Here is what she believes is essential to be mindful of. Your pupils will most likely arrive with lots of time to spare before class, so you better be there at least 15 minutes before it begins. Make certain you dismiss the class in time, too.
Baby Boomer Seniors
The first baby boomers are starting to turn 60, and one boomer turns 50 every 8 minutes. So watch out – here comes the bubble of baby boomer seniors! As we never really wanted to develop, so we certainly aren’t even considering “getting old”. Avoid using language such as “slowing down”, “golden years”, “older”, or “aging”. What’s wrong with that, anyway? That’s what you are hoping to do by having them on your yoga class!
Medical science continues to improve quickly, but it’s still common for seniors to have lost some acuteness in their hearing or vision. Make certain to talk at all times, even more than you do in your other courses. If necessary, invest in an inexpensive PA system. When offering them printed materials like a course schedule or motivational handouts, be sure that the type is a somewhat large. This applies to your website, if you have one.
Partial loss of sight and hearing is most likely the most frequent thing to look out for, but there are a whole lot of different conditions that may present contraindications for certain asanas. You must always be prepared to use props, modify poses, or suggest and other pose. A comprehensive discussion of the topic is a whole other post, but I’ll say that you ought to carefully quiz new pupils about health issues and physical limitations, and always advise checking with doctor.
Some of your students will wear exercise clothing, but others will come to class in casual street clothes that you wouldn’t see in many studios. It’s not unusual for them to leave their socks on, and we’ve seen a few that don’t even take their shoes off. Be particularly cautious about doing alterations least you offend someone.
There are a few fundamentalist Christians who put forth the notion that yoga is the job of the devil. A teacher had one course sabotaged by a woman who insisted that chanting OM was phoning the devil. There’s very little you can do to change people’s minds about this, but you ought to be conscious of this issue. In addition, you need to consider all you say in class and decide whether this could be misinterpreted as a call to change one’s religious mindset. Most of your students will have established their own spiritual outlook on life long before they begin a chair yoga class.
You probably should not speak much about chakras, the Sanskrit names for asanas, awakening Kundlini energy, or some of the spiritual aspects of yoga when teaching Yoga In Chairs. Most of your seat yoga students will be new to yoga to begin with, and will have a great deal of questions. They might have health issues to ask about, and they sometimes just “do not get it” the first time around.
Patience and Tolerance
Be patient with your students when they disrupt course with a question. Your chair yoga courses simply won’t be as solemn as other courses. Despite the fact that seat yoga courses are much less solemn and thoughtful as most, your students will take their devotion to you and the course very seriously. You probably will have lots of continuity in the composition of this group. Also, they will often feel as though they should contact you if they won’t be in class, especially if they know in advance that they will miss several classes. Likewise, if they’re not in class, they will normally be happy that you took the time to check them up. Doing this will also help keep people from drifting away. Obviously, focus on how they respond to getting you checking up on them, and when they appeared to be annoyed by this, then back off.
I’ll say that some teacher hasn’t had one instance where she felt like she was being a pest. Teaching seat yoga to seniors is certainly a different experience than you have in many courses. However, if you look closely at the things discussed above you’ll be more effective in starting and keeping chair yoga classes. In doing so you’ll be tapping into a huge yet underserved market and do a good deal of good in the procedure.