Adaptive Gentle and Chair Yoga

GentleChairTTAdaptive Gentle and Chair Yoga Teacher Training

Formerly titled Gentle and Chair Yoga Teacher Training.

February 15-23, 2018
Taught by Hamsa Spagnola with assistants Rev. Sam Rudra Swartz, Daya/Amy Eberhardt, 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 basic Yoga asana for those students who may be limited in movement because of age, illness, disability, or injury. With the use of chairs, the wall, straps, bolsters, blankets, blocks, and gentle assists, you will learn how to modify traditional Yoga postures as well as create Yoga classes designed for specific populations and such conditions as Alzheimer’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cancer, spinal cord injuries, obesity, and visual impairment. This course prepares you to adapt the traditional Yoga class so that students of any age, shape, size, 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 your students’ experience through meditation, Yoga Nidra, pranayama, and Raja Yoga (Yogic philosophy). You will receive a rigorous review of anatomy and physiology as they relate to specific conditions. You will work hands on with your fellow Yoga teachers in training as well as people living with the conditions mentioned above.

Your study will conclude with an in-depth exploration of one, specific physical condition as well as a teaching practicum. You will participate in your teaching practicum through assigned readings, practice teaching with a mentor, and attending various Chair and Gentle Yoga classes.

Upon graduation, you can expect to guide people living with physical limitations confidently and compassionately through a Hatha Yoga experience that is both safe and satisfying. This program prepares you to teach Hatha Yoga in a variety of settings, including Yoga studios, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Integral Yoga Adaptive Teacher certification includes teaching a practicum. Students may schedule their practicum from TBA. Participation in one or two fellow student practicums is required.

The program is available to certified Yoga teachers (with a minimum 200 hours) of all traditions who have a minimum of six months’ experience teaching Yoga.

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.

$995 ($895 for active IYINY teachers)
$100 nonrefundable deposit
$200 Early Bird discount if you register by January 15, 2018
Repeat students $497 (no discounts)


Thursday, February 15–23, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. everyday
No class on President’s Day, Monday, February 19
Graduation: Saturday March 31, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Yoga Alliance Hours
100 (including required classes, observation, research project, mentorship, and homework)

Teacher Bios

HamsaSpagnolaHamsa Spagnola, E-RYT 500, T.R.M., is Integral Yoga certified and has been teaching various styles of Yoga for more than 30 years with compassion and an open heart. She pioneered, created, and developed the Adaptive Yoga Teacher Training certification program and the Adaptive Yoga Manual for Integral Yoga Institute. She teaches for the National MS 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.

Amy EberhardtDaya/Amy Eberhardt, L.M.T., C.Y.T., M.P.H., is a licensed massage therapist and certified yoga teacher with a background in healthcare management. She received her master’s degree in public health from The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, is certified in Integral Hatha I and II, Gentle, and Therapeutic Yoga through The Integral Yoga Institute, and graduated from the Swedish Institute with training in deep tissue, Swedish, and Shiatsu massage, as well as anatomy and physiology. She trained with the Reiki master Wendy Lipson and is attuned to Reiki Level II. She enjoys (and is grateful for) an ever-deepening meditation practice. Daya works at NYU Langone Medical Center as part of the Department of Integrative Health team, as well as at the IYI Wellness Spa, and Slope Wellness in Brooklyn. Her mission is to help support people—including herself—to feel better in their bodies, especially during times of stress and challenge.

Taravati TurcinovicTaravati Turcinovic, RN, BSN, has been a part of the Integral Yoga community for over 20 years. She has worked in the food store, apothecary, as a manager in the Institute, and served as a principal teacher trainer for many years. She has been an active teacher since her initial certification in 1998. Taravati has continued her studies at IYI by training in Hatha II, Prenatal Yoga, and Gentle.  She has also studied Thai Yoga with Kam Thye Chow and Therapeutic Yoga with Cheri Clampett. Taravati teaches several regular classes, specializing in Restorative, Chair Yoga and adaptive practices.  As a nurse, she has worked in various hospitals and clinics throughout NYC.  Taravati believes 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.


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 >>

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Deposit is nonrefundable. No refunds once the program begins.
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