Honoring our Children, Honoring Ourselves, Honoring our Elders

A guest post by Kimberly Carson, co-instructor for our new Yoga for Seniors Certification program.

Growing a beautiful, productive garden is more complex than just supplying water, appropriate sunlight and good soil. Among other things, you must consider the effects of neighboring plants.

Helping children grow is similarly complex. As teachers, counselors and therapists are intimately aware, working with children also requires consideration of the conditions of the community surrounding the child.

The health and balance of the family, as well as of the educators, all can influence how well the child thrives.

Generation-004Yoga Calm aims to serve this community of familial and professional adults, as well the children. With this intention, Yoga Calm is committed to making its practices safe and effective for everyone across the lifespan.

Advances in healthcare and technology over the last century have created the possibility of enjoying many more years of this beautiful life. In fact, the average life expectancy in 1900 was around 47; now, it is around 77. However, with almost a quarter of us expected to live to 100 by the year 2050, we find ourselves with a historically unique challenge of learning how to best honor ourselves as we accrue even more years on the planet.

Not surprisingly, many activities quite appealing to us when we are younger may become less suitable for our maturing bodies and minds. In grade school, we may have adored cookies and juice as an afternoon snack. As adults, we may find we fare better with a more nutritious choice.

Our yoga practice can also benefit from important refinements as we change across the lifespan. Many practices that felt well suited to us in our 20s may not be as appropriate as we move through our 50s, 60s or 70s. Changes in our physiology as we age compel us to consider more carefully the choices we make for our bodies.

Teaching Yoga to Seniors – Essential Considerations

Introducing yoga to older adults is an inspiring process that helps clarify these choices. Maintaining strength, balance and a calm mental focus are critical life skills for maintaining optimal quality of life. The practices, however, must be considered in the context of aging bodies and minds to avoid the potential for considerable harm.

For example, the load on the vascular system and the heart with even mild inversions must be carefully considered in older bodies. Where osteoporosis or low bone mass are concerned, it is critical to consider how movements load the spine.

We recently published a paper in the Journal of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine which addresses some of the important issues to consider when introducing yoga to older adults. If you would like a PDF reprint of this article, click here.

Yoga Calm is committed to training educators in the most safe and effective methods for using yoga-based skills, regardless of one’s phase along the life span. Beginning with our Summer RYT Immersion, a new Yoga for Seniors Certification track will be introduced to our RYT-200 Adult Yoga Instructor Certification program.

The new Adult/Senior Instructor Certification track is for those planning on teaching adult classes only, with additional training in the needs of Seniors and Special Populations. This pioneering program combines the best of modern, evidenced based medicine with the ancient wisdom, experience and tradition of Yogic teachings, leading to a 200-hour Yoga Alliance registration, in addition to a Yoga for Seniors and Yoga for Special Populations Certificate.

Kimberly Carson, MPH, eRYT, and Carol Krucoff, eRYT, will bring their Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training to Portland on October 17-20. This training has been offered at Duke Integrative Medicine since 2007 and at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health since 2010. The Portland training will be the first west coast offering of this pioneering program.

Interested in more information about teaching yoga to adults and seniors? Contact us: info@yogacalm.org.


Kimberly-Carson-headshot_2Kimberly Carson, MPH, eRYT, is a is a yoga therapist at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) and Duke Integrative Medicine, where she teaches their Yoga for Seniors program. Kimberly has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at OHSU and the Knight Cancer Institute, Duke Medical Center, University of North Carolina Hospitals, and the University of Florida. Kimberly also coauthored studies at Duke University Medical Center using yoga and meditation for patients with chronic low-back pain, metastatic breast cancer pain, and menopausal symptoms. 

This entry was posted in Families, Yoga Calm and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s