Last week I taught my first class to a senior, a 78 year old lady. This lady is recovering from a stroke and the doctor advised her to move her body. I was very nervous beforehand, because teaching somebody with this condition is something very different from teaching young, healthy bodies. And the risk of doing something wrong and hurting her body is so much higher. However, I got excited about this challenge and new experience, because working with her meant moving out of my comfort zone and moving into yoga as a therapy.
So far, this has been one of my most powerful learning experiences. And I will explain why:
- Teaching a 78 year old will make you more than 100% present. No distractions, no other thoughts, just her and the movements.
- You learn to adjust poses on the spot.
- You learn to re-do poses in ways which put your own practice in a different perspective.
- The body of a 65+ person will give immediate feedback on what the boundaries and limitations are.
- The normal pace of a class is too fast, so they teach me to slow down.
- They are more interested in the theory behind the practice, so it keeps you sharp and up to date with your studies.
So next to my regular students with strong, flexible, young and healthy bodies, I will expand my teachings to this group of elderly people. And again a new challenge pops-up: how to reach this non-internet generation?