Healthy Hearts: Cardiovascular Benefits of Senior Yoga

As we age, taking care of our cardiovascular health becomes increasingly important. Heart disease and hypertension are common concerns among seniors, but the good news is that various ways exist to manage and prevent these issues. One such approach is the practice of yoga. In this blog, we will delve into the world of senior yoga and explore how it can support heart health and help manage hypertension in older adults.

Understanding Heart Health in Seniors

As we age, our bodies undergo various changes that can impact our cardiovascular system. Blood vessels may stiffen, and the heart may not pump as efficiently as it once did. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress management become increasingly important in maintaining a healthy heart. It is essential for seniors to find gentle yet effective activities promoting cardiovascular health, and yoga fits the bill perfectly.

Yoga for Seniors: A Holistic Approach

Yoga is not just about physical postures; it encompasses a holistic approach to health and well-being. For seniors, this holistic approach is particularly beneficial, as it addresses physical fitness and mental and emotional well-being – all crucial components of heart health.

  1. Physical Benefits:

○      Improved Flexibility: Yoga poses (asanas) help seniors improve their flexibility, making it easier to perform daily activities and reduce the risk of injuries.

○      Enhanced Circulation: Many yoga poses promote better blood circulation, aiding in delivering oxygen and nutrients to the heart and other vital organs.

○      Lower Blood Pressure: Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce blood pressure, making it an effective tool in managing hypertension.

  1. Mental and Emotional Benefits:

○      Stress Reduction: Yoga emphasizes mindfulness and relaxation techniques that can significantly reduce stress levels, which is crucial for heart health.

○      Improved Sleep: Better sleep quality is linked to improved heart health, and yoga can help seniors achieve restorative sleep.

○      Emotional Well-being: Yoga encourages a positive outlook on life and can help seniors manage depression and anxiety, which can contribute to heart problems.

  1. Breath Awareness:

○      Yoga places great emphasis on controlled breathing (pranayama). Seniors can benefit from learning to control their breath, as it can reduce heart rate and lower stress levels.

Starting a Senior Yoga Practice

If you or a senior loved one is considering starting a yoga practice for heart health, it’s essential to take some precautions:

  1. Consult with a Healthcare Professional: Before beginning any new exercise regimen, consult a healthcare provider, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
  2. Choose the Right Class: Look for senior-specific yoga classes that cater to your needs and physical abilities. Our instructors have excellent experience in teaching seniors and can make a significant difference, depending on your needs.
  3. Listen to Your Body: Seniors should practice yoga at their own pace and not push themselves too hard. It’s essential to respect your body’s limitations and progress gradually.
  4. Props and Modifications: Yoga props like blocks, straps, and bolsters can be immensely helpful for seniors in maintaining proper alignment and avoiding strain.

Senior yoga is a gentle yet effective way for older adults to support their cardiovascular health and manage conditions like hypertension. Its holistic approach, combining physical postures, breathing exercises, and mindfulness, can contribute to a healthier heart and an improved overall quality of life.

Remember, it’s never too late to start practicing yoga and reap its numerous benefits for senior heart health. So, get ready to roll out your yoga mat, take a deep breath, and start your journey towards a healthier, happier heart. Namaste!

Alchemy Crystal Bowl Sound Bath to support SAYCO: October 7th, 2023

Fall Special: join us for SAYCO Sound Bath.

Alchemy Crystal Bowl Sound Bath to support SAYCO

Quantum physicists tell us that “Everything in the Universe is vibration and sound” including us! We are vibrational beings and our bodies are made of mostly water, a wonderful conductor of vibration, therefore, our bodies respond positively to the healing, high frequencies of singing crystal bowls. 

A Singing Bowl Sound Bath is a full-body meditative experience. Those attending lie down on yoga mats and listen to the resonant sounds created by various crystal or metal bowls, often called singing bowls, played with a small wooden mallet. This creates an echoing-vibrating sound that ‘bathes’ your body. When we relax with the sound of the bowls, their vibrations can release mental and emotional pain (worries, fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, insomnia), reduced tension and diminished pain, and can have a deep relaxation of both sides of the brain.

It’s an acoustic sound-healing journey that allows the listener to enter a meditative state to feel calm, relaxed, grounded, and focused. It has been described as floating on a cloud, feeling peaceful, happy, and energized.
presented by Cindy and Scott Smithers; The Center in Escondido

Date:     Saturday, October 7, 2023 
Time:     Arrive 1:00 P.M., Sound Bath 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Place:     St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 334  14th Street, Del Mar, CA 92014
What to bring: Mat, pillows, blanket, and paper and pen to record your experience
Price:  $50.00
Reservations recommended: click here.

Register early as space is limited.

Senior Socializing: The Community Aspect of Senior Yoga Classes

Staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes increasingly important as we age. One fantastic way seniors can achieve this is by participating in senior yoga classes. Beyond the physical benefits of increased flexibility, balance, and strength, senior yoga classes offer something equally valuable: a supportive and inclusive community. In this blog, we’ll explore the social benefits of senior yoga classes and how they provide seniors with a sense of belonging and companionship.

Building Connections

One of the most significant advantages of senior yoga classes is building connections with like-minded individuals. Many seniors may find themselves dealing with loneliness or isolation as they age, which can negatively affect their physical and mental well-being. Participating in group yoga classes allows them to meet others who share their interests and concerns.

These classes often foster a sense of camaraderie among participants, as everyone is working towards similar goals. Whether holding a challenging pose or simply finding balance, the shared experiences during yoga sessions can spark conversations and lead to lasting friendships.

A Supportive Environment

Senior yoga classes are specifically designed to cater to older adults’ unique needs and abilities. In such an environment, seniors can feel comfortable and supported, knowing their instructors and fellow participants understand their limitations and challenges.

The instructors in these classes are often trained to adapt poses and exercises to suit different mobility and fitness levels. This adaptability ensures everyone can participate at their own pace without pressure to keep up with others.

Encouragement and Motivation

In a senior yoga class, encouragement and motivation are the order of the day. Seniors often find themselves uplifted by the positive energy in the room and inspired by their peers. When they witness others overcoming obstacles or achieving personal milestones, it can be a powerful motivator to push their boundaries.

Additionally, the group setting provides seniors with a sense of accountability. Knowing that their friends from class are expecting them can be a strong motivator to attend regularly, helping them stay committed to their fitness routine.

Mental and Emotional Well-being

Senior yoga classes offer physical benefits and contribute significantly to mental and emotional well-being. Practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques in yoga can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, the social interactions and sense of belonging gained through these classes can boost overall happiness and self-esteem.

Senior yoga classes offer far more than just physical exercise in the world of senior health and fitness. They provide a sense of community, connection, and support that can enhance the lives of seniors in numerous ways. For those seeking an active and social lifestyle in their golden years, senior yoga classes present an ideal opportunity to improve physical and mental well-being while forging valuable relationships with like-minded individuals.

If you’re a senior or know someone who could benefit from these social advantages, consider joining us at Silver Age Yoga. It’s not just about striking a pose; it’s about building a vibrant and inclusive community.

SAYCO Spotlight: Bob Spindler


Welcome to our latest blog installment, where we dive into the world of Silver Age Yoga and shine a spotlight on the dedicated individuals who are transforming lives within the senior community. Today, we are thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview with instructor, Bob Spindler.

At SAYCO, we believe in more than just the physical benefits of yoga; we believe in the power of community, connection, and the positive impact that yoga can have on individuals in their silver years. With this blog series, we aim to peel back the layers and introduce you to the faces behind SAYCO who are making a profound difference in the lives of seniors.

Bob Spindler, a seasoned yoga instructor with a heart as expansive as his expertise, has been weaving wellness and wisdom into the lives of seniors through his classes. In our conversation with Bob, we explore his journey into the world of yoga, his experiences working with seniors, and the transformative effects he witnesses with SAYCO on a regular basis.

How long have you been with Silver Age Yoga? 

I’ve been with Silver Age Yoga since 2005, about 18 years.

What attracted you to Silver Age Yoga?

When I first attended Frank’s yoga classes, I was impressed seeing an older guy doing all   these very physical, dynamic, precise and sometimes challenging poses.

What do you think are the biggest benefits of yoga for seniors?

Yoga helps you get centered and is very calming when beginning a session with breathing and meditation. This, in turn, helps reduce stress and enables students to better concentrate their efforts to improve core and upper body strength as well as balance. 

Why should teachers work with SAYCO?

As a teacher you get to see, weekly, seniors improve their lives through regular yoga classes.

Why should seniors go with Silver Age Yoga over other competition?

SAYCO offers the only formal, structured and tested curriculum I know.

What is one thing you wish seniors knew about yoga?

The multitude of physical and mental benefits of a long-term regular yoga practice.

What is one thing teachers should know before working with seniors?

Any yoga teacher should know they will get older, (hopefully) and teaching yoga to seniors    repares you for this gradual inevitability.   

What is the greatest reward in what you do?

Students telling you they really needed the yoga class and they feel much better!

What is your wish for SAYCO?

My hope for 2024 is to increase our donations from foundations by at least two.

Alchemy Crystal Bowl Sound Bath to support SAYCO: July 22

Summer Special: join us for SAYCO Sound Bath.

Alchemy Crystal Bowl Sound Bath to support SAYCO

Quantum physicists tell us that “Everything in the Universe is vibration and sound” including us! We are vibrational beings and our bodies are made of mostly water, a wonderful conductor of vibration, therefore, our bodies respond positively to the healing, high frequencies of singing crystal bowls. 

A Singing Bowl Sound Bath is a full-body meditative experience. Those attending lie down on yoga mats and listen to the resonant sounds created by various crystal or metal bowls, often called singing bowls, played with a small wooden mallet. This creates an echoing-vibrating sound that ‘bathes’ your body. When we relax with the sound of the bowls, their vibrations can release mental and emotional pain (worries, fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, insomnia), reduced tension and diminished pain, and can have a deep relaxation of both sides of the brain.

It’s an acoustic sound-healing journey that allows the listener to enter a meditative state to feel calm, relaxed, grounded, and focused. It has been described as floating on a cloud, feeling peaceful, happy, and energized.
presented by Cindy and Scott Smithers; The Center in Escondido

Date:     Saturday, July 22, 2023 
Time:     Arrive 1:00 P.M., Sound Bath 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Place:     St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 334  14th Street, Del Mar, CA 92014
What to bring: Mat, pillows, blanket, and paper and pen to record your experience
Price:  $50.00
Reservations recommended: click here.

Register early as space is limited.

SAYCO Spotlight: Tracy Myers

How long have you been with Silver Age Yoga? 

I’ve been with SAYCO since the very beginning, in 2003. Founders, Frank Iszak and his wife Serpil were my yoga teachers and friends. I knew I wanted to be involved in their mission to bring yoga to underserved seniors. They asked me to be the first Board Chair. I held that role for 10 years. 

What attracted you to Silver Age Yoga?

I think at the time SAYCO was founded, a lot of the senior population didn’t realize the benefits of yoga. I wanted to help get the word out. Things have changed a lot over the years. SAYCO grew to have classes in 24 locations in San Diego, as well as the many SAYCO graduates who teach in other cities.  We have many testimonials from students on how yoga classes have helped them with pain relief, balance, mobility, flexibility, mood, etc.

What do you think are the biggest benefits of yoga for seniors?

Strengthened bones

Reduced stress 

Improved sleep

Enhanced balance, flexibility, mobility and strength

Lessened risk for depression

Alleviate aches and pains

Creates an environment of social interaction

Why should teachers work with SAYCO?

SAYCO is a family. As a SAYCO teacher myself, I find there is so much support and camaraderie in being connected to other yoga teachers who specialize in teaching seniors.  We have continuing education together, share advice and experiences and support one another. SAYCO also places graduates of our course into yoga teaching positions when they’re available.

Why should seniors go with Silver Age Yoga over other competition?

SAYCO teachers must complete additional training after becoming certified as a yoga teacher.  This is in order to have a better understanding of working with the senior population and their specific needs. Conventional yoga training does not address the health concerns of seniors. SAYCO teachers meet monthly and share knowledge and experiences so that we bring a safer and fresher approach to our classes.

What is one thing you wish seniors knew about yoga?

It’s life changing, it’s healthy, social, exhilarating, it’s safe and fun!

What is one thing teachers should know before working with seniors?

Well, senior bodies are different than 25 year old bodies! There are exercise classes everywhere, but few are geared to providing safe movement, specifically for what a senior can do…and by the way, we have quite a few fit seniors in our classes too.  They may have not started out that way, but, at any age, you can build strength and flexibility.

What is the greatest reward in what you do?

When a student tells me after class that a pain they lived with for many years is gone because of taking my class, wow…I love that!

What is your wish for SAYCO?

SAYCO is always working to recruit more yoga teachers, to train them and place them as teachers in our locations. We hope to grow our locations in 2023. 

Alchemy Crystal Bowl Sound Bath to support SAYCO: Jan. 28

Happy New Year!  Start the New Year right and join us for our first Sound Bath this year. Reservations: click here.

Alchemy Crystal Bowl Sound Bath
for Healing and Restoration

Quantum physicists tell us that “Everything in the Universe is vibration and sound” including us! We are vibrational beings and our bodies are made of mostly water, a wonderful conductor of vibration, therefore, our bodies respond positively to the healing, high frequencies of singing crystal bowls.  It is an experience of relaxation and healing on a cellular level.  All you must do is find a comfortable position to sit or lie down and let the bowls do their magic!
presented by Cindy and Scott Smithers; The Center in Escondido

Date:     Saturday, January 28, 2023 
Time:     Arrive 12 noon, Sound Bath 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Place:     St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 334  14th Street, Del Mar, CA 92014
What to bring: Mat, pillows, blanket, and paper and pen to record your experience
Price:  $50.00
Reservations recommended: click here.

Register early as space is limited.

Online Classes Every Weekday!

In these odd times, we can’t all get together at the traditional venues. Thanks to some of our Silver Age Yoga teachers, we’re now offering online classes, using Zoom!

Join from your home — whether you’re in San Diego, San Francisco, or Santorini!

Click here or look on our Find A Class page for the Online Class schedule and signup information.