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

Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga DaySilverSneakers Yoga Instructor Course “YogaStretch – Stress Reduction” – Part Two :

Similarities & Conclusions


Pictured Left : “Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day”


“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

Site Areas


Fitness ** Arts ** eBooks


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

Similarities & Conclusions


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



originally, part 2 was part of one longer article on silversneakers’ yoga instructor course

i was undecided about splitting the post into two segments, or letting it remain one long piece, and finally, after feedback from various sources, plus my own review of the longer version as it appeared online, decided a two part posting was best

all three silversneakers instructor courses my wife and i have attended have been densely-rich in information, roundedness, and helpfulness for both the instructors and eventual class participants

thus, doing justice to silversneakers’ yoga instructor course demanded i be fair to my own assessment – a lot needed to be covered 😉




so, are there similarities between yoga classes for seniors and younger folk?

of course 😉 especially so with the silversneakers yoga classes!

1) breathing & meditative grounding:

after the mandatory silversneakers-format class introductions and announcements (bringing everyone up-todate & introduced) , a surprising array of modified breathing options are available to present to the class – these are some of them

what i’d call a kind of bellows breath, and here is called the breath of fire, is modified to a vowel breath – the vowels, a e i o & u, are said, with a very slight inward abdominal pull if at all

Floating Yellow Bell
Floating Yellow Bell

other modified breathing techniques:

include bee breath(bhramari pranayama), the cooling breath(though some participants may not be able to curl their tongue, which is ok), and the barrel breath(shaping and using the arms in a barrel shape)

the ahhh-ooo-mmm breath reminds me of the multi-part ohm breath from my yoga immersion and early meditation days 😉

and of course full natural abdominal breathing is taught and encouraged

this struck me as an impressive list of options for breathing exercises

2) the warmup sections (see # 4 above under “differences”) for the legs, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, and wrists and hands are titled salutations

examples are “salutation to hips,” and “salutation to knees, ankles, and feet,” and are done mind-fully, bringing the attention to one’s presence in the now –

this helps bring a fuller yoga experience to the fitness-warmup…

3) asanas: [1]

ahh, the asanas 😉

please recall that these postures are either chair based or chair assisted

also that while the chair use might mask the usual benefits of a pose, they remain challenging for anyone needing assistance, thus providing not only benefits an individual can enjoy, but –

also giving an individual needing modifications the opportunity to actually do movements that benefit them

while previous silversneaker yoga classes introduced sets of poses still available for class use, more postures were introduced in this class, including:

half triangle, thread the needle, sunbird, sun salutations, half moon, and camel –

plus a variety of asana options using the trademark silversneakers ball, including a vinyasa sequence (with a standing chair pose!) and open-the-gate

most anything using the silversneakers ball is a challenge, and fun 😉

4) deeper stretch (longer held seated poses)

often using two chairs, like for modified pigeon and staff poses, neck stretches (again using a ball), plus cat and cow stretches

5) savasana (final relaxation)

the lights are dimmed, appropriate music is played, and all are encouraged to rest, restore, recover, or simply be





the following two, in comparing silversneakers yoga classes vs other more usually thought of yoga classes (at studio or retreats) could fit into either the similar or different lists

Grapes - Distinct and Similar
Grapes – Distinct and Similar

arguments could be made either way, so here they are, as “sorta’s” 😉

1) instructors are also encouraged to keep the spirit of mind-body wellness typically thought of in conjunction with yoga classes, but by emphasizing the “six dimensions of wellness” –

physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, and occupational

yoga traditionalists, generally feeling these wellness components should be addressed in their sanskrit forms, such as via the yamas, etc, are, i believe, missing a central point of yoga, best said by a silversneakers handout to new or prospective participants:

the practice of yoga is fundamentally an experience of exploration and an act of kindness toward oneself. yoga helps us to live life as consciously as possible, opening us to the power that lies within”

it reminds me of lex gillan‘s often spoke words during my teacher immersion with him, to make yoga accessible to people, without scaring them off, introducing concepts in a form familiar to people – and lex is very strong about eventually learning and using the sanskrit names of poses (i’m not totally convinced)

2) huge selection of yoga mudras are also taught for availability for a class

as per our silversneakers instructor handout:

“there are nerve paths that directly link the hands to the neck…”

“practicing mudras can be called pure brain training…”

sample listing includes, jnana mudra, chin mudra, bhairava & bhairavi mudras, ganesha mudra, and anjali (prayer) mudra –

sheila found these hand postures particularly appealing, and will be incorporating them into our yoga classes….





1) seniors

2) people needing modifications for any number of reasons, such as injuries, illness, and surgeries

3) individuals who feel too de-conditioned and confident to enter what appears to be a full force exercise or yoga class

4) anyone wanting to be able to offer suggestions to a friend or family member needing help being more fit or well

this of course will be most effective if the friend or family member has someone to exercise with them, for company and support 😉

5) regular exercisers needing an “in-between” workout that is toning and effective, yet, allows some recovery time from more intense workouts

6) regular exercisers feeling they need to scale back due to a slight pull or injury or illness





did i mention a silversneakers yoga class, any silversneakers class, is dense with wellness and fitness and attentiveness for the participant? 😉

the only group i know that offers as rich an experience to a participant needing chair or chair-assisted work, is the stronger seniors group led by anne pringle burnell(check out the music video link, nice)

the difference is, silversneakers is a live class, and stronger seniors offers dvds

both are useful, both are wonderful

try them…really 😉

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


namaste – con dios – god be with you



[1] approx 10 poses are introduced in each of the 3 silversneakers yoga classes (please see the intro beginning of article)

though i have not had the opportunity to take the other two classes yet (classes offered are rotated throughout the calendar) i was able to get the class dvd for the first class, which is “yoga stretch,” without a suffix title (this class’ suffix is “stress reduction”) – no dvd is avail at this time for this third class

when able, i’ll review the dvd for the first silversneakers yoga class, and see if i can do a review of that class, comparing it to this third yoga class format

it was emphasized to us that we do not need to have taken the classes in sequence to benefit from them

based on the fully balanced class format and presentation of this yoga class sheila and i took, it is typical of other (non-yoga) classes we’ve taken from silversneakers, complete onto itself, and ready to be taught



About Me



  1. As a Hatha Yoga teacher, Yoga Alliance, I would like to purchase a copy of Yoga Stretch- Instructor training as taught through Silver Sneakers. Please tell me how I may purchase a copy of the DVD for my class of Seniors in the mobile park in which I live. Thank You, Trish Mc Mahan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.