Yoga is for everybody, but not every class is for every one interested in doing Yoga. In New York City, a place where Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and “power” Yoga are the rage, it’s easy to understand that many people who would benefit from Yoga are feeling underserved and intimidated. It is truly baffling to BTB! Yoga embraces all, open to all who wish to find balance in their life. As a person who was herself, intimidated about going to open Yoga classes, I am deeply passionate about making sure that any one who wants to take classes with me, private or group, feels welcomed and comfortable. I typically teach multi-level classes, and teaching Yoga to Older Adults is the ULTIMATE in multi-level Yoga!
I am pleased to announce that I took a “Teaching Yoga to Seniors” training at Kripalu find the website here with Carol Krukoff and Kimberly Carson. Find more information about their training here At the stunning Kripalu campus, in the Main Hall I spent five days learning how to better serve a population that is growing and wanting YOGA! I teach many people who are over 60 years old and once a week at teach at the Rutland Adult Day Care program. Just as in any other class, each person has different concerns and challenges. In addition, the gym classes I teach at Harbor Fitness in Brooklyn, many of my regular students are over 45 and want to do Yoga to keep flexible and feeling good in their body. Well, HECK!!! Who doesn’t want to feel better in their body and be more mobile and flexible? Why should Yoga teachers get nervous when they see older adults come into class? Probably for the same reason they might get nervous when a pregnant student comes to class. Too many teachers simply do not know what to say, ask or teach to someone who doesn’t fit the demographic that they were taught in Yoga Teacher Training. It’s very easy to teach to an athletic 20-30 year old person with no injuries. However, the concerns of people as they get older, MUST be known and learned by the Yoga community. I believe Yoga will be booming as the Baby Boomers begin to become elderly. COPD, osteoporosis, arthritis, joint replacement, and heart disease carry with them very specific adjustments to a Yoga practice, and we Yoga teachers need to know what they are! Of course, there are many people who do specialize in working with older adults. I am pleased to count myself as one of them!
The United States will be experiencing a growth in it’s older population as never before. I trust that these new older adults will use their voting and economic power to tell the government that better services need to be provided for people as they age and thrive. Part of thriving is being treated like the human beings that they are! Older adults face many challenges, but being an accepted part of society and in Yoga class shouldn’t be one of them.
In upcoming posts, I will write about specific issues that challenge us as we get older. Some are things that may or may not present in earlier age, such as diabetes, scoliosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.