About Us

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We are dedicated to improving quality of life through yoga and bringing it to everyone, regardless of age, ability or limiting physical or mental condition.

We promote chair yoga as a safe form of exercise, we train teachers to teach specialist chair yoga, we provide resources for chair and accessible yoga, and we sponsor research into yoga’s effectiveness in the healthcare and social care sector.

Our Vision

We believe that all people, no matter their level of ability, should have access to yoga.

Our Mission

We help thousands of people each year live better lives through yoga, a unique combination of purposeful movement, drug-free stress management and mindfulness.

Our Plan

ACY aims to bring chair yoga and other forms of accessible yoga to everyone, so that more people can gain from yoga’s special physical and mental benefits, maintaining and improving health and quality of life.

<h3>Liz Oppedijk

Liz Oppedijk

Co-Founder & Director
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Liz is a co-founder of ACY and a leading expert on Chair Yoga in the UK. She came to yoga in her fifties, following serious illness and injury. Through yoga, her recovery became a transformation. But she was left with a question: how to bring the restorative practice of yoga to people for whom the mat is a barrier?

Liz found her answer in Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga. Since training with Lakshmi, she has taught chair yoga to people with a huge range of abilities, including new yogis with Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, cancer or other conditions, as well as those with dementia, learning disabilities and their carers. Her dream is to train a community of chair yoga teachers to bring yoga to care homes across the country.

Together with Lakshmi, Liz has co-authored Get Fit Where You Sit: A Guide to the Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Method, published by Shambhala Publications, and it can be ordered now at Amazon US or Amazon UK. Their book will appeal to yoga professionals as well as anyone interested in practising chair yoga.

As a yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and therapist, Liz takes an alignment-based, holistic approach that is engaging and effective. In collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire, she has completed research studies on yoga in care homes and mindfulness for Parkinson’s, and she lectures regularly at The Minded Institute on chair and accessible yoga, yoga for Parkinson’s, yoga for dementia, and yoga for osteoporosis . She is the official Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga teacher trainer in the UK/Europe and is a regular facilitator on Jivana Heyman’s Accessible Yoga course.

Liz gained a 200-hour yoga teacher training qualification in Vinyasa and hot yoga in 2014, completed her 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training course in 2018, and qualified as a yoga therapist in 2021 with The Minded Institute. Her other qualifications include an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School, a Post Graduate Oncology Yoga Diploma, a Dru Yoga Postgraduate Back Care Foundation Course certificate, a certificate in Accessible Yoga, and a Rocket teacher certification.

Liz is available for in-person chair yoga, accessible yoga, and yoga therapy sessions in St Albans, Hertfordshire, as well as online with people anywhere in the world. She also provides support for yoga in care homes. She is available to run and/or help organise group yoga sessions, yoga therapy sessions for individuals and groups, and day-long Yoga Wellness Days for residents and staff.

Liz’s 580-hour professional training in yoga therapy from The Minded Institute is accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), the British Council for Yoga Therapy (BCYT), the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), and the Association of Physical and Natural Therapists (APNT). For more information on Liz’s yoga therapy work, see her profile on The Minded Institute website.

<h3>Kathy Ran

Kathy Ran

Co-Founder & Senior Yoga Teacher
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Kathy is a senior yoga teacher with over 15,000 hours of teaching experience whose inspiration led to the creation of ACY. Her approach to yoga is one that honours the need for individual self-study with the aim of improving interpersonal relations and common-unity. She has studied yoga since 1999, with teachers such as Duncan Wong, Shiva Rae, Desirée Rumbaugh, Bikram, Larry Shultz and Iyengar.

From her very first hot yoga class, Kathy was hooked. Owner of Black Lotus Yoga in Mill Hill, she is a yearly presenter at the Om Yoga Show in both Manchester and London and at Soul Circus Yoga Festival.

She leads yoga certification programmes in 200-hour Hot Yoga and Vinyasa yoga teacher training and a 300-hour advanced yoga teacher certification. She is highly regarded in the yoga community in both the UK and the US, earning the title of Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance UK and US, as well as being named a Yoga Elder with the Independent Yoga Network. In addition, she holds a Sports Yoga Certification, Vinyasa yoga certification, Anusara-inspired teacher certification, Hot Yoga certification and a Master’s degree in Physical Science.

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My body felt so good moving, stretching, breathing.

Chair Yoga Student

Gets your mind working on positive things

Care Home Resident

Love all the yoga movements

Care Home Resident