SilverSneakers Yoga Instructor Course “YogaStretch – Stress Reduction” — Part One — Intro & Differences

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Intro & Differences


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SilverSneakers Yoga Instructor Course “YogaStretch – Stress Reduction” – Part One :

Intro & Differences


silversneakers yoga instructor course “yogastretch – stress reduction” — Part Two, Similarities & Conclusions




silversneakers introductory basic information

silversneakers is a national organization offering balanced fitness and wellness classes for older adults, typically 65 or older

instructor classes [1] from silversneakers, as per our experience, are information-dense, practical orientated, and applicable for any adult with either an illness or condition needing modifications [2]

classes are also all arc and flow gracefully with introductions, warm-ups, workout work, cool downs, and final relaxations

Pinks & Greens
Pinks & Greens

the silversneakers yoga classes are no exception

silversneakers yoga classes

three complete separate yoga classes are offered by silversneakers

this review covers only the one yoga instructor class sheila and i have attended

originally, the three classes were notated as 1, 2, and 3 – apparently however, people assumed the classes were not only a sequence, but had to be taken one after the other

sounds reasonable to me 😉

to make the yoga classes more approachable for instructors, the numerical notations for the yoga classes were removed, and the classes renamed

all three yoga classes now offered, are prefixed with the name “YogaStretch”

the first yoga class has no further notation, but the second and third classes, formerly #’s 2 & 3, are now known as, “Restorative Breathing” and “Stress Reduction”

the instructor class i will review, and that sheila and i attended, was the latter, “YogaStretch – Stress Reduction”





1) primarily, this style yoga class is set to be done with chairs, either sitting, or available as support in standing poses

2) secondarily, there are’s no floor or mat work

3) typically, the distinction is seen as that these yoga classes are for seniors, specifically people age 65+

Corner Fence, Flowers, Bird Bath
Corner Fence, Flowers, Bird Bath

this unintentionally masks the fact that most everything taught, targeted to concerns usually associated with the elderly, is applicable to any adult of any age with similar problems: high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, large size, de-conditioned, or recovering from or adapting to an injury or surgery

ironically, this focus on sensitivity for the need for possible modifications, which does set silversneakers yoga classes from most other yoga classes [3] , is then in turn a negative on classes that are for so-called normal participants, in the sense that there is an insensitivity to the individual as an individual

the irony is that many yoga courses and people pride themselves (itself another irony) on being “different” and “more” than sweaty gym or aerobic fitness classes

this is not to say there are no, or few (just too few) yoga instructors or studios sensitive to the individual, but more importantly, it is the responsibility of the participant to verify or seek this sensitivity

4) silversneakers has a required class format, of which a few yoga schools do also

one of the required class format components, is a seated fitness style warm-up to limber and warm the larger muscle groups first

the warmup includes, among many items, movements such as shoulder rolls, leg lifts, rag doll arm, knee massage, and wrist rotations

though i’ve seen or experienced what was called a warmup period in yoga classes, predominately they were full sun salutations that are, i believe, unsuitable for most people who are either de-conditioned, working from a stiff joint orientation, or just plain been sitting in a car or subway for an hour or so, stiff and still when they enter class

a meditative breathing warm up helps, but does not get to the range of muscle limbering that a simple fitness warmup will, especially for the target population for these classes (please see # 3 above)

5) the use of a small inflated ball for dexterity and balance work

i can’t truthfully say i’ve seen ball work in any yoga class i’ve been to, though the prop concept isn’t too far off

yet, this is more truly a fitness segment, emphasizing agility, balancing, and dexterity

yes, this could be done with various typical asanas, but these fit more easily into the chair or standing-chair-assisted format, and, i gotta tell you, are darn right fun! 😉


Part Two – Similarites and Conclusions

part two goes deeply into the similarities between a silversneakers yoga class and other yoga style classes

some differences may seem obvious, but many may surprise you 😉

SilverSneakers Yoga Instructor Course “YogaStretch – Stress Reduction” —           Part Two, Similarities & Conclusions


Preview, “Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day”

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namaste – con dios – god be with you



[1] my wife sheila and i had taken two prior silversneakers classes, MSROM (muscular strength and range of movmeent) and CardioCircuit

plus we are both AFAA group fitness certified instructors, and Zumba licensed for Zumba and Zumba Gold (for seniors and de-conditioned adults)

this was sheila’s first yoga instructor class, and i have my 200 hour yoga teacher certification, with training under lex gillan

[2] modification work taught to instructors includes, among many aspects, adjusting for cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, large participants, and stress

these considerations are also equally valuable for adults under 65 with these ailments, and for de-conditioned adults

the guidelines match well with those my wife and i learned in our studies with AFAA

[3] other yoga classes similar to those of silversneakers, that i am familiar with, are those from stronger seniors from anne pringle burnell



About Me



  1. I have many years experience as a beginners yoga instructor. For over 20 years, I worked at a psychiatric center where my supervisor was a certified instructor of yoga. She helped me to learn simple yoga poses for our patients, and I began a class which I loved to do. ( I worked with older adults).
    I love yoga and continue to take classes myself. I also integrate some acupressure points / aromatherapy and reflexology into my classroom. To further my skills, I recently took a Holistic Nutrition class where I learned about how important a healthy diet is to one’s overall health and wellness. I am a very holistic nurse, and since my retirement a few years ago, I started a website of healthy living tips! Feel free to explore my site!
    Presently I have been a yoga sub at a local gym in Hamburg, New York. I am a registered nurse, but if I would like my own yoga class, I need a certificate. Most of the people whom I teach are older women, and need a gentle yoga class. Can you help me get certified as as Senior Sneakers Yoga Instructor? I would be forever grateful!
    Doris Richardson-Edsell, RN


    • hi doris, i myself can’t get you certified, but the articles have some nice links to the silversneakers site; from there contact the general info number or email, and see who they’d direct you to for classes and current certification requirements

      best of luck and best wishes for you 😉


        • let me know how it goes, being an RN, you are in a special position, and silversneakers does have great information that can help

          personally, you might also contact the national certifiying agencies, such as afaa, ace, and acsm, esp the latter because of your degree, and see what they might offer you in terms of fitness certs to go with your degree – ascm has advanced science-centered degrees for health and fitness

          some of the best regarded people in yoga, or i guess i should say that i regard, have advanced fitness/anatomy/health knowledge :

          paul grilley, jill miller, and judith lasater

          you will find much to offer beyond what i know of right now 😉

          best wishes doris, take care, and explore those latter avenues if you can, just to see what they also offer; you seem too highly qualified not to 😉


          • Thank you for the information. I have been exploring for a long time, especially related to what would be a good fit for me with yoga training but every facility thus far has told me I had to get 200 hours of training, and since I am retired, and have many degrees and certifications, 200 hours seems like too much for me right now. ( I also teach medical assistants part-time.)

            I enjoy yoga the most out of all of the alternative modalities, and that is why I chose to explore it further.
            I also love to study nutrition, and last summer I took an Advanced Applied Holistic Nutrition Class from the American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, Oregon. I wrote a paper entitled: Lifestyle Changes that Promote a Healthy Weight. That is where I came up with the idea of my blog: Healthy Living ( it started off being Healthy Vegan) but did not catch on! Not enough vegans!! I really would like you to take a look at the blog:, I think that you would like it. I enjoy blogging every day on a different health tip. Today’s tip was on yoga.
            Thank you for the positive regard! I need it! Retirement has been hard on me. I don’t have enough to do! I am also going to volunteer back at the psychiatric center where I used to work.


            • the 200 hr requirement is a good beginning, i think you’ll find your nursing training will back you up nicely when & if requirements go beyond that for teaching yoga, only time will tell about that

              meanwhile, if the 200 hr barrier is all you need to cross, i would suggest you contact lex gillan in houston ( 1-800-524-6674 ; ) – he’s very eclectic, was who i studied with, and had one of if not the first non-guru yoga studio in the country, back in the 70s

              the 200 hr requirement is composed of modules

              those modules include some of the teaching you have already done, other modules include some of your nursing studies and experience, and more…

              you need to speak with lex though, because, as with silversneakers, i can’t speak to what may be the requirements now, but you have more than you think

              his training is reasonable in price (relatively speaking 😉 ) and you’d need a couple of weeks of very intense training time in houston, though he does travel here and there, but again, you’d need to speak with him

              and no i don’t get a finder’s fee 😉

              i myself am 61, and my concerns when i took training last year right about this time, was, can i sit when i need to, lay down when i need to, not do poses not safe for me, and still pass

              his answer was, and i assume still is, i was there to learn to teach, which is a distinct skill from doing –

              and with your anatomy and health background…

              so that is an option, he also knows people all over the country, and may know someone nearer to you that might also work out for you

              and speaking of getting old(er) 😉 i’m past my bedtime, so g’nite, and don’t give up, pursue this, if you wish of course, but if you do, then search this out

              jill miller has trainings all over the country too (yoga tune-up) ; haven’t had her trainings, but love her videos and perspective

              ps – our blog looks top notch! 😉 you have more to offer yoga than you realize 😉

              g’nite doris, best of luck and success 😉


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