By Sangeetha Saran
When you are discovering how to become a Yoga instructor, you begin to realize there are many options. You could teach in a hot room, in a pool, in the basement of a church or anywhere else. The possibilities are endless and there are demands for certified yoga teachers in senior centers too.
Many of the same adolescents who embraced the Beatles in the 1960s are now in their 60s and turning to Yoga as a means of staying healthy and fit. According to the website of Duke Integrative Medicine, there is a demand for well-trained instructors to meet the needs of this quickly growing segment of the population, especially at senior centers across the nation.
Because muscles become weaker and less flexible with age, older people are more likely to experience broken bones and other disabilities due to low bone density. While Yoga techniques can easily be adapted for seniors ranging from sedentary to active, the job requires instructors with special knowledge of both anatomy and geriatric issues.
Things to Know about Teaching Yoga Classes in Senior Centers
• How to teach poses, breathing techniques and meditation to help seniors maintain active lifestyles
• How to modify techniques for people with physical limitations or fears
• How to use asanas to increase bone density in healthy individuals
• How to avoid injuries and strengthen bones in people who already have low bone density
• How to teach asanas to help seniors maintain good posture or to correct structural defects or misalignments
The goal of Yoga, however, extends beyond the body to the spirit and mind. Older people often face challenges like illnesses, isolation or lack of access to transportation, and Yoga classes in senior centers have the ability to provide a sense of community and support. In addition to easing the discomforts of aging, it may also help seniors to cope more easily with the pain, depression and anxiety that accompany the aging process.
Yoga classes for seniors may include everything from gentle stretches and restorative poses to normal activities in regular Yoga classes. Institutions who train Yoga instructors provide specialized certifications in therapeutic or chair Yoga, and teachers sometimes work closely with medical professionals, such as physical therapists.
Yogic methodology, after all, is about awareness and balance. While research documents the efficacy of the ancient healing art in improving physical health and mental well-being, it also suggests that people who value spirituality and connections to others live longer, happier lives.
To pursue this field of study, a specialized chair Yoga teacher training intensive course is essential.
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