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Universal Design is the design and composition of a pose, movement activity, or physical teaching tool so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, or abilities. Yoga teaching tools should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use them. This is not a special requirement, for the benefit of only one group or population. It is a fundamental condition of well designed teaching technique. If what is offered as a method of inquiry in yoga classes is accessible, useable, and a pleasure to use everyone benefits. By considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the class design process, universal design creates poses, movement activities, and physical teaching tools for the purpose of inquiry that meet peoples’ needs. Simply put, universal design for yoga classes is good design.


It is a misconception to believe that Universal Design applied to yoga classes results in a 'diluted' experience that meets the needs of many people, but only to a limited or incomplete degree. It does not involve compromises to the detriment of the original design of yoga classes, the experiences in them, or the potential for learning on a personal level from them.


Universal Design for yoga classes promotes as inclusive a class structure and class components as possible. However, the addition of components that enhance access or use by some people, does not and should not hinder or diminish the user experience for others.


The components of a yoga class are designed so that they may be accessed, understood and used

  • To the greatest possible extent

  • In the most independent and natural manner possible

  • In the widest possible range of situations


NOTE: Universal Design definition adapted from The Disability Act 2005 verbiage.

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