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?
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.