070: Teaching Yoga for Seniors: Is Age Nothing but a Number? with Shannon Crow


On today’s solo episode Shannon shares her experience with posting a question on The Yoga and Movement Research Group on Facebook  where she asked:

Who is teaching yoga for students who are 50+ and what are you calling it?

A general All Levels or Gentle Yoga are not what we are looking for. Instead something new and fun.

Also, to clarify — I am looking for a name that isn’t offensive (such as yoga for seniors would be).


Shannon was asking on behalf of a client who had been approached by a group of 50+ women requesting their own yoga class without mentioning the term “senior”.

The question set off an intense debate resulting in over 500 responses in the thread. It was certainly a hot button issue with words like “ageist” and “offensive” being scattered throughout the responses. A very interesting conversation developed and many asked if a class geared towards seniors was even necessary. A significant number of responses were something like “just call it yoga.”

Many important points were discussed, bringing in a wealth of insight. Through this thread we were able to compile a list of possible class names that were shared by respondents with great humour and wisdom. Other important considerations pulled from the thread included defining “senior”, the gift of teaching older adults, and marketing considerations.

Shannon is grateful for the insight she gained from this passionate debate. Aging in the context of yoga is a topic that clearly needs to be explored. What is your opinion about yoga for seniors? Has this episode sparked any insights? Do you have any class names to add to the list? We would love to hear from you.


[10:20] Shannon’s post that sparked the debate


[15:10] Compiling and sharing the wealth of responses


[17:30] How to we define senior?


[18:25] Yoga teachers that are firmly against senior specific classes


[21:25] Yogini Flame on ageism and her own view of aging


[25:25] Yoga students that want to be grouped by age


[28:00] The beauty of teaching older adults


[29:45] Marketing considerations  


[31:35] List of class name suggestions


[33:35] Shannon’s final thoughts and gratitude for the insightful conversation



Yoga for Seniors article (written by Laura Cameron)


Shannon’s Seniors Yoga Question: Facebook Post and Thread


Austin Ince’s Website: Shanti Power Yoga


Flame’s Facebook Group: Yogis and Yoginis


Louise Bloom on Tumblr: Bloom Yoga Coaching


Autumn Anderson’s Facebook Page: Wellness for Busy Women


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


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