Accessible Yoga is an international non-profit organization, founded by Jivana Heyman, for those currently are unable to experience yoga due to a variety of factors, such as loneliness, social isolation, disabilities, and lack of local adequate services.
Accessible Yoga provides yoga for individuals such as above, based on the idea “to make yoga more accessible”; the organization also builds communities through yoga and trains qualified instructors around the world.
Just as its name implies, Accessible Yoga is focused on providing all individuals with access to yoga.
Sympathetic to the ideas of Accessible Yoga, Yoko Nakano MD, the founder of MEDCAREYOGA, serve as the ambassador and reach out to people who would like to do yoga but are unable to do so for a variety of reasons.
The number of people who practice yoga has tremendously increased for the past thirty years, as the positive effects of yoga on our mental and physical health have been analyzed from the viewpoint of Western medicine.
As yoga became popular, it became apparent that there were, and still are, an existence of a large group of people who were interested in yoga but had difficulty accessing to a yoga studio for a myriad of reasons, including impairment, long-term care, or simply a lack of yoga studios around them.
Accessible Yoga provides “Access” for these people who have until now been unable to participate in yoga.
One of the mission of the Accessible Yoga Ambassador is creating communities where these people can gather for this purpose and reaching out for them.
Accessible Yoga can meet an important need that has hitherto remained unfulfilled.
The nuclearization of families that accompanied rapid economic growth in Japan and the super-aged society of this country have together resulted in a dramatic increase in the elderlies with weak social connections.
Moreover, the poor communication mainly within the urban area has reduced the level of interaction not only among members of the same generation, but also among members of all generations.
This has created a world where people of all ages live their lives with exceedingly limited connections to other people and where the disparities among communities are growing.
Amidst these social backdrops, the number of people who feel lonely is increasing—and that is especially true for the elderlies.
In recent years, research on social epidemiology has been conducted regarding the negative effects of loneliness on the mind and body.
Some of those research suggest that loneliness causes the immune system to deteriorate, which in turn shortens one’s life span.
According to the research, however, the health problems caused by loneliness can be improved by using the power of communities to reestablish personal connections and to alleviate the loneliness experienced by individuals.
Furthermore, the incredible phenomenon is that these improvements in health tend to spread throughout the community.
In other words, when you become healthy, the people in your community also get healthier.
As Accessible Yoga fulfills a need that has never been met until now, it activates the power of communities to remedy the social isolation that exists within them; this improves the health of community members and makes it possible to raise the overall health standards of the entire area.
Accessible Yoga increases the social capital of communities and reduces the health gaps that exist within them.