Opening the Door Wider: Teaching Yoga to People with Disabilities - A Workshop for Teachers and Caregivers

 Registration is closed for this event



Led by JoAnn Lyons,
with support from Lin Maxwell and Baxter Bell, MD C-IAYT


Friday-Sunday, March 17, 18 & 19, and Sunday, March 26, 2023


Would you like to feel confident teaching yoga to a student who uses a wheelchair, or someone who has recently broken a leg, received a new diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or lived a lifetime with cerebral palsy? If you are a caregiver, would you like to share yoga with the person you support? Would you like to feel more secure recommending yoga for your clients with disabilities? Do you want to learn some adaptive yoga techniques for your own benefit? Then, this workshop is for you! You will learn from 3 highly experienced yoga teachers who have worked in the field for a collective 70+ years of experience in the Bay Area, along with many of their students!


What to expect? During this interactive, in-person workshop, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of and work with the various effects of disability
  • Learn some of the language of disability
  • Explore the use of props to make yoga poses accessible to this unique population
  • Discuss alternatives and contraindications for some yoga practices & poses
  • Review the responsibilities of teaching and assisting for those with disabilities
  • Observe and practice teaching a yoga class with students of JoAnn, Lin and Baxter


The training is a total of 17 contact hours, plus a final, hybrid wrap up session of 4 hours.


Elective options:

  • Attendees will be given access to many hybrid and in-person classes taught by JoAnn, Lin and Baxter during the month of March – Disability Awareness Month.
  • There may be Employment Opportunities for those who successfully complete the program. Trained assistants and teachers are needed at ANBA for in-person classes, for online classes at
    Clausen House, and in public classes online and in-person at Nest Yoga Studio sponsored by Piedmont Yoga Community, a non-profit organization providing yoga classes to people with disabilities and chronic conditions.   


Cost: $555 before 2/15/23; $595 afterward.  
Scholarships Application can be found here (pdf) -- Due Feb 20, 2023

Registration: Please use the "Register Now" button at the bottom of the page.




Weekend 1, March 17, 18 & 19, 2023

in-person attendance is required
(must be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19)


Friday: 1:30-5:30pm Ability Now Bay Area (ANBA) in Oakland
Saturday: 9:30am-12pm; 1:30-5pm ANBA
Sunday: 9:30am-12pm ANBA; 1:30-5:30pm, Nest Yoga, 3976 Piedmont Ave, Oakland


Final session, March 26, 2023


Sunday: 1-5:00pm online and in-person at ANBA


image%284%29.png image-20221030184715-1.png image-20221030184738-2.png


Baxter Bell, MD, C-IAYT has been immersed in the practices of yoga for almost 30 years, teaching for over 20 of those years to thousands of students in the US and beyond. He combines his unique experiences and background in medicine, yoga therapy, acupuncture and life to create extraordinary yoga practices for groups and individuals. Baxter is a pioneer in the area of Yoga for Healthy Aging, co-authoring a book of the same name and leading workshops and immersions on this evolving topic online and in-person. He has also created many rich learning webinars for Yoga U Online on topics ranging from Yoga for Heart Health to Yoga for Long Covid. Since 2001, he has assisted or lead classes at the Cerebral Palsy Center of Oakland, now called Ability Now Bay Area (ANBA).

To learn more about Baxter and his work, visit his website at


Lin Maxwell, Lin believes in the transformative power of yoga! She has dedicated herself to the study and teaching of yoga for the past 25+ years after leaving a career in corporate marketing.
Lin is a 2001 graduate of Piedmont Yoga Studio's intensive teacher training program under Rodney Yee, where she trained in adaptive yoga with JoAnn Lyons and has worked together with her teaching people with disabilities for over two decades. She also apprenticed with senior Iyengar teacher, John Schumacher in Washington, DC, studied for a month with the Iyengars in Pune, India, and completed a 400+ hour continuing education training with Mary Paffard at Yoga Mendocino.

Lin is currently the Wellness Director and Head Yoga Teacher at Ability Now Bay Area, serving people with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. She has taught at Clausen House for over 15 years and also teaches classes for able bodied students at numerous locations in the East Bay.


JoAnn Lyons, has been teaching yoga to the Bay Area disability community since 1996. She started her journey teaching one class at the Cerebral Palsy Center (now known as Ability Now Bay Area) in Oakland, California. It quickly became apparent to her that this was an area of yoga teaching that had not been well explored and that each class required not just one teacher, but a team of teachers, assistants and volunteers who were well trained in yoga and ready to meet the challenge of adapting yoga poses to the needs of students with different abilities. So began the workshops on Teaching Yoga to People with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions. This work becomes more important every day as Baby Boomers and disabled veterans age with chronic conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis! Working with students with disabilities and hearing their stories has brought a new dimension to JoAnn’s teaching. Her goal for this workshop is to prepare you to adjust your teaching to meet the needs of everyone who walks or rolls into your yoga class and open you to the potential of these students.

March 17th, 2023 12:00 AM to March 26th, 2023 11:59 PM
Event Fee(s)
Registration $595.00