Yoga Workshops and Events with Alex West
For details of forthcoming events and workshops
Increase your personal repertoire of light movements and simple stretches that mobilise the joints and loosen the muscles. This makes everything that comes after easier and more accessible for older adults.
RELEASE THE SPINE
Remember the yoga saying, ‘you’re as young as your spine’; as we get older, the spine tends to stiffen, so develop your sequences of mini stretches and twists that increase suppleness and tone while boosting circulation throughout the muscles, tendons, connective tissues.
Practice incorporating more movement and enhanced breathwork into the yoga postures that follow – whether working with milder Hatha or stronger Vinyasa, this will increase the circulation and energy and make the Yoga seem much easier to do. This approach gives you, and them, the confidence to safely explore limits, improve and make progress in Yoga.
EXPLAIN THE BENEFITS
Increase your understanding of how the yoga postures and sequences that you teach interact with the anatomy and physiology of the body. Develop your ability to include explanations that link the yoga postures you select with the benefits to the health and functioning of the body.
This approach keeps people coming back for more. Whether in group classes or one to one tuition, this way of teaching makes Yoga easier to do and increases the ability to make progress. If people believe that the possibilities of yoga are definitely attainable, and if the teacher can clearly communicate what to do and why, and what the benefits are, then they will continue to freely invest their money and time because older adults especially understand the true value of having abundant health and energy.
-Senior Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance.
-Advanced Qi Gong Instructor, T’ai Chi Union of Great Britain
-Shiatsu Practicioner and Teacher. Zen Shiatsu Society
-Chi Nei Tsang massage teacher. Healing Tao, Mantak Chia.
I have taught older adults every week since 2003, at community health centres, clubs and gyms including Nuffield Health, David Lloyd, YMCA, GLL and at private members’ clubs including the RAC Club in Pall Mall.
When I first started teaching older adults, I found the obstacles and difficulties they faced quite challenging: My Yoga Teacher Training took place in an apprenticeship style programme over 2 Years at the West London Yoga Shala under the tutelage of Viryam Robertson, who trained with BKS Iyengar and Zandor Remete. The training included a good grounding in Iyengar, Ashtanga and Shadow styles of Yoga.
With many of the older adults (50 +) i was teaching, the challenging Ashtanga Vinyasa was simply too difficult and inappropriate, while the Iyengar approach was more accessible it was too static and in some ways not challenging enough to keep them enthusiastic and engaged.
The way I developed to teach older adults drew more on the Shadow Yoga, which uses “stanas” rather than asanas, which include a greater element of movement and increased emphasis on strengthening as well as stretching, and incorporates elements of Qi Gong and draws on the detailed knowledge of Anatomy,Physiology and Pathology and principles of oriental medicine used in Shiatsu and acupuncture.