class-twistDisability Yoga Class
plank-groupClausen House

Currently these classes are attended by a wide variety of students, some who arrive in wheelchairs, using walkers, canes or crutches as well as those with invisible special needs.  Adults of all ages, genders, and ethnicities (Filipino-American, Indian – both American and Asian – African-American, Japanese-American) currently attend our classes.  Our teachers, assistants and volunteers are equally as varied. Among our current students are, paraplegics, many with esoteric autoimmune diseases, others who have post polio symdrome, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, osteogenesis imperfecta, scleroderma, hip or knee replacements, cancer, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy and other side effects from diabetes.  The majority of these students are dealing with a great deal of stress in their every day lives. The program includes the following classes: 

Day Time Class Location Fee
Tuesday 1:00 - 2:30 pm Chair Yoga for People with Disabilities  Ed Roberts Campus BORP Pricing***
Wednesday 1:15 - 2:30 pm Yoga for Developmental Disabilities Clausen House Free*
Thursday 2:00 - 3:30 pm Yoga for People with Disabilities You and the Mat, Oakland Sliding Scale**
Saturday 2:45 - 4:15 pm Yoga for People with Special Needs You and the Mat, Oakland Sliding Scale**
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*Clausen House classes are offered to participants of the Wellness Program and participation is at the discretion of the management.

**You and the Mat, Oakland (in the location of the former Piedmont Yoga Studio) classes are public offerings and the sliding scale is as follows: Full class price is $15 for a single class, $50 for a series of 4 classes, no one turned away for lack of funds.

***BORP offers classes at the Ed Roberts Campus for $11 per class. They also offer a 10-class pass for $100. Seniors or older pay $8 per class or $70 for a 10-class pass. Passes can be used for any class and are valid for 90 days. Please contact BORP directly for more details regarding fees.
 
YOGA FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
You and the Mat, Oakland
4250  Piedmont Ave., Oakland (temporary address)
Thursdays from 2:00-3:30 pm 
$15 single, $50 series of 4 (sliding scale available)
Teacher: JoAnn Lyons
Assistant: Aileen Kim 

This asana class is for anyone with a physical disability. Students who have some yoga experience as well as those new to the practice are welcome. We will practice meditation, breathing, and yoga asana with the use of props. If you are severely limited in your movements, you may want to bring a friend or attendant to assist you to enhance your experience. 

YOGA FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
You and the Mat, Oakland
4250  Piedmont Ave., Oakland (temporary address)
Saturdays from 2:45-4:15 pm
$15 single, $50 series of 4 (sliding scale available)
Teacher: JoAnn Lyons
Assistants: Rushina Patel & Firat Yener

In this class, you will learn to adapt popular yoga asanas for your individual needs, work with the breath for healing and calming, and adjust your yoga practice to where you are in the moment.  There will be gentle movement, floor work and supported standing poses as well as restorative poses. This class is for you...
- If you are recovering from an accident or illness
- If you have carpal tunnel syndrome
- If you have a mild case of MS or CP
- If you live with chronic pain
- If you have arthritis, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- All of the above, or other chronic conditions 

Map of You and the Mat


YOGA FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
Clausen House
650 Grand Ave., Oakland
Wednesdays from 1:15-2:30 pm
Teacher: Lin Maxwell
Assistant: Elle Vayers-Johnson

A class incorporating chair yoga. Clausen House classes are offered to participants of the Wellness Program and participation is at the discretion of the management



CHAIR YOGA FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES & SPECIAL NEEDS
Ed Roberts Campus
3075 Adeline, Berkeley
Tuesdays from 1:00-2:30 pm
Teacher: Valerie Jew

Chair Yoga Class adapts traditional yoga poses frequently practiced on a yoga mat to students using wheelchairs and walkers as well as those with other special needs. The chair replaces the yoga mat and becomes an extension of the body. Students participating in Chair Yoga explore asana and work on range of motion and flexibility, strengthening muscles and joints, and reducing stress. These classes include yoga poses for the body, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques.

 
 
TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR STUDENTS
 

I was a little discouraged on Sat. am (nothing terrible -- I just had to do a hard thing).  About 6:00 Sat. evening, I noticed I was feeling better.  I think it was the yoga effect! Karen C.

[My} thoughts on why I liked our yoga class. I asked myself why I can rest at home, but still feel so much more relaxed after five minutes in yoga. I think the supportive tools remove pressure points and make one feel like he/she is floating in the womb. It is a very energy-inducing and relaxing process. It may sound a little strange, but it works for me. Mary S.

Thank you for your wonderful class and your generosity and devotion to a group of people with limited options and a need for all the help they can get . . .

Joel B.

After a couple years of chronic pain from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome I started to get better but every time I tried to exercise (or take a regular yoga class) I would have a flare up and be in pain again. Someone suggested restorative yoga and I found JoAnn's Thursday class for people with disabilities.   I was astonished at the workout I got and no more flareups. But that isn't all. The class has helped me move closer to the life I desire - a life of being present, conscious and happy. Patricia E.

The community that inevitably develops in any class . . . keeps bringing me back. Even if every person has a different disability or challenge, the environment is mutually supportive and many of us look forward to that time of the week when we get together. Patrice W.

[The classes] help me learn more about my body, the way I move it, the way I hold it, the way I should shift it to have a better alignment to be safer, healthier and stronger. I am more aware of my body, what works for me and how to use props to get myself into postures I never thought I could. I also like learning how to engage the specific muscles and organs. Kim G.

Shared companionship and compassion before, during or after every class, making it very unique and gratifying. As someone with a low-level spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia, I appreciate the knowledge and sensitivity of my teachers at PYS.  Ramona A.

The classes I have attended at Piedmont Yoga, especially those for disabled and/or people with special needs have been the best I've attended anywhere.  It's a little hard to explain why but I'll give it a try.  First, I feel so safe at your Yoga classes.  The amount of personal, individual attention each participant receives is extraordinary in my experience.  I truly appreciate it.  Also, I learn things about my body that I would not discover if I was not working with people as experienced as you are.  I never feel that I will be asked or encouraged to do something that would hurt me.  I learn what the different Yoga poses are and what benefits they provide.  I am inspired by the number of truly qualified people who volunteer to assist you in these classes.  Largely, though, it's kind of an intangible thing.  I just feel more comfortable and "at home" in the environment at Piedmont Yoga than I have at any other Yoga studio. Marty S.

I'm 35 years old and I have moderate athetoid cerebral palsy, which means that I have poor muscle coordination.  This lack of coordination primarily affects my balance and my speech. . . I navigate the outside world using a power wheelchair.  I have been taking JoAnn's class at Piedmont Yoga Studio . . . and the classes are often among my favorite activities of any given week.  I usually feel stretched out and relaxed. Most weeks, I take away a sense of accomplishment after mastering some tricky new position.  I think my favorite aspect of the class is it's supportive, non-judgmental nature.  In short, the class has a very cool vibe!  Melissa C.

Thanks for a really eye-opening workshop.  I hadn't considered working with students who have severe disabilities, but actually seeing your students in action gave me a whole new perspective on what is possible.

Perry G.

Thank you so much for doing this at an affordable rate . . . ♥

Joan C.

I just wanted to thank you for letting me be a part of your Yoga for Disabilities class. It was truly amazing to see the capabilities of people of all different abilities when it comes to yoga!.. I just wanted you to know how thankful I am to have had this experience. It was truly eye-opening what experience, determination, and the power of yoga can accomplish. Jenny L.

I learned many things from this training. My understanding and ability to speak about disabilities without fear of saying the wrong thing has changed. I have a clearer perspective about the variety of diseases and conditions that are out there as well as the many ways those conditions affect people. Exactly like the military people with PTSD or TBI that I teach, there is no one way to do this or to understand a person. As a yoga teacher I need to see each person individually and act according to their particular needs on that day. This training reinforced that idea for me.

Charlie H.

 
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