Thursday, June 22nd was the third and final Universal Design Yoga community-based pilot classes at East Meets West Yoga studio in the Foundry in Buffalo, New York. Many thanks to Carrie and Leigh at East Meets West Yoga for partnering with UD Enterprises on this exciting endeavor!

I am a little sad the pilot classes are over, but looking forward to what comes next! During the final class, we decided to try the larger room for this class (the first two pilot classes were done in the smaller room). The larger room worked better for UD Yoga because the space is easier to navigate if you use a wheelchair, and there is a double pocket door which makes entry much easier.

Based on feedback from the second pilot class, we set up the space with mats (double mats as an option for those using more space to practice), a bolster, two yoga blocks and a strap. Eye pillows were available as an option for final relaxation. Additionally, we had optional chairs available for use around the room for participants to use as desired.

During the final class, I thought a lot about accessible, inclusive physical space and the importance of thinking beyond being able to get into the space. All three weeks of the pilot the participants who use wheelchairs were set up toward the back/side of the room, closer to the door, and also so chairs would not block the vision of participants not using chairs. Each week participants without obvious disabilities commented on how this seemed to segregate the class. Moving forward, we will explore the room to best accommodate our class.

Stay tuned! Next week, I will post all of the anonymous comments from participants of the pilot classes!