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The Yoga Connection NC Smithfield and Goldsboro

Yoga for Seniors: The need for qualified yoga instructors

Senior Yoga Teacher Training RaleighSo why do we need to have special training in Senior Yoga?

Well let’s start with this idea. Does a 25 year old have the same physical and psychological needs/issues/conditions as a 10 year old? Does a 40 year old have the same needs/issues/conditions as a 70 year old? But in many fitness and yoga classes 60-85 plus year olds are all lumped into senior yoga. That is a span of 25 years or more. Like comparing a 20 year old with a 45 year old. Really?

The thing is, a 75 or 80 year old is facing physical issues that someone younger is not coping with such as advancing arthritis, loss of friends and loved ones, the talk by well meaning family members to “be careful, don’t fall, maybe you should move to a senior living center”. This is the reality of many seniors as they move towards end of life.

It’s imperative to have knowledge regarding certain diseases, conditions and contraindications of the aging population; to have understanding of the psycho-social issues they are coping with; how different drugs affect behavior and biology; and the language of compassion without pity. As yoga instructors, we need to offer realistic, effective and comprehensive methods to promote wellness in seniors. That is not just modifying a pose so it’s easier. Whether through asana, pranayama or meditation the purpose it to retain its integrity and effectiveness, otherwise it is simply an exercise program no different from any other.

Yoga Alliance has chosen not to have a specific certification in senior yoga, which I personally feel is not in the best interest of a population that is growing at the fastest rate in this country.  International Association of Yoga Therapists has addressed this issue and is beginning to recognize the need for standards of training.

The Senior Yoga training at The Yoga Connection offers an informative training on the biological, psychological and environmental issues of the aging population, to modify and design yoga asana/pranayama/meditation while maintaining effectivness, and how yoga in its full spectrum can bring health and wellness to seniors. Being able to teach yoga to seniors of differing abilities, living in diverse environments, coping with multiples of life issues, is rewarding to both teacher and senior student.

Though introduced to yoga over 30 years ago, Martha has been teaching yoga since 2001. She received her 200 hour yoga training in 2003 and is now an E-RYT 500. Additional education: M.S. in Health Psychology, Integrative Health Coach and Mindful Awareness Meditation instructor (Duke Integrative Medicine), and over 800 hours of Yoga Therapy training. She has a school for 200 hour and beginning in the winter of 2014, a 300 hour advanced yoga certification which will award a cumulative 500 hour teacher training in compliance with Yoga Alliance. Martha's envisions yoga as a form of health, healing and well being for all people. Her students range from health professionals to yoga practitioners seeking a deeper understanding of the benefits of yoga. See all of our yoga classes.

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