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6 Principles of Inclusive Yoga- Let's normalise the normal!- (4 min. read)

inclusive yoga Jul 11, 2024

Inclusive Yoga Method Principles 


An attempt to summarise what it means to teach Inclusive Yoga according to the Inclusive Yoga Method I share in the online course. I am not talking about making the poses easy, or making the asana slow. This might happen- but some students might need to opposite to move more, or take really challenging poses to feel present. How can we accommodate these different needs? 

Inclusive yoga is a full approach where we integrate yoga concepts that acknowledge each of us is equally valid. We consider the expertise of the student over their own body and mind alongside our own expertise to guide them. Here are 5 principles of Inclusive yoga I believe convey what we need to work with:


1️⃣ Awareness over achievement  

  • Let go of the linear- there is no progression from a to b but rather a full spectrum web of possibilities we are the guide or the light for the student to find their way
  • A spectrum of practices on offer
  • Broaden the idea of what it  needs to look like- the poses/ breath/ meditations 
  • Variable Pace 
  • Dipping in to see if it works for you
  • Choice- giving options as with trauma sensitive yoga so that the student is empowered to choose + has an option that works for them

2️⃣ Empower not preach

  • Empowerment over expertise of the teacher- be aware of the expertise of each student over their own experience and learn with them
  • Interpersonal- be aware of the dynamic between teachers and students and the students to validate, offer a safe space etc. 
  • Meet the students needs- meet the student where they are at
  • Don’t make assumptions 
  • Normalise & acknowledge it all, the way we move, think, breath etc.  
  • Understand injury pain, neurodiversity, anxiety etc. without needing to make it “about” this

3️⃣ Inclusive themes

  • Speak of inclusivity- yoga philosophy- abounds with Inclusive themes  (see the themes provided) 
  • yoga is not perfecting or perfection it is everything 
  • you are enough as you are
  • Be aware toxic positivity & spiritual bypassing 

4️⃣Co-create class! 

  • Ie the sequence is not choreographed, read the room & be responsive within each asana & the whole sequence
  • Progressive movement- build it up in layers
  • Adaptable peak 
  • Anatomy of a pose

5️⃣ Nervous system support 

It's not about trying to calm everything, but supporting the adaptability of the nervous system with the up and down regulation of the heart rate etc. and supporting neuro-plasticity with creativity. 

  • Understanding anxiety, neurodiversity etc.
  • Move gently to start rather than expecting stillness
  • Vagus nerve & neural tricks
  • Breath low & wide
  • Pace of the class can vary & options to stay with movement or stillness
  • Emphasise yoga is a process it's not perfect, we do not need to be still or have quiet minds
  • Dialectic- we can feel & think more than one thing, e.g. perhaps you feel calm- or your mind feels busier than ever!


The Inclusive yoga method is my approach to meeting the needs of real people who need yoga. Or as I like to call it "normalising the normal" ie those who come to class in their larger bodies or with anxious minds- basically some of teh defining features of our time. But that yoga teacher training often has not caught up with!

You can book the Inclusive Yoga Method course here- without risk- take a look and if it's what you need enjoy lifetime access. If not request a refund.


Copyright Laura Gilmore 2024

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