FEBRUARY 25, 2019
We are fortunate to have one of the best Seniors Yoga Teachers offering a weekly class. Kristen Beaulieu will meet you where you are at and offer personalised attention. Kristen dedicates much of her teaching hours towards Seniors Yoga. She is both an incredibly skilled and compassionate teacher. You will find her teaching a regular Seniors Yoga class at our Kensington space on Monday’s from 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm.
We had the opportunity to meet up with Kristen and hear about her personal yoga journey, her natural movement into teaching elders, as well as what to expect in one of her guided classes. For Yoga Teachers looking to learn the art of holding space and guiding seniors, Kristen shares about her next Sacred Elders Seniors Yoga Teacher Training being offered out of our Kensington space in the Fall.
Kristen thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom. What brought you to your mat and when did your teaching evolve into a passion for guiding seniors?
Stepping on to the Yoga mat over 15 years ago, after a car accident, I had no idea what was about to imbue my life. I have explored my days since with guidance from and through the framework of Yoga. My mission is to experience all that life offers with open arms and an unflinching, soft heart. I cherish my Yogic experience as means for connection, both with those around me and with my own mind, body and spirit.
It is from this passion for connection that my teaching has developed. Working with and for seniors seemed a natural progression of many of my life experiences. I was raised around the older generations of my family and have worked in seniors’ services before choosing to teach Yoga full time. I am drawn to the easy laughter and life experience that Seniors bring. They are very dedicated students and are often willing to share their stories and their viewpoints. My teaching practice embraces those experiences and laughter.
What exactly is Seniors Yoga and who is it for?
Seniors Yoga is a Yoga practice that embraces diversity and supports students who are in the later stages of life. Seniors—especially those who struggle with Osteoporosis and mobility issues—can find that Yoga asanas will bring increased strength, circulation, and flexibility. A regular Yoga practice that includes pranayama and meditation along with posture work can improve a student’s balance, lung capacity, clarity of mind and sense of peace. Classes offer seniors the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who share their desire to maintain their health and enjoy a recharged vitality.
Can you lead us through what to expect in one of your classes?
Classes are structured to allow for individualized adjustments and to build a supportive environment among the students. Seniors will need to bring their own mat, towel or small blanket and small pillow (if desired). Most props are provided (chair, blocks, straps, bolsters) but they may want to purchase their own for use at home. Classes begin with focused breath work followed by gentle movements to warm-up the spine and joints. All postures are offered with variations to support the range of mobility and energy levels in a group. We will practice a variety of postures; some sitting, some standing and some laying on our back though all postures can be done from a chair.
You also lead a Seniors Yoga Teacher Training for certified Yoga Teachers. Share a little about this program you offer.
This is the 4th year of the Sacred Elders Seniors Yoga Teacher Training. It evolved from the need for more Seniors Yoga teachers in the community and my own passion to expand how we think of yoga and of the older student. Later-in-life students come with their own needs, considerations and expectations. This training gives practicing Yoga teachers hands-on experience with the needs of the senior student. We explore Yoga philosophy and concepts from a later-in-life student perspective and re-conceptualize our understanding of the practice to support a diverse classroom. The training is constructed to offer a balance of lecture, movement, small-group work, practice-teaching sessions, discussions and individual work. This year’s training is offered over 3 weekends on September 27–29, October 25–27 and November 22–24, 2019 at Yoga Santosha – Kensington.
Thank you Kristen. We are so grateful for you being a part of the Santosha community and for sharing your many gifts with all of us.
For more information on Seniors Yoga check out Kristen’s website www.kristenbeaulieu.com