Teaching Senior Yoga

Imagine yourself walking into an over 50’s class and seeing your students’ faces light up because they know they will feel better after class. Why? Because they feel better after each and every class you teach.  

They are becoming mentally and emotionally stronger as they continue to  maintain their independence and positive mindset. They  know your yoga class makes them physically stronger and improves their balance in a variety of ways.

You make a difference in their lives.

You love the camaraderie among the students and their affection for you. Heck, you may be invited to join them for tea after class so you can get to know each other better. 

You have created a community.

You feel confident because you are in tune with how their bodies feel, their emotional state, and their mental state. You know you can offer a class that will meet their needs with ease and confidence.

All of this because you acquired the skills, knowledge and confidence to teach  a yoga class that is unique to the over 50’s needs and bodies.

You are knowledgeable, skilled and confident.

YES, I want to teach senior yoga


Teaching Senior Yoga

Nine videos plus a 2 day workshop


Intake date: September 2017 (can join before but not after). There will be two intakes annually.

Workshop Date: 7,8 April,  2018

Nine videos on YouTube: can be accessed through the internet.

Each video has a homework task which you send to me for review and comment. Skype meetings available on request.

Two day workshop 6-9 months after intake date: trainees who have completed all of the videos may attend the workshop to apply the knowledge covered into the videos.

Subjects covered in videos:

Changes due to Natural aging, what specifical types of poses to include in your classes to help with mobility, common conditions and diseases of older adults, pose modifications, props, assessment.

Workshop topics:

Chair yoga, blended classes (class with students in chairs and others on the mat), mat classes. Students will learn about contraindicated poses, sequencing, pose modifications and apply this knowledge while teaching classes.

CPD points: 36 points for the videos and the workshop. (There is no partial amount available)

Accountability partners: Online courses have many pluses but having an accountability partner to support you is very helpful. There will be a reduction in the cost of the course if you and your accountability partner either pay in full or set up an instalment plan. If you would like an accountability partner but don’t have one in mind, let me know and I will see if I can match you with another trainee

Online intake:     September 2017

Please read the FAQ’s at the bottom of this page for more information about the training.

YES, I want to teach senior yoga



1st Level Training for Yoga Therapists

In addition to the training explained above, a 1st level training developed for certified yoga therapists  has been approved by the Australasian Association of Yoga Therapists for 50 training hours. (You must be a certified Yoga Therapist to take this training). It is similar to the one for yoga teachers but has additional requirements relating to the tenets of Yoga Therapy.


Is the course online?  The fundamentals course has 9 online videos and each video has a homework task for you to apply the information in the video. You complete the homework task and send it to me for review and comments. A two day workshop follows completion of the videos to apply your knowledge in senior classes.

How long does it take? The 2 day workshop is scheduled six to nine months after starting the videos.

What will I get at the end? You will receive a certificate of completion for Teaching Senior Yoga Training and 36 CPD points. Yoga Australia, Yoga Alliance and IYTA have accepted the points.

What are the prerequisites to take the training?  You must know a variety of yoga poses and basic anatomy.

Do I have to be a registered yoga teacher to take this training? You will need insurance to teach and being a certified teacher allows you to buy  insurance. As long as you are eligible for insurance and have the previously mentioned prerequisites, you can take the training.

How do I pay? Using a financial gateway that secures your financial information, students have paid the full amount at the beginning, paid half twice, paid one-third every three months, or other arrangements can be made. But payment in full must be received before attending the 2 day workshop.

Cost: The cost of the videos and the workshop is $900.00. If you have an  accountability partner, then you will each pay $750.00

What will we be covering in the course:


Module 1 – After a welcome and introduction, I will discuss a general outline of course and what an “average” class looks like including modified asanas, sequencing, the use of props, assessment of seniors’ physical states, communication and mental health issues, professional responsibilities, and common conditions/diseases of seniors. We will also touch on more serious conditions that a teacher may have to address occasionally.

          Homework: Observe how older adults walk, sit, get up from sitting, any signs of disease/disorder (e.g., swollen feet, legs, oxygen tanks, tremors, limping). Observe how well they can see and hear.  Send your observations to me and comment on how that might affect their participation in a yoga class.

Module 2 – Effects of Normal Aging: what are the major changes in the body (physical and mental) that occur to people in their 40’s-50’s and then in their 70’s.  What do older adults want from yoga by age group? How to assess the physical and mental state of students.

          Homework: Participate in a yoga class wearing earplugs. Write down your impressions of that experience and then develop three things you could do as a teacher to help someone who can’t hear well participate in a yoga class.

Module 3 — Strength and Endurance (Dept of Health and Aging guidelines for senior exercise)

Discussion of the important areas (quads and core) of the body to strengthen in older students to help maintain independence.  Asanas and breathing you can offer in class to maintain independence. How to increase endurance to ensure that students have enough strength to be moderately active throughout the day. Homework: Chair class: a) choose and explain 3 poses to increase arm strength in chair class, b) develop sequence of poses for mat class to increase back strength and endurance.

Module 4 – Flexibility and Balance: Discussion of the importance of balance in maintaining independence and reducing the risk of falls. Discussion and applications of improving balance through balance poses and using props for assistance.  How to work on flexibility to gently work joints and to increase range of motion.

Homework: a) develop warm up sequence for chair class (include 2 or 3 warm ups for shoulder and hip joints), b) develop a new or modification of 4 poses that improves balance.

Module 5 – Stress Relief and Energy Levels (breathing and meditation). Discussion of the recent research on the beneficial effects of meditation and breathing and specifically how it can reduce stress. Homework: Choose and explain how you would teach three different breathing techniques and explain the benefits of each to the individual.

Module 6 – Common conditions of aging. Osteoporosis: osteoarthritis, high blood pressure. Approximately ½ to 2/3 of all students in an “average” class will have at least one of these three conditions. Homework: a) A person has osteopenia and osteoarthritis in the back. What would you recommend for warm ups?

Module 7 — Common Conditions of aging: disc degeneration, joint replacement, assessments and props. Many students will be suffering from back pain because of disc degeneration and many will have hip or knee replacements. How to conduct a yoga class for students with these issues. Homework: For a student that has 2 or 3 following conditions (your choice) – high blood pressure, lumbar region disc degeneration, hip replacement with a front incision – explain the types of poses that benefit the student and those that are contraindicated.

Module 8 – Common diseases experienced by the elderly –Cardiovascular disease, COPD, Dementia. These diseases are less common than the previously discussed conditions but students will be dealing with them. What are the contraindicated poses for these conditions and what are beneficial poses.  Homework: What are three things to be concerned about in a class with individuals with dementia and how would you address those three things.

Module 9 – Common diseases experienced by the elderly – Diabetes, Movement Disorders, Eye disorders: Diabetes (and pre-diabetes and macular degeneration are becoming increasingly common and students will present with these diseases in both mat and chair classes).  Discussion on beneficial, contraindicated poses for these diseases. Homework: Develop a sequence of six poses with memory and other cues for a class of individuals with Parkinson’s.

Two Day workshop:

1) Module on ethics in yoga, especially when working with a vulnerable population.

2) Applying knowledge learned in videos.

  • Sequencing differences
  • Modifications
  • Chair, Mat and Blended Classes
  • Communication with this age group
  • Props, etc.

Contact details:

Stephanie Cunningham



The course consists of 9 videos with 9 homework tasks. I will review all homework and give you a written assessment of each.  A two day workshop at the end will help you apply your knowledge gained in the videos. I am available any time by appointment on Skype or email for questions or discussion.  You have the opportunity to join a closed group of other teachers taking the training. You are also eligible for 1 hour of mentoring to help you start your senior classes.