Friday, June 7, 2019

YogaFit Training: Seniors

This past week I found myself back in Minneapolis for the 2019 Mind Body Fitness Conference hosted by YogaFit.  I did two different sessions that covered five days:  a one day training on Seniors and a four day training that covered Props and Restorative.

If I've done my calculations correctly, Seniors would technically wrap up a 200 hour certification.  I'm not sure I'm going to apply for it though, because I already have my 200 hour.  I'll need to think on this...

Back to the training.  This was a class worth taking, even if you aren't working directly with a "Senior" class.   At some point, if you are teaching, you WILL have someone 55, 65, 70 years old come to your class.  You WILL have someone - regardless of age - with hip or knee replacement.  This class will give you the ability and language to make the class more inclusive. 

From the YogaFit Website:
Class description:  This one‐day workshop offers ways to modify YogaFit classes to make them accessible to individuals over the age of 55, regardless of their fitness levels. You may take this workshop at any time that fits with your schedule, after completing Level One.

Class covered (but wasn't limited to):
  • Adaptations of the poses from Level One chosen to improve posture and balance, increase range of motion, and develop self‐confidence 
  • How to use props, including chairs, straps, blocks and bolsters, to make poses accessible for a range of physical abilities  
  • How to teach a multilevel class that challenges those seniors who are physically fit while offering a variety of modifications for those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle
  • How to modify for seniors with special conditions, including but not limited to: osteoporosis, hip replacements and knee replacements
In this training, I was was probably in the minority; most attendees (there was 25 of us) were leading a regular Seniors class. I have only ever done one chair class, and the group who showed up didn't need the chair, but that was how the class was advertised. 

I enjoyed this training - I liked all the tips and suggestions on how to facilitate a class that may be active older adults to sedentary seniors.    The range of possibilities was wonderful.   I love the breadth of experience the class contributes, and the willingness to share that information.

A suggestion, if I may, if you embark on these trainings, during the Master Class session (where you are lead through a class on the topic being trained on), treat the Master Class as if you are a [senior, pregnant, hip replacement, knee replacement, etc] in one of these classes.  Especially for something like Seniors or Prenatal.  Don't treat the Master Class like your "workout" time.  That defeats the purpose and you won't get as much from the sequencing, and its the sequencing and prop use you will want to be paying attention to.

For example, in Seniors Master Class, they had us working with a chair and a strap - yes, you could pull your leg way up high with a strap, you can twist like an owl, you can arch way back, you can raise your arms over your head...but can a Senior do that?  Can your future students do that?  Try and feel the class through the body of an older adult with potential limitations.

Bottom line, a very good session.  Recommended.

photo from the internet

1 comment:

Mighty Isis said...

So glad to see your recent YogaFit review! I found the seniors to be incredibly helpful. The block under feet for shorties in a chair was a great tip since I'm short. Like you, when I take the specialty classes (prenatal, Lean, seniors, etc.), I take the master classes as if I were in that population in order to get a better feel for what our students may be experiencing.

I've seen chair yoga being taught for not just seniors, but those with injuries or limited mobility. It's not my favorite class to teach, but as someone who went through an injury with a long healing process, I'm grateful it was an option for me to continue with my yoga practice.

I look forward to your review on the four-day restorative!