Teaching Adaptive Yoga

Teaching Adaptive Yoga doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it is actually the simplest and most beautiful form of yoga you can teach. I’ll walk you through common questions in this upcoming series to take the guess work out. When we understand that the root of Yoga is union, and let go of the need for perfect postures, it really is magic.

I get asked all the time how I teach yoga to people who are living with multiple disabilities. Some of my students live with paralysis, dementia, Parkinson’s, and end of life illness.


I offer them a space to find themselves perfect as they are in that moment. I offer them space to be themselves and to embrace their wholeness.

Leading a sequence of postures is the least importance focus I have.

This is my heart and my whole world. I want to show others the possibility of what teaching adaptive yoga can bring to your life.

In the coming weeks, I will be opening up my private YouTube Q & A sessions to share more of the work and I do and why. Even if you don’t teach or practice yoga, perhaps the lessons within will open your heart as to how you might be able to serve others.

This is just the start of some good things! Stay tuned.

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With over sixteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is a E-500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Certified Trauma Informed Coach, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor.

Adapting to Change

Through life we really are adapting to change constantly.

What initially may feel like a huge hurdle soon becomes a seamlessly easy routine.

I’ve experienced this so much in my adult life without ever really connecting the dots that I have indeed adapted to situations that initially felt so overwhelming. New jobs, divorce, selling a home, retirement, and illness are all examples of hurdles and yet, somehow, most of us endure them. In fact, many times we come out better on the other side. I see it clearly now.

The covid pandemic was a perfect example for me personally at this resiliency to adapt that I now believe we are all wired with, if we are open to it, and have the capacity to be somewhat flexible.

The world shut down and the places I was teaching yoga at closed their doors to visitors, and the major health club I was a regular fixture at closed. I had to switch gears quickly. After just two days of wondering how I would earn a living, I started offering virtual yoga through recorded sessions that I sent out to my followers and on social media. Within a week I had a YouTube channel and life soon became one of virtual yoga sessions and staring at my face for hours a day on a computer. My business model was to accept donations by trusting that those who could pay would, and those who were also faced with uncertainty, would simply use the videos to get through, and pay it forward somehow when they could.

I had great success and brought in an extraordinary amount of abundance during the lockdown.

Just like that. I adapted to change.

Many yoga teachers were in the same boat and many opted for perfectly curated videos with platforms to offer memberships, on demand payment and pay-for access type features. It seemed every week another platform was being marketed to sell your offerings. I never really wanted to “sell”, but rather I opted to give with an extended hand to receive, if that was in the heart of the giver. Maybe a naive business model and one I return to thinking about from time to time, but never can seem to switch to a “pay for my content” business model.

Just like that. I adapted to the change.

Once the world opened back up and my daughter was back to in-person day programming, I started to rethink how I would get my feet back into teaching yoga to those with neurological conditions and those living in settings that prohibit them from easily accessing yoga. I knew I didn’t want to be an online sensation and I felt I needed to be back serving my people. I do still love giving my YouTube channel a weekly recording. I have some amazing followers there and I also love my studio classes. The majority of my work remains to be my specialized yoga in assisted living settings.

The spring that the world reopened, I sat in a coffee shop doing a quick google search of “residential programming for adults with brain injuries near me”. I watched in awe as a modest list popped up. I emailed six agencies and by the end of the day, I had six contracts to begin teaching in their residential homes.

Just like that. I adapted to change.

I started the two days a week commute with sometimes 250 miles of driving round trip. At first, I felt this kind of driving would be grueling and perhaps even too much. I saw that much driving as crazy and wondered how I would do it, especially in the big city of Denver that I did not really know. People questioned my rational at driving so much for a 40 minute yoga session that I charged only $55 for. I let the naysayers say what they wanted but I forged on. Within a really short time the “long” commutes turned into enjoyable drives and it turned out to be really no big deal. I quickly learned the routes and found joy in not having to use my GPS as I remembered the streets. And within a short time I added another day and 26 more homes to the commute week, toppling out at over 50 different homes and teaching over 65 classes per month while sometimes driving anywhere from 800-1000 miles per week.

Just like that. I adapted to change.

Two weeks ago I had total hip replacement and once again was faced with having to adapt to some major changes, although these are likely temporary as I continue heal. Through the healing process however I am keenly aware at this concept of adapting.

The first few nights sleeping with the horrific stabilizing wedge was grueling and painful. Now, I *almost* look forward to the cozy feeling of being secured in place. I walk around my block and it feels like my usual 20,000 steps per day. I have swapped out my crazy schedule and cooking amazing meals at the end of the day for icing my hip, laying down to read midday and allowing others to serve me. My days have gone from 8-9 hours of work and commuting to studying sourdough recipes and how to up-level my busines for passive income. I have watched zillions of webinars, listened to podcasts, scoured Pinterest for recipes, and have done more jigsaw puzzles on my iPad than I’d like to admit. The days fly by and here I go again.

Just like that. I have adapted to change.

When I am healed up and back in action, there will again be a chance to adapt. Will I return to the same schedule? Is it possible I shift slightly to be more accessible online? Can I go from being a single person serving hundreds of people in-person to becoming a trainer of sorts for others to learn the method? Will it perhaps be a combination of all of that while still choosing time for sourdough and soulful hobbies?

Just like that. I know that I will adapt to change.

How many times in your life have you adapted to what seems like extremely hard changes? Take inventory of just how amazing you are as you reflect on the process you have demonstrated in some of your major life hurdles.

And just like that, you too have adapted to change.

Turning 53

In a tradition I typically save for my personal journal on the eve of my birthday, I usually write a letter to myself to celebrate, and encourage the constant evolving that I choose to do. These are the words that came today as I reflected on my year and as I turn 53.

Dear beautiful self,

Another year wiser and with a few more wrinkles, I’ve seen you grow in your willingness to reach out and ask (and receive) help. I’ve seen you overcome challenges that were unexpected, and do it with grace and gratitude. I watched you grow your business and become more confident and more self-assured in what you’re here to do. I’ve seen you stay consistent with your strength training program, sometimes battling the pain like wielding a sword against an enemy. I’ve seen you be generous and kind to those who may not have always deserved it. I watched you demonstrate bravery in extremely challenging situations.

As you continue to age, I see you learning to ride the waves of the process of the body changing. I see you worry about the things that you may not have control over and I hope that you remember that like fine wine and good cheese, the aging process just gets better.

I hope that this coming year you will continue to embrace all of you. You will navigate what life hands you with tremendous courage, and also an openness to staying with vulnerability. Your determination to find equanimity—or the balance between effort and ease—will be something that becomes quite easy for you if you stay the course.

Believe in yourself, beautiful one.

Love, Me

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Best Of

I have never been one to get wound up over popularity contests and certainly have never put myself in the running for a “best of” anything. Instead, I humbly go about my life doing what I believe I am here to do. I am the least competitive person you might ever meet, unless I am competing with myself. I generally pay very little attention to what other people are doing as it relates to comparing myself to them.

Each year our city offers a “best of” contest. For many this is a time for their businesses to be recognized as a great place to go and the awards are often hung up in establishments.

In my quest for to be more vulnerable this year, I decided to toss my name in the hat, but NOT as a yoga studio. I opted to steer away from the yoga studio category since my small studio hosts just a handful of. classes per month and the rest work is out in the community taking yoga into the world of assisted living settings. When I saw the category of “person who makes a difference” I decided that felt much more aligned with me and I decided to go for it.

When people ask the specifics of what I do, most people are surprised if not shocked that nearly every neighborhood in every community has homes that have been adapted to accommodate sometimes up to eight individuals with disabilities that require 24/7 care. These people might be living with a traumatic brain injury, dementia or other neurological condition that requires constant care.

Within that care system, I am blessed to bring yoga to them. I load up my car with straps, blocks, scarves and other tools and off I go. I currently serve over 50 different homes and see close to 375 people per month who are living in these homes.

Most of the time these residents have minimal outside world connection. They occasionally have a community outing but for the most part, they are isolated and with isolation comes loneliness.

Each day that I get in my car to commute (sometimes 200-300 miles), I am filled with excitement. I get so much from them that I often say that one day I will return to my beginning roots when I taught yoga for free and just do it because it is so rewarding. Thankfully I am very fortunate and blessed that I earn a living doing something that I love so very much.

What I do not love is the lack of awareness the world has for people who could be your neighbors. The lack of neighborly love and a desire to engage with others is maddening. Most of the homes that I visit have never met their neighbors. Imagine how fulfilled these people might be if you took your passion or hobby or gift and shared it with them? What if more people included them in the neighborhood cookie exchange or even an email list to offer the occasional help? Can you imagine the mutual joy that would come by sharing an audio book or a game of cards?

I want people to realize that as we all age there is a likelihood we will one day be having the same lonely experience in the last chapter of our lives. How can we as a world make a difference?

This is not about ME being the best of anything. This is about the BEST people I get to serve each day.

I want THEIR stories to be known. Please consider voting for me so that as the awareness grows on the lives living in assisted living, perhaps more people will choose to serve them.


**go to city life and scroll to “person making a difference” find my name (Stacie Wyatt, Embracing Spirit Yoga)

About Stacie

Stacie believes that it is her life purpose to share the gift of Yoga with anyone who is willing to say yes. In addition to raising a family and being an advocate for those with disabilities, Stacie is founder of Embracing Spirit Yoga which specializes in bringing adaptive Yoga into community centers and rehabilitation clinics. Bringing her depth of compassion to the mat–or the chair–she offers students the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects of their life. She is currently contracted in over 50 assisted living settings.

With over sixteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is an E-500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.

Stacie brings her personal life experience of raising a daughter with a disability and over 12 years working in special education to her everyday Yoga classes making them accessible and enjoyable for all abilities.

In addition to teaching classes at a variety of local centers and health clubs, Stacie also continues to offer Yoga and Wellness coaching individually to those seeking private sessions.

What the Eyes See

Eyes that look are common; eyes that see are rare.

He sits on the end of the sofa with a warm blanket and foam boots to keep his ankles from hitting each other as his body uncontrollably shakes.

He watches every move I make. He cannot speak or move voluntarily.

He attempts to smile at my horrible jokes. I am certain on my bad hair days when I acknowledge that I just didn’t have time to deal with my hair, he is laughing.

While I teach the adaptive yoga class to the other residents, he watches every move I make.

When I hold his hand and we talk about how horrible the football season has been or the beautiful changing weather, his eyes stare into mine.

There is an inaudible language that is spoken. His eyes see and express so much.

This week as we were chatting, I mentioned that I believe the eyes see into the true spirit or a person.

Just then something amazing happened. Watch this…

Think Yoga is all about asana (postures) and touching your toes?

Alignment Blend

When we combine our thoughts, our bodies and our minds with the magical gifts of mother nature, we reveal wisdom.

The wisdom of our true Selves. The wisdom of the Earth. The wisdom held in the vibration of every living cell.

Last month we dove into discovering what our true values are that sustain us during hard times or simply how we navigate our everyday. Knowing our values is step one, living in alignment with those values is step two.

Our actions and the words we speak, and even the thoughts we have, all must strive to be in alignment with those values. When we step into daily living in alignment we become our best selves.

I try to look at my values daily. I try to pause before I respond. I think before I speak. And, I try to ask myself if what I am about to do going to help me create the life I want.

I also love my body everyday with intention. I try to eat mindfully. I also find time every day for moments of stillness.

This beautiful blend I perfectly crafted and named Alignment helps me to stay in living within my values. This blend includes Frankincense–Oil of Truth, Rosemary–Oil of Knowledge, Lavender–Oil of Communication, Roman Chamomile–Oil of Spiritual Purpose, Sandalwood–Oil of Sacred Devotion, and Tiger Eye which is a stone of protection. Tiger Eye may also bring good luck to the wearer. It has the power to focus the mind, promoting mental clarity, assisting us to resolve problems objectively and unclouded by emotions.

This blend is perfect for creating a sense of alignment with yourSelf and with others. Grab yours HERE!

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Was That Considered Yoga?

A year or so ago I reacted to the frustration I feel at times for the yoga culture we have seemed to create in the western world. I opened my mouth in a fit of grievance and spoke truthfully about this publicly. Some heard it with curiosity and grace, while others were dismayed at my seemingly arrogant stance on this.

In our western yoga culture there seem to be so much focus on the physical body, and it’s honestly so disheartening, especially since Yoga teacher trainings capture the philosophy and other aspects of Yoga over the course of the 200 or 300 hours of learning. At least they should.

Let me be clear, of course the sensations we feel while putting our body into a certain shape can be a stepping stone for awareness and so much more, BUT it is also so overly misguided and misunderstood that I find myself saddened that so many people are not having the access to the deep philosophy and way of being that the practice offers.

I am in a variety of social media forums for Yoga teachers and every single day there are questions on how to build a sequence, or how to create a “peak pose”, or how to teach an arm balance that is probably obtainable to 3% of the population. Why??

Let’s back up to simply defining Yoga.

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. As per Yogic scriptures the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body.

Yoga is also a balanced state of the body and mind. Yoga is a balanced state of emotions. Yoga is a balanced state of thoughts and intellect. Yoga is a balanced state of behavior.

That is not touching your toes or being on the floor in contorted positions or standing on one leg.

Let me share with you the Yoga students I got to share Yoga with today and how they got to practice.

I entered into an assisted living setting to find a group of woman sitting in a living room. I scanned the area for what I was soon facing and “read the room” as we are trained to do.

Here is where the essence of Yoga was in this moment–I “united” with a woman suffering from confusing dementia and lack of word recall. She was agitated, angry, and utterly confused. I was able to get her to sit back down as I gently held her hands. I moved her arms in circles and gently pulled her into a soft forward bend. I rubbed her feet with lavender as I responded to every single irrational statement that she made that was her reality. I asked her questions about the incoherent story she was living and sharing with me. I heard her.

Within a few moments of receiving the lavender foot rub, her language became less erratic and she relaxed into her easy chair.

Was that considered Yoga? Was she experiencing a balanced state of emotions? Absolutely.

A lovely woman who was sitting across the room in a catatonic state, quietly asked for some of the “stuff that smelled good.”. A few minutes of a loving hand massage and she too softened into herself.

Was that considered Yoga? Was she experiencing a balanced state of thought? Absolutely.

As a Yoga teacher of 16+ years I am still astounded that our world doesn’t see that moments like this IS Yoga. It IS human connection. It IS a desire to help people experience balance of mind and emotions. It IS a desperate attempt to bring unity to their spirits.

I could care less about a sequence or a peak pose.

Perhaps that is why it has been impossible to find a Yoga teacher willing to get out of their physically focused way and truly share the entire essence Yoga, from the heart. This is about the greater good and a selfless offering that changes the lives of those in their final chapter of life. Some perhaps, in their final pages.

If I sound bitter and frustrated, I am. All I can do with this is walk it off, know that I served well today and the right person will come into my life to share this with.

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Consistency is Key

It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.

Anthony Robbins

I say all the time in my classes that Yoga is how we show up in life. It’s taking the tools we access in a physical practice—steadiness, concentration, presence, acceptance, surrender, courage—and applying them to life.

At the beginning of August I started a program to help me get back on my Yoga mat (or chair) consistently. To be honest, I was dreading it. The commitment that I made felt overwhelming and more than I could handle. I was so stressed about the details of recording the videos, when I would carve out the time, would it be good, what would I have to give up to make the time, etc.

Surprise surprise it has been one of the best months of my life. I crave the time to go out and move my body. Just 15-20 minutes a day and I am feeling more grounded, more aware and my body feels good.

The practice of consistency and showing up in your life with a commitment to be the best version of yourself you can is where the magic is.

I believe 100% that every aspect of our life will be influenced by being consistent. Our friendships, intimate relationships, work place connections, and our presence is the world itself will be effected in a positive way when we consistently show up for ourselves and others.

Consistently showing up.

Something magical happened yesterday in my work world that bleeds into this commitment of consistency. I FINALLY broke the code at a house I’ve been going to for TWO years with zero interest from the residents, minus one guy whose feet I rubbed consistently for two years until he passed away.

Every two weeks for two years I would knock on the door and ask the residents if they wanted to hang out with me. Saying the words “yoga practice” is far too intimidating because the image comes up in most people that it requires being on the floor like a pretzel. I have found just getting them to sit down with me is step one.

Today I unlocked the code of their resistance.

I had talked many times before to this guy but usually just asked how he was and if he wanted to try yoga. Always a no. He said he preferred to walk. I often thought to myself “me too, dude”. Nevertheless, I offered.

Today I asked about what I knew was HIS passion. I asked him which foot goes on the back of the surf board. He grew up surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.

That is all it took— meeting him at HIS INTEREST. The next 45 minutes three other residents joined (one young young YOUNG man who is new) and a man who has refused to even speak to me for two years.

Today I broke the walls. They all participated and I was so happy for them.


Showing up week after week even if they say no builds SO much trust. Trust that many of them desperately need. One student told me recently that the reason he comes to Yoga is because I am one of the only people in his world that do what they say they will.

Showing up in our own lives and practice takes consistency but the benefit is so remarkable. Whether you’re committed to your health, your business, your family or others the consistency is what will be the game changer.

Believe me, they are watching and you never know who you are inspiring.

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Memories and Mood

Nothing brings to life again a forgotten memory like fragrance.

– C Poindexter.

Did you know that you can use aromatherapy to improve your mood and remind you of memories??

Scent plays a huge role in how we think and feel, AND triggers memories. Our olfactory system (sense of smell) has a direct connection to the part of the brain (the amygdala) which acts as our emotional processing center and a direct link to memories. Don’t we all have a grandmother or aunt who had a certain “smell” that when we smell it we transport in time? This is why when you smell certain things you may experience a particular memory. Pretty interesting, right?

My little granddaughter Sawyer recently took home a box of crystals from my house and exclaimed to her daddy the other day “oh no, these don’t smell like maymay anymore”. I’ve been wearing the same blend of oils every time I am around her since the day she was born. Love that she associates my “smell” already. I have my grandmothers old medicine cabinet in my home and when I open it I instantly go back to being a little girl and getting treated with iodine and a bandage. Since I live in the house I grew up in, every once in a while when I open the coat closet I get a whiff of my mom and her career as a hairdresser and remember her coming home tired after giving perms all day and hang up her coat. It is such a crazy thing that our limbic brain holds onto memories that are associated with smell. Definitely check out this post about the brain…it is fascinating!

In my work with people with dementia and other neurological conditions, I use aromatherapy all the time. I love to share a blend of citrus oils with a touch of vanilla and tell a story that we are all young kids and the ice cream truck comes and on the side of the truck is something that smells just like that. I put a few drops in each of their hands and they smell it while I tell the story. Sure enough within a few seconds, someone will say “creamsicle” or “orange sherbet”. Sadly though not all memories are good. I usually spray the area that I will be teaching to gift an aromatherapy boost before the class. One day I sprayed a blend of orange, cinnamon, and clove. To me it smells like fall and the holidays, but to one of my students the clove triggered a horrible childhood memory and he was unable to stay in the class. I felt terrible and realized that not all smells are going to be welcomed. Lesson for me learned. Now I stick with pretty benign smells like citrus, lavenders and trees.

Pretty amazing that now that that we know this, we can use certain oils to uplift our mood or even relieve feelings of stress or worry and also create or trigger memories.

What is your go to mood oil? My all-time favorite is Wild Orange! It’s a beautiful “balancing” oil, meaning that depending on what are are feeling it can either lift us up or calm us down. It is a very unique citrus oil that has some pretty amazing benefits. I love it!!!! Heavenly! The blend that I have been wearing since my granddaughter was born that she now associates with me is orange, lavender, patchouli, rose and sandalwood.

If you are not sure but would like to try I’m happy to send you a sample to help your mood and memories!

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