Adaptive Gentle and Chair Yoga

GentleChairTTAdaptive Gentle and Chair Yoga Teacher Training

March 20–22, March 27–29, April 3–5, and April 19, 2020
Taught by Hamsa Spagnola, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, T.R.M.
with assistants Rev. Sam Rudra Swartz and Tania Taravati Turcinovic

The Adaptive Yoga Teacher Training provides a solid foundation for Yoga instructors so that they will know how to adapt the traditional Yoga asana for those students who may be limited in movement owing to age, illness, disability, or injury. Through the use of chairs, the wall, straps, bolsters, blankets, blocks, and gentle hands-on assists, the teacher will receive an overview of how to adapt and work with students who have limitations ranging from arthritis to cognitive impairment, MS, spinal cord injuries, various diseases, and age-related conditions. This course prepares you, the teacher, to adapt, adjust, and accommodate the traditional Yoga class so that students of any age, shape, ability, or disability may enjoy the Hatha Yoga experience safely and comfortably.

While the bulk of the course focuses on asana (postures), you will also learn how to deepen the students’ experience through pranayama, meditation, Yoga Nidra, and Raja Yoga (Yogic philosophy).

You will receive a rigorous review of anatomy and physiology as it relates to various conditions, including what to do and what not to do for specific issues.

This is a very extensive and interactive training, and you will work one-on-one with your fellow Yoga teachers in-training, as well as with people living with some of the conditions mentioned above.

We will have guest speakers offering information on specific conditions.

Your study will conclude with an in-depth exploration of a specific physical or mental condition of your choice, as well as a teaching practicum.

There will be assigned readings, practice teaching with a mentor, and observing/participating in a number of Gentle, Chair, Restorative, and Deep Relaxation classes.

Once you have met all requirements, you will receive a 100-hour Certificate of Completion from Integral Yoga as an Adaptive Gentle/Chair Yoga teacher.

Upon graduation, you can expect to be able to guide people who have limitations confidently and compassionately through a Hatha Yoga experience that is both safe and satisfying. You will be able to teach in many settings, including Yoga studios, gyms, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, veterans’ organizations, schools, prisons, and hospitals.

The program is open to certified Yoga teachers of all traditions with a minimum 200 hours of training.
Health care and movement therapy professionals without a 200-hour yoga certification, but with comparable experience (such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, Feldenkreis trainers, etc.) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Technological Requirements
Please be aware that, as some of the course content is delivered electronically, you must have an active e-mail account and regular access to the Internet to participate in this training.

$1295 ($1100 for active IYINY teachers)
$100 nonrefundable deposit
$100 Early Bird discount if you enroll by February 20, 2020
Repeat students $650 (no discounts)


Schedule for 2020
Friday through Sunday • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

March 20–22
March 27–29
April 3–5
April 19 Graduation

Yoga Alliance Hours
approx. 80 contact hours plus additional non-contact hours for class assignments

Teacher Bios

HamsaSpagnolaHamsa Spagnola, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, T.R.M., is Integral Yoga certified and has been teaching various styles of Yoga for more than 35 years with compassion and an open heart. She pioneered, created, and developed the Adaptive Yoga Teacher Training certification program and the Adaptive Yoga Teachers Manual for the Integral Yoga Institute. She teaches for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in New York and in New Jersey. Hamsa also teaches stress management and meditation classes and offers Reiki classes and private Reiki sessions throughout New York and New Jersey. She is a traditional Reiki master and an Interfaith Minister of Spiritual Healing. Hamsa is an active member of IYTA, Yoga Alliance, and IAYT.

SamRudra SwartzRev. Sam Rudra Swartz  is an ordained interfaith minister and certified in Integral Yoga as a Hatha Yoga, Meditation, and Raja Yoga Teacher. He received his Bachelor of Music in Brass Performance, Tuba Concentration from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts Music School in 1996. In 2004, Rabbi Joseph Gelberman from the All-Faiths Seminary in New York City ordained him as an interfaith minister. He holds additional certifications from the Integral Yoga Institutes in Hatha Yoga in 2011, having participated in Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco’s program called Accessible-Yoga Teacher Training, Meditation Teacher Training from Satchidananda Ashram Yogaville Virginia, and Raja Yoga Teacher Training from IYISF in 2012.

Taravati Turcinovic, MS, BSN, RN, C-IAYT, has been a part of the Integral Yoga community for over 20 years. She has been an active teacher since her initial certification in 1998 and has served as teacher trainer and a manager of the Institute. Taravati has continued her studies at IYI by training in Hatha II, Prenatal Yoga, and Adaptive. She has also studied Thai Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, and Accessible Yoga with various other teachers. Taravati recently completed her Master of Science in Yoga Therapy at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. In her full-time position as a registered nurse, she incorporates Yoga Therapy into her regular clinical practice. Taravati follows the principle that the practice of Yoga is accessible to all people regardless of physical condition or cultural background.

Integral Yoga Institute offers 500 hours of training in two segments, 200 hours and 300 hours, permitting teachers who graduate to become either an RYT 200 or an RYT 500, depending on the level of training completed. Our 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training program can be customized to fit your individual interests. You may select from our many graduate-level Yoga Teacher Training programs.

Open House

Wed., March 11 • 6:00–7:00p.m.


Integral Yoga Institute is one of the most respected schools of Yoga teacher training in the world—we’ve been certifying teachers for over 40 years. During the Open House, you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of our trainers, learn more about what makes Integral Yoga Adaptive Teacher Training so special, and ask any questions you may have about the program. We look forward to meeting you!
Walk-ins welcome.


Call 212-929-0585, ext. 16, or e-mail

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“I really appreciated the way the asanas were covered—the demos, the instructions, the modifications. It has helped deepen my own teaching in my regular classes. It felt like we learned every aspect of gentle yoga—the warm-ups, the chair yoga, the floor work, asanas against the wall.”
— Joseph

“The sequencing of the curriculum was helpful to me, progressing from explicitly taught lessons, to nonjudgmental group practice, to our own creative application of the skills learned.”

“It was a great introduction to the art of modifying postures for various populations.”


Interview with Hamsa Spagnola and longtime collaborator, Achala Godino. At a time when so many of our elders are becoming interested in the benefits of Yoga, Namaste spoke with Hamsa and Achala about how the Gentle and Chair Yoga TT can help teachers learn to give a safe and beneficial class to older Yoga students. Read more >>

Cancellation Policy

Deposit is nonrefundable. No refunds once the program begins.
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