Yoga for Seniors
Do I need to take a different approach for my over 50s students? ⠀
Suddenly I'm seeing a whole slew of adverts aimed at the over 65s, offering yoga for seniors, or "boomers" - forms of yoga adapted for older age groups. ⠀
Yes, I get that some people may need chair yoga and particular adaptations if they are working with specific limitations, but overall, I find the separation into age groups condescending at best, if not alienating. ⠀
I was born in 1964, so officially I'm a boomer. My practice has changed over the years in line with my changing interests. But should I now join a special separate class for the over 50s? ⠀
As a yoga teacher, do I need to take a different approach for my over 50s students? ⠀
My mum is 82 and she turns up 4 times a week to my regular, ordinary classes. This week she explored side plank, despite having arthritic wrists and having to balance on her knuckles. If I suggest she does a calmer, quieter version of the poses as a nod to her age, she usually says something like: "for goodness sake, Catherine, I'm not dead yet!" ⠀
Like her, I suspect that most of us enjoy practicing more than simple mobilisations. We want to sense the power and space in our movements, to bear weight, to challenge ourselves physically.
Part of the reason I practice personally is because I enjoy feeling that I'm not only sustaining my physical abilities, but also strengthening, creating a more resilient and healthier future for my body and mind.
Whether you're a teacher or a practitioner, how do you approach this issue of "yoga for seniors"? Let me know about your practice, your students, your teaching.
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