When I first started teaching yoga in 1978, I was 26. I was born flexible. Strong and athletic, I found yoga at 17 and it fit me like a glove on all levels of my being. I never suffered from pain, surgeries, injuries, or physical resistance.
So when I began to officially teach publicly at a local woman’s health spa, I had the opportunity to reach many women with my excitement, and natural affinity to share what I loved doing most. I remember when I was probably 26 and I had an older private student who I remember wanting to teach inverted poses. I told her how important it was because her face was sagging and it would be a great practice for her to start doing!
Luckily over the years I have experienced knee issues from a skiing accident, now healed, back spasms from NYC stress, and common changes that happen through time, both muscular and cosmetic. All of these changes have made me a more compassionate, experienced, humble, and a much better teacher.
I will be turning 58 this year. Over 35 years of studying and teaching yoga and other healing modalities has radically changed my approach to yoga from when I was in my teens, 20s and 30s and mainly looking for a good workout. Meditation grabbed hold of me in my 30s. My 40s slowed me down and my 50s have been a rediscovery of movements and stability that I never needed before. Yoga has been with me non-stop since I first found it in 1971. I have healed my own body and helped others to discover ways to heal themselves.
I have had great teachers that have led me step by step in an order that I can truly say has been blessed. When I met Jill Miller in 2001 I was excited that I found an intelligent teacher who at the time was teaching a strong emphasis on core work, which was for me the icing on the cake. I felt an affinity with what and how she was teaching.
Since taking the Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Training in September, it has created ripples of change that have continued for the year. I recently completed the Shoulders Immersion, and anatomy has come alive in my expression and has sparked my own interest to study and learn more.
For a seasoned teacher like myself, Yoga Tune Up® has given me more ingredients to pepper my classes with fresh options adding a little bit of spice here and there.
Teaching my wonderful senior students gives me so many options to create movements from YTU. The beauty of Jill’s teaching and generosity is the freedom it provides for me as an experienced teacher. I am able create from Yoga Tune Up® so many modifications that lay down a great foundation for my students both beginners and more advanced. YTU Ball Therapy work offers another way for students to feel their body in a way that they have mastery over.
When teaching seniors, a teacher must be creative. Yoga Tune Up® is not “cookie cutter.” Teaching to seniors demands sensitivity to their natural limitations, years of fear from injuries, surgeries, illness, or simply a total lack of connection with the body.
It isn’t just giving movements to your students, it is knowing that there is so much more going on that creates resistance. Watching their breathing, facial expressions, hesitations, and excitement. Melting down years of poor, negative fixed ideas about their body is a very real barrier for students (especially seniors). This barrier may be tougher to dissolve than physically inflexibility.
If you are teaching seniors, you are likely to get seniors who are also beginners. Not young beginners, but students who have lived with concepts that might have created many physical and emotional blocks over many years. This is the true test of bringing the body-mind connection into harmony to raise students up to see and experience the real possibilities for change. Yoga Tune Up@ will let you play with possibilities while leading your students to new freedom within a safe place to joyously explore within themselves.
The good news is that now I am probably the same age as my private student was back 30 years ago; my eyes have grown weak so I don’t even see wrinkles… isn’t life sweet.
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