyam Ranganathan

Shyam Ranganathan and Jivana Heyman have a discussion about Yoga philosophy through a South Asian perspective. They explore the various ways that Western imperialism shows up in the way we interpret and practice yoga, what the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita both say about our responsibility when it comes to other people (social justice), and how translations, interpretation, and a Eurocentric bias can completely change the context and the meanings of the teachings.

Listen: Episode 8

Episode 7: Nothing is okay / Everything is okay

Jivana Heyman & Amber Karnes

In episode 7, Amber Karnes and Jivana Heyman talk about duality—the up and down, light and dark, "both/and" nature of life. We talk about how attachment to outcomes and the stories we tell ourselves keep us in a place of suffering, and the antidote to that (spoiler alert, it’s non-attachment and acceptance). We discuss personal experiences and practical ways that we each work with our emotions and grief in our yoga practice. We also talk about the danger of spiritual bypass and how embracing the fullness of our human experience honors the yoga teachings and helps us accept ourselves as we are.

Listen: Episode 7

Episode 6: Lessons learned from the Accessible Yoga Training 

In episode 6, Amber and Jivana talk about lessons learned from the Accessible Yoga Training. Jivana digs deep into the yoga philosophy behind this training that informs both of our work and the way we teach. We talk about shifting the power dynamic between teacher and student and what happens when we give students the tools to work with their practice, rather than insisting they fit into a preconceived notion of shapes or sequences. We also talk about how the Accessible Yoga Training builds community between teachers like us whose work sometimes feels isolating. 

Listen: Episode 6

Episode 5: Geek wellness, YogaQuest, and the power of stories with Justine Mastin

Hosted by Amber Karnes

Justine Mastin found her people at a comic book convention. In this interview we'll talk about why that mattered and how Justine helped the geek community remove barriers to accessing wellness. Plus we'll talk about the power of stories to question social norms and make change in our own lives. 

Listen: Episode 5

Episode 4: Getting better at failure and reclaiming wellness with Nicole Cardoza

Hosted by Jivana Heyman

Jivana Heyman & Anti-Racism Daily creator Nicole Cardoza discuss "failure as a practice" to help build resilience and meet whatever challenge comes our way. They'll also discuss reclaiming our right to be well and what wellness means to each of them.

Listen: Episode 4

Episode 3: What’s wrong with saying, “I’m just not the yoga teacher for everyone”

Jivana Heyman & Amber Karnes

In Episode 3, Amber Karnes and Jivana Heyman discuss the responsibility of yoga teachers to have a commitment to accessibility in their group classes and how we can’t let ourselves off the hook by saying, “I’m just not the teacher for everyone.”

Listen: Episode 3

Episode 2: Dismantling white supremacy & redistributing power in yoga spaces with Kelley Palmer

Hosted by Amber Karnes

In episode 2, Amber Karnes & Kelley Palmer will discuss ways that white supremacy shows up in our yoga spaces, how we can redistribute power and resources toward more equity, and how we shift from an individual lens to a focus on community care and the collective.

Listen: Episode 2

Episode 1: If yoga is so peaceful, why are y'all so angry all the time?

Jivana Heyman & Amber Karnes

In episode 1, we introduce ourselves and talk about the work we do in the world. We also try to answer the question, “Yoga is supposed to be peaceful, why are y’all so angry and negative all the time?” We discuss spiritual bypass and why the yoga teachings are not just about “love and light.” We also discuss figuring out “your lane” in social justice by honoring your body, knowing yourself, getting beyond shame, fear, and confusion, and managing your mind.

Listen: Episode 1

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