Yoga for Every Body: How to Adapt Yoga Poses for Different Situations, Conditions and Purposes


Every person that comes to a yoga class has her own unique challenges and needs. One student can’t raise her arms up because she has tight shoulders, another one cannot be on his knees because of previous injury, and so on. As yoga teachers, we need to be able to give those students pose options, so that they feel comfortable, supported and included in the yoga class, and get the same benefits as everybody else. This is why we adapt the classical form of postures to make it more accessible to different students.

However, this is only one reason to modify the form of the pose. We can also change the shape of the pose slightly by repositioning the arms or legs to alter the entire effect of the pose, or to target a specific body area. Some poses (like Warrior 1, for example) have 10-15 different versions without any additional props, and each version works a different part of the body. You can also use different versions of simpler poses to prepare for other, more difficult poses more efficiently, or to manifest an idea, when you are creating a more integrative practice with a specific theme. Pose adaptation is one of the most effective tools we as yoga teachers have to achieve very specific structural, energetic and mental-emotional effects.

In this two-hour workshop, writer and yoga therapist Olga Kabel will show you how to use different versions of poses to make your yoga practice more precise and more effective. You will see how you can use the same pose for a wide variety of purposes. Adaptation is the richest and most untapped resource for yoga teachers and students alike – let’s explore them together!

In the first part of the workshop you will learn:

  • What are superposes and what makes them so powerful
  • Why it’s useful to look at yoga poses as tools, rather than sacred shapes
  • How to select specific pose variations to adapt the pose to the student’s limitations
  • How to use variations of the same pose to target completely different parts of the body
  • How to build an entire practice from different versions of Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-legged standing forward bend)
  • 13 versions of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose).
  • 8 versions of Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

In the second part of the workshop you will learn:

  • How to carry the same adaptation throughout the practice to target a specific body area
  • How to use pose adaptations to build a progression from less challenging to more challenging poses using pose adaptations
  • How to use different versions of a pose to manifest a certain principle or idea for a more integrative theme-based yoga practice.
  • 18 versions of Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
  • 15 versions of Dvipada Pitham/Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose), and many more.

This Course also Includes:

  • Yoga practice video: 40-minute exploratory yoga practice with Olga that will show you how to utilize a specific arm sweeping motion in several different poses to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders. It will help you understand how to build a yoga practice using adaptation as a theme.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions – both MP3 (downloadable) and MP4 (streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.


This course qualifies for 2.5 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

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Educated as a school teacher, Olga Kabel, C-IAYT, has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and practicing yoga therapy for the past 12 years. Olga is a founder of Sequence Wiz—a membership-based electronic health records system (EHR) for yoga teachers and yoga therapists.

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