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Modifying Studios for Special Populations

Modifying Studios for Special Populations

One of the greatest benefits of pursuing a career in mind-body fitness modalities is the ability to use these methods to help people in various stages of physical ability, from post-operative and post-rehab to pre- and post-natal.

Setting up a studio to effectively serve special populations clients involves considering things from three angles: environment, programming and logistics.


Take the client’s condition into consideration when scheduling sessions. If a person has recently had surgery, their immune systems may be weak. Slot them in a less busy time, when they will be exposed to less people, and less bacteria. Does a client have heart issues or problems hearing? A quieter studio may be beneficial. Some populations will need a higher base, such as a Cadillac or V2 Max Plus with a Mat Converter, and some will need to remain vertical using the Ladder Barrel or a Stability Chair.


Take a look at the logistics of physically getting to the studio. A three-floor walk-up may save on rent, but it can be impossible to reach for many. Does the building have wheelchair access? Elevators? Is it possible to make entering the studio more accommodating?

Plan ahead regarding the equipment and props and have them readily accessible to keep the flow going. Think about easy modifications, mindful of not making the client adjust drastically.


In addition to planning a class that’s appropriate for the client’s particular condition, it’s important to consider what cuing and imagery to use. Be mindful of how you employ tactile cuing, and be aware of what anatomical and visual imagery you use with each client.

Be aware of time. For some, a full hour may be too much. Consider breaking hour-long sessions into two half-hour segments.

Have you recently modified your studio or offerings to better accommodate specific clients? If so, tell us the steps you took or the lessons you learned!

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