Seniors who object to Chair Yoga(10 posts) (8 voices)
Does anyone have students who object to chair yoga? One potential student felt that chairs were an insult to her practice. Granted she is in exceptional shape and a young senior (late 50s), but she doesn't think the older students should have the option to use a chair. I have some students who can't go to the floor because the last few feet will resemble a fall and they need an assist when getting up off the floor. This can be dangerous to anyone who is trying to lift them up, especially other seniors. Let me know your thoughts, because this fit, young, and loud senior is trying to stir the pot.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Kindly invite this lady to practice her techniques on a yoga mat. This may instill the desire for others who are able to get to the floor and back up without problems. Each student is in a dramatically different stage of life after 55. Some students will be more physically able than others. Some students are much healthier and happier than others. There is also much difference between a student who is 59 and another who is 69. But there are exceptions in the instance of students who have taken care of their health and those who have not.
Luck is also part of health. If a person has an automobile accident, there are many problems that can follow. If a person has a family history of a specific type cancer or disease that is going to be a factor too. If a person has no problems, that person is indeed lucky.
Good question and good advice. No need to lose sleep over people who live to make everyone miserable. The problem is she can't see the world beyond her nose. Falling down and breaking a hip is serious business for seniors. She's a younger and fitter senior. Bless her little cotton socks. But she doesn't see the reality of aging yet. She's very lucky and doesn't know it. By all means, she should show the yoga mat variation of every posture, but seniors who have trouble with balance don't want to take chances. Some can go to the floor and some can't.
I have taught yoga to classes of seniors and never once heard this objection.
My first thought is that the principle of ahimsae (non-harming) MUST come first in teaching. Always. It is especially important when working with seniors or anyone who has an injury or disability. You certainly do not want to get sued, but more than that, I would be HORRIFIED if I knew I ever hurt one of my patrons!
My second thought is that it should also be a guiding principle for each individual practioner, to cause no harm to themselves as they practice. I remind them of this often during classes.
So where is her complaint coming from? Why would she be offended when no one is making HER use a chair unless she chooses to? Why does she care what others are doing?
I think this woman's statement immediately shows that her head is not in a "yoga space." She may be competitive, critical, goal-oriented. She may not know the 8 Limbs and their guiding principles.
She also may have FEARS about getting older and less mobile, and her way of 'resisiting' is to criticize and make demands on others who may remind her of the fact that we all get old, sick, and die.
I suppose you could talk to her about the fact that this class may not be the right 'fit' for her, and perhaps she would be happier in a more challenging class (with another teacher, at another facility, etc.).
And yet another possibility is to simply allow her to be what she is without trying to change her, and without allowing her to change you or the other participants and the way you teach or the way they practice yoga.
I had an annoying middle-aged man in one of my classes. He talked a lot, tried to make jokes, thought he knew more about yoga than I did, pushed himself too hard, whined, etc. I never asked him to leave, knock it off, be quiet, etc.
When he started his behaviors, I would just smile a gentle buddha smile and silently remind myself to have compassion on him. Then I would make generalized suggestions to the class as a whole that referenced whatever he was doing (monkey-mind, competing, pushing too hard, grasping for outcomes, etc.). That way he was never singled out but he got my point. I also began to teach the 8 Limbs, one concept per week, and they all loved that.
After a couple of months, I noticed this guy was taking the yoga very seriously and showing respect for me and all the patrons.
Utimately, you have to decide based on what feels right for you, because you are the teacher, and you are responsible for a whole group of people, not just one. Just be clear about your guiding principles (safety, accessability, etc.).
I wish you the best! ((()))
Ashmin, you have done well. To show compassion to a difficult person is a the best possible path. I have to agree with Yogapeg. This person has issues and should be in another class without chairs. Why did she show up? You teach a chair yoga class and she hates chairs! No yoga certification course can prepare you for every special case. Thank God this forum gives us a resource for yoga teachers. I'd point her to the nearest door.
At any yoga teacher training how could we be prepared us for every situation. Best way to deal with her is refer her to another class and a different yoga instructor. Bikram would jump on her chest in a heart beat!
Tell the dear lady to search for a class that she may find more suitable for her elite physical condition. She seems to be young at heart and needs a challenge.
SangeethaPosted 2 years ago #
I am curious about this senior who was stirring the pot. How is she doing now? Please update us as to her antics.
PriyahPosted 2 weeks ago #
This student still comes to my class. Since three years ago, she has injured herself six times by pushing herself too hard outside my class. She comes back when she gets injured in a class with younger students. She will never let go of her competitive nature no matter how many times she hurts herself. Luckily, she has never hurt herself in my classes, but she complains that I play it safe. In a strange way, I think she likes me.
Hari Om Tat SatPosted 1 week ago #
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