Making Pranayama Accessible:

Overcoming Obstacles Through the Breath


5-session online course with Jivana Heyman, founder of Accessible Yoga.

7 hours of pre-recorded training over 5 x 60-90 minute sessions
Enrollment includes 1 year of access to course replays,
recorded live in December 2022, and accompanying resources


How many times have you been told,
“Just take a deep breath?”

According to the yoga teachings, breathing practices are among the most powerful practices we have. Yet, many of the common breathing practices are actually taught in ways that are not accessible or trauma-informed.

For many people focusing on the breath can increase anxiety instead of reducing it. So it’s important to find creative and gentle ways into working with the breath, which can help to bring about calm and reduce anxiety.  

The breathing practices offer a direct way into the deepest aspects of our spiritual practice. The breath offers a link between the body and mind. The kleysas, the obstacles to our spiritual understanding, can all be addressed through the breath and offer us practical tools for increased self-awareness. 

Join Jivana Heyman for an exploration of pranayama, focusing on finding safe, welcoming, and fun ways to approach these subtle and powerful tools.

This course will be an opportunity for study, discussion, and practice of the many aspects of the breath to support relaxation, nervous system regulation, preparation for meditation, and spiritual unfolding.

"Thank you, I really enjoyed both the practice and the philosophy in your teachings. So many amazing gems of wisdom in here. I particularly enjoyed the emphasis on comfort, autonomy and subtlety within the Pranayama practices, particularly during the Ujjayi breath. After experiencing this subtle shift which made my own Pranayama practice feel more enjoyable and accessible, I am looking forward to making my Pranayama teachings more accessible also. I loved what you said about the breath being our companion and Pranayama being a way to explore and befriend the breath rather than to control it!"

– Mandy Pennisi

"Jivana's Making Pranayama Accessible course helped me discover a new way of thinking about the breath / prana and the many ways that a pranayama practice can look for different people. I enjoy Jivana's gentle teaching style and the amount of knowledge he has and is willing to share. Classes with him feel like you are enjoying a conversation with a best friend. You always learn something."

– Michelle Bradley

In this course, you'll discover:

  • How the breath brings wisdom and can help us overcome the kleysas, our spiritual obstacles
  • The relationship between breath, mind, and spirit
  • How to find safe and accessible ways to work with your breath 
  • An understanding of basic anatomy and physiology of breathing
  • Trauma informed breathing practices for safety
  • Nervous system regulation, relaxation, and the breath
  • Ways to effectively practice common breathing practices 
  • The role of the breath in meditation 
  • Breath as a source of inspiration for spiritual exploration

Recommended resource to accompany this course:

Will I get CEUs?

Yes. Completion of the entire course will make you eligible for 7 CEUs through Yoga Alliance.

Is this an Accessible Yoga Training?

Jivana's comprehensive 40 hour Accessible Yoga Training offers the foundational aspects of equity and accessibility in yoga. Click here to learn more and register for the next available Accessible Yoga Training.

He also offers a 200-hour Accessible Yoga Teacher Training for people interested in exploring a longer training. Click here for more info.

"The Making Pranayama Accessible course helped me to discover that, if you can breathe, you can practice pranayama, and you're not doing it wrong (if you initially can only chest breathe). I also loved all of the yoga philosophy, very much, and the lesson on making peace with death. This course has made the last month... I don't know how to say it. I've just woken up with purpose and hope that i'm doing something, learning something, that could potentially change my life and those I love and will share it with. I've filled 2 notebooks with Jivana's wisdom and will go back to them regularly. Thank you so so much for allowing me to be a part of this training. I'm going to miss it! But i'll keep practicing with my notes (forever!). I've learnt so much."

– Course Participant

"The Making Pranayama Accessible course helped me to discover that there are many ways to incorporate and bring breath into my teaching in a way that is not only accessible but there is so much freedom in trying to teach pranayama that is inviting and meets people where they are at. I really enjoyed the course, I felt it was accessible and approachable."

– Rebecca Price

Making Pranayama Accessible - Curriculum


Allowing the Breath to Lift the Veil:
Wisdom Through Pranayama

In this session we’ll explore:

  • The relationship between breath, mind, and spirit
  • How pranayama removes avidya - ignorance of our spiritual nature 
  • Celebrating the breath before controlling and manipulating it.
  • Breath basics - understanding the anatomy and physiology of breath
  • Practice: Exploration without manipulation

The Breath and the Ego:
the Search for the Self

In this session we’ll explore:

  • Unraveling asmita, the ego, through the breath
  • The relationship between the breath, anxiety, and mental health
  • Trauma informed pranayama practices
  • Nadhi shodhana / suddhi and finding balance
  • Practice: Safety and comfort with the breath

Is Bigger Breath Better?

In this session we’ll explore:

  • Raga, attachment, and clinging to the breath
  • Dergha swasam - and the role of deep breathing in pranayama
  • Ujjayi and quietness through sound
  • Yoga as preparation for illness and death
  • Practice: Quiet and still

Subtle Anatomy and the Roots of Practice

In this session we’ll explore:

  • Aversion, dvesha, and pain - using the breath to escape or enlighten
  • The relationship between breath and energy
  • Koshas, nadis, chakras, and the vayus
  • Practice: Prana & breath

The Breath of Life:
Exploring Illness, Aging & Death

In this session we’ll explore:

  • Breath, disability, chronic illness, and aging
  • Adapting pranayama practice for specific conditions
  • Breath and healing - physical and spiritual
  • Practice: Guided meditation for healing

Curious about Making Pranayama Accessible: Overcoming Obstacles Through the Breath?

Want to learn more about this online, on-demand course with Jivana Heyman?

Check out this 1-hour introductory mini-workshop replay as a FREE COURSE PREVIEW:

Finding Your Individual Breath: Releasing Perfectionism in Pranayama

Get your FREE preview

Before we attempt to manipulate our breath with pranayama, it’s important to reflect on how we’re currently breathing, and to find some comfort with our natural breath. Starting a pranayama practice with the feeling that our breath is wrong, or that we’re “reverse breathing” can lead to struggles later on. 

Through this workshop (recorded live in October 2023), Jivana introduces a journey to find your individual breath, and a celebration of the fact that if you’re alive you already know how to breathe. This is the key element in building a successful pranayama practice.

Jivana also shares an introduction to his Making Pranayama Accessible: Overcoming Obstacles Through the Breath online course (now available on-demand!)

Meet Your Instructor

Jivana Heyman, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, is the founder and director of the Accessible Yoga Association, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings. He’s the author of Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body and Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage & Compassion (Shambhala Publications).

Jivana has specialized in teaching yoga to people with disabilities with an emphasis on community building and social engagement. Out of this work, the nonprofit Accessible Yoga Association was created to support education, training, and advocacy with the mission of shifting the public perception of yoga. Accessible Yoga offers Conferences, Community Forums, a Podcast, and a popular Ambassador program.

Jivana coined the phrase, “Accessible Yoga,” over ten years ago, and it has now become the standard appellation for a large cross section of the immense yoga world. He brought the Accessible Yoga community together for the first time in 2015 for the Accessible Yoga Conference, which has gone on to become a focal point for this movement.

Jivana is also the creator of the Accessible Yoga Training and the co-founder of the online Accessible Yoga School with Amber Karnes, which is a platform for continued education for yoga teachers in the field of equity and accessibility. They also created the Accessible Yoga Podcast in 2020.

Over the past 25 years, Jivana has led countless yoga teacher training programs around the world, and dedicates his time to supporting yoga teachers who are working to serve communities that are under-represented in traditional yoga spaces.

Enroll Now (On Demand)

 Tuition for this course is $125-$175 USD sliding scale.

If you are able to attend at the Supporter or Sustainer Rate, your contributions support the ability to offer a lower rate to community members experiencing financial difficulties.

We also offer a limited number of partial scholarships for this course.

$125 USD
$150 USD
$175 USD


Need a partial scholarship? 

Apply for a partial

Please take a moment to consider the intention of our scholarship program and equity pricing structure, which was created in order to amplify training access for those who hold marginalized identities and those experiencing significant financial hardship. If neither of those qualifications apply to you, we ask you to please consider other payment options, including our payment plans, or supporting others in our community who have decreased access to financial resources by enrolling as a Sustainer or Supporter, if this is accessible to you.

Featured photos by Sarit Z. Rogers, included in Yoga Revolution: Building A Practice Of Courage & Compassion and Accessible Yoga: Poses & Practices for Every Body by Jivana Heyman

Jivana's bio photo by Yoga Journal

Frequently Asked Questions

"This training was so wonderful and really expanded my understanding of pranayama. ...I feel more confident adding pranayama to the classes I am teaching. I also feel more confident incorporating pranayama into my personal practice. The course offered me practices that I can begin using right away. Also, I really appreciated learning more of the philosophy behind the practices. Thank you so much!"  

–Teresa Dixon-Asbury

"This was a wonderful offering. I am always so inspired with Jivana's teachings, his knowledge, his candor, his humour. I have taken Pranayam trainings before but this one resonated with me, how to make it accessible and what works and what doesn't. The area of the bandhas really helped me as I always found it confusing and intense taught on the exhale. I personally never teach it, but now I may. In gratitude." 

–Sandy Jones, AY Ambassador