How to Teach Yoga to Older People

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Hi Friends!

There’s this question that came up in our training time here at Sundance. It comes up in every training we ever have. It’s asked about yoga, and then it’s asked about pretty much everything else we all do, together with each other as people. And usually it begins pretty simply, in one of two ways.

a) What do I do with old people? … or … b) How do I lead Beginners?

And from here the question always grows. Old people, young people, sick people, injured people, small people, big people, tall people, expert people, office people, school people, family people. How do I lead people who seem different from me?

What helps here is very simple. Focus on leading movement, rather than poses. The poses are there, but they’re not the aim. Learn to move well, teach people to move well.

Focus on poses can be quite separating. This group can do these poses. That group can’t do those poses. Suddenly you’re leading people who are different from you. This makes things more difficult, more theoretical. Instead, lead movement.


We all have these human bodies. Movement practices and principles follow the same path for all of us. And learning is about the same for everyone. We might look different to each other. But how we move through it all, we’re not different. We’re not separate. We’re together, and we’re so much the same.


How to begin? That’s simple. Begin where it’s easy to begin. I’ll give an outline for you below from the Four Corners Methodology for problem-solving, practiced in the Advanced Leadership Training this Summer in Berlin.

Your starting point might be from sitting or standing, lying down or on hands and knees. Wherever it’s easy for you to be comfortable. Create a good base to support where you are, and where you want to go next. Soften, enough that you’re movable. Create a relationship between your body and breath, so your breath moves you. Now, move your body as one whole body, from your center, a little in this direction, a little in that direction. Gradually, you cover all the directions.

Practice this way yourself, so you learn how to move well from wherever you are to wherever you want to go. And bother to get it right – softening, creating the right base, using your breath to begin each movement, then your center, whole body as one whole body, harmony not disconnection – even when you don’t have to. Even when you could simply choose disconnection and force, push harder rather than learn to do better, just to get it done.

If you practice this way, you’re not different from these old people. Or someone who’s sick, someone who doesn’t have a foot, someone injured, bigger or smaller, taller or shorter. Whatever our differences, they aren’t so different, they don’t separate us, when we practice this way. It’s a better place for you to be, and also a better place to be when you lead.



About Strala Yoga Training

Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.

It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.

In our Strala Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.

Who’s What’s and When’s of Strala Yoga Training


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You deserve to feel better. Take good care of you and those around you. When it’s hard, remember you deserve to feel better. #stralayoga
Fire 🔥 Earth 🌍 Metal 🚀 Water 💦 Wood 🌳Which element do you most identify with? Drop a 🔥🌍🚀💦🌳 below.Each month we explore a phase of traditional East Asian healing with a #shiatsu Chat & Practice with #samberlind and @tarastiles We’re thrilled to be able to offer continuing education credit now through Strala Home and even more excited to share these workshops and lectures in addition to our live classes in yoga & tai chi regularly.Refresh & Renew You is our April ThemeSpecial LIVE Workshops (EST)
Saturday April 3rd, 2pm: Art of Sequencing - Creating Theme, Variation & Rhythm
Saturday April 10, 2pm: Shiatsu Chat & Practice - Water Element
Saturday April 17, 2pm: Refresh & Renew You - Restorative PracticeWeekly LIVE Classes (EST)
Monday 8am: Intention-Setting Meditation & Energize Yoga
Tuesday 2pm:  De-Stress Yoga
Wednesday 8am: Gentle Yoga
Thursday 2pm: Workout Yoga
Friday 8am: Tai Chi & Qigong
Saturday 8am: Strong YogaOur wellbeing is interconnected. See you for practice soon. Let us know how we can help.#stralayoga #taichi
Sometimes life is a puzzle. You have to stop and think.Fresh 💌 is there for you.I’m sitting at my parents kitchen table writing this to you. Daisy and Grandma are on the floor putting together a puzzle. Grandma pauses and says, "Sometimes life is a puzzle. You have to stop and think." And here we think we are so different from our parents. Slow down, soften, breathe, feel, and respond. Works for yoga and all of life’s puzzles.As we rush into April and all the momentum dragged along with this past year of epic emotion, ready or not we are headed toward a big release. Aligning our internal pacing with the rhythm of nature and our unhurried breath, instead of allowing our racing minds to take the lead, is necessary to find ease and balance.This Month’s Theme is Refresh & Renew YouWith each inhale I am refreshed. With each exhale I am renewed.When you are at ease, each inhale refreshes you. When you are calm, each exhale renews you. Nature shows us the signs of rebirth with each new bud and bloom. When we take good care of ourselves we are reborn too. When we take good care of ourselves in community, we co-create a vibrant ecosystem, like a magical forrest, uninterrupted to create wild, interconnected, vivid life.#stralayoga
That aprés Gentle #stralayoga glow when you feel balanced, fresh and just like yourself. Thanks radiant @paula_laney for sharing. Drop a 💫 if you practice to connect with this feeling. The real you is always ready to play.
Hang in there, that group joy is coming again. Pic from a London Strala class a while back. Whenever we gather, a great feeling is always there. Stay positive and when you feel down, reach out and lean on someone. Our wellbeing is interconnected. #stralayoga
Mike getting comfortable, creating the environment and revealing community @bof a couple years back.Those you are privileged to lead reflect back how you are. A great reminder to take good care, always improve, and bring your whole self.Leave a comment 👋 with what you see reflected back to Mike here.Our April 200+Hour Yoga Leadership Training is centered around community. We’ll work on all the processes of practicing and leading with a special focus and break out sessions on community. Now is the time to be together, whether online or in person, how you are is reflected on what comes back to hang around you.Special topics includeFinding your voice and community.
Creating a regular practice of progress and reflection.
Creating a sustainable path to reach your goals.
Creating connection both in person and online.
Getting out of the comparison mindset, and building a life and business you feel good about.We’re looking forward to spending this time with you. Head to for more information and to get started.#stralayoga #yogateachertraining #taichi #connection #community