I now have a full therapy class up and running 2 days a week. My yoga business has tripled in the past 6 months.
- Lucy Morrison, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
The Yoga For Seniors Training at Duke Integrative Medical Center was not only a pleasure to attend, but the course helped me to improve my work with seniors. I have been teaching chair yoga for seniors for four years. Currently I lead ten classes per week, have fifteen clients, and one of my classes is over 25 people. As a result of taking this course, my instructional technique, my knowledge on aging and physiology, and my confidence level in working with this population has improved significantly.
- Lyn M. Hopkins, Longmeadow, Massachusetts
WOW! The program which you guys put together truly was a beautiful fusion of Eastern & Western healing, and a sweet flow between both of you. Thank you for your time and effort in putting together a tremendous program. I can't even tell you how many yoga workshops I've been to over the past 30 years, but yours was the first that interwove the intelligence of Western healing throughout the program. It was a pleasure to be with both of you, and with the wonderful energy of our class.
With love & gratitude, Susie
- Susie Birchenough, Skaneateles, New York
I come from 30 years of yoga training with Baron Baptiste style of yoga and a decade with Bikram. As a teacher, my loyalty was the posture: getting the posture right. I took the yoga for seniors class primarily because at 63 I personally needed to get to a point of accepting the fact that the postures my body could do were not as available to me today as they were a decade ago.
The course was excellent and the first rate lecturers from Duke University created the context that this is serious business with real responsibility that we are undertaking. I learned the phrase "if it is available to you today...." what a concept! Every day accepting where the body is. I returned to California not really believing that the practicum for qualification was anything but yet another requirement to be done and over with. Coming from a background of behavioral science, the concepts of "loving kindness" were nice but really nothing one would expect to see outcomes from.
I embarked on advertising a yoga class for seniors at the church where I had been teaching power lunch time yoga for over two years. That class was visited by seniors - they shook their head and told me "I think I will stay at home to meditate..."
The response to the yoga for seniors class was amazing. Over seven individuals signed up. they arrived leaning on cane, in a wheel chair, recent back surgeries, undergoing chemotherapy, hard of hearing, COPD... wow! no power yoga here! so I returned to my notes and began to design the classes on the simple notes and pictures we got in class binder. My intention was to do one month, collect the data, get my paper done and move on. Well, life has other plans for me. the literature review I embarked on was constantly surprising me... the effects of yoga versus regular work outs, the effects of yoga on movement, on concepts of "wellness" and "wellbeing" . so in class we discussed what those concepts meant for class participants- sleeping better, moving with more ease, watching less TV, eating better... those became our indicators for "wellbeing".
At the end of about five weeks, the class became a miracle class that participants testified about during church services. the 92 year old woman who came leaning on her cane was now walking upright and with a spark in her eyes. When I asked about her cane she said it is now in the garage because she does not need it. the woman undergoing chemo found that on yoga days she does not feel the debilitating effects of the chem- could we do it every day and could I please come to her house for private classes? the 95 year old who described herself "older than God himself" wanted to write down the postures and practice them at home. Everyone felt more energetic and changed their diet by reducing their refined sugar intake. Day timeTV viewing was reduced to nothing because people started getting together and going out for coffee after class.
what started out as a class requirement is now a program at the church that draws in a lot of the seniors from town. we will in September start increasing the classes to regular twice a week. they elected to pay $10 a class. and, yes, I am more accepting of the fact that for today, i will walk by the ocean and enjoy it instead of doing Bikram class every day or teaching power yoga twice a day.... this is "available to me for today..."
- Dr. May Yacoob, San Clemente, CA