Friday, December 17, 2021

Practicing Liberation Through Compassion: An Excerpt from Yoga Revolution

[Image Description: The cover of the book Yoga Revolution by Jivana Heyman is shown. The cover has an off-white background. The book title and author's name appear in colorful, rainbow text.]

This post is an adapted excerpt from Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage and Compassion by Jivana Heyman© 2021 Shambhala Publications. Reprinted with permission. This article may not be reproduced for any other use without permission.

By Jivana Heyman
[The] practice of liberation is ongoing, and extremely challenging. We get to practice stepping back from the tyranny of our own ego-centered thinking. We also get to step back from a culture we’ve been steeped in, from a world focused on the individual self, into a life focused on the communality. Liberation is a state of isolation from personal likes and dislikes so that we can get over ourselves....

... The question of yoga is, “How can I transcend my personal desires to connect to a universal experience of connection and the communal liberation of all beings?”

This is how my liberation is tied to yours. It’s not simply because I’m a nice person, or I’m politically correct. Our hearts are all knotted together in the expanse of space and time. My ability to let go of my personal desires draws me closer and closer to you. As I release myself, I can embrace you more fully. It reminds me of recent scientific research into the substantial similarities between neuronal networks in our brains and the cosmic network of galaxies in the universe–between microcosm and macrocosm. What I find within myself is found without me too.

For example, if we’re friends and we have an argument, how do I heal that pain? Say we have both expressed our positions clearly, but we’re still stuck in the anger and frustration? Do I stay in my desire to be right, or do I see that you’re also in pain, and reach out to you across that space that separates our hearts? Yoga is literally the realization that you’re also suffering, and that if I can overcome my pride and reach out to you, I’ve just practiced samadhi. It sounds illogical, but the way to really win an argument is to be wrong!

... Let's be clear about this, because it's particularly important to understand the ways that our mutual awakening works. It's not that I'm doing you a favor by being compassionate to you. It's my own liberation that's at stake.

You can purchase your copy of Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage and Compassion by Jivana Heyman here. 

Jivana Heyman, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, is the founder and director of the Accessible Yoga Association, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings. Accessible Yoga offers Conferences, Community Forums, a Podcast, and a popular Ambassador program. He’s the co-founder of the Accessible Yoga Training School, and the author of Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body (Shambhala Publications), as well as the newly-released Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage & Compassion (Shambhala, Dec. 2021). More info can be found at

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Friday, December 10, 2021

Exploring Yoga & Pain Care: An Overview of Our December Programs


[Image Description: A black and white photo of a group of yoga practitioners seated with their eyes closed, each with a hand over their heart. Over the image is a burgandy box with white text that reads "December 2021: Pain Care & Yoga."]

At the beginning of 2021, as the world continued to adjust to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Accessible Yoga likewise opted to continue expanding our online offerings to continue serving our community from the safety and comfort of home. Beginning January with our first official Accessible Yoga Community Forum on mental health and trauma-informed yoga, and eventually expanding into a full slate of sample asana classes, teacher workshops, and continued forums on new topics each month. We're excited to continue offering these programs in 2022.

Our theme for this month, December 2021, is pain care and yoga. Below you'll find an overview of the exciting events and incredible presenters who will be offering their wisdom and sharing their expertise throughout the month!

Did you know that Accessible Yoga Ambassadors get to attend all of our monthly programs and access the replays for free as a benefit of membership? Ambassadors support our organization and programs with a monthly or annual contribution to our work. Access to these monthly programs is only one of many perks to becoming an Ambassador. Learn more and join the program today! 

Friday, December 3, 2021

International Day of People with Disabilities: Editor's Picks from the Archive


[Image Description: Jivana Heyman, a white man wearing all white clothing and glasses, is facing away from the camera while instructing a chair yoga class. Multiple participants can be seen doing a seated variation of Vrikshasana (tree pose) in the background.]

A Letter from the Editor:

The Accessible Yoga Blog is currently in a phase of an exciting transition. As the Accessible Yoga Association has grown in size, impact, and scope over the last several years, we’ve also been working behind the scenes to ensure that our tools and technological platforms adapt to meet the needs of our growing staff and community, and that the content we offer via this blog, our podcast, monthly programming, and annual conferences continues to be reflective of our ever-evolving understanding of expansive-nature of what "accessibility" really means.

You will learn more about this transition very soon, and I’m excited to more formally introduce myself, thank our outgoing editor Priya Wagner for her years of dedication and service in this role, and to show you some of the updates we’re making improve the blog! In the meantime, I want to make sure we continue to offer our community and dedicated readers great content every week, even as we turn some of our attention to handling the back-end particulars of this transition. Luckily for all of us, the extensive archive of posts from our incredible list of past contributors contains a true wealth of wisdom that remains just as poignant, pertinent, and valuable as when we first published it. I’m excited to be able to re-share some of those posts alongside original content as we move through this transition.

Today, Friday, December 3rd, 2021, is the 29th annual observance of the International Day of People with Disabilities, originally declared by the United Nations in 1992 as a day to celebrate and promote “the well-being and welfare of people living with disabilities,” ( In honor of IDPWD and in the spirit of sharing some of the incredible voices and perspectives from our archive, I’ve rounded up three selections from our blog archive to re-share with you all today.

Whether you’re new to our community or are a dedicated reader engaging with these posts for a second time, I hope you enjoy and learn from the wisdom that’s been shared on this platform over the years by some incredible members of the Accessible Yoga community. Thank you!

    - M Camellia (they/them), Editor