Teaching yoga to seniors: essential considerations to enhance safety and reduce risk in a uniquely vulnerable age group.
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BACKGROUND: Seniors age 65 and older represent the fastest-growing sector of the population and, like many Americans, are increasingly drawn to yoga. This presents both an extraordinary opportunity and a serious challenge for yoga instructors who must be both a resource and guardians of safety for this uniquely vulnerable group. A typical class of seniors is likely to represent the most diverse mix of abilities of any age group. While some may be exceedingly healthy, most fit the profile of the average older adult in America, 80% of whom have at least one chronic health condition and 50% of whom have at least two. OBJECTIVES: This article discusses the Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors program, offered since 2007 at Duke Integrative Medicine to fill a critical need to help yoga instructors work safely and effectively with the increasing number of older adults coming to yoga classes, and explores three areas that pose the greatest risk of compromise to older adult students: sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. To provide a skillful framework for teaching yoga to seniors, we have developed specific Principles of Practice that integrate the knowledge gained from Western medicine with yogic teachings.
Coronary Artery Disease
Quality of Life
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1089/acm.2009.0501
Publication InfoKrucoff, Carol; Carson, Kimberly; Peterson, Matthew; Shipp, Kathy; & Krucoff, Mitchell (2010). Teaching yoga to seniors: essential considerations to enhance safety and reduce risk in a uniquely vulnerable age group. J Altern Complement Med, 16(8). pp. 899-905. 10.1089/acm.2009.0501. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/3303.
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Professor of Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Kathy M. Shipp, PT, MHS, PhD studied Sociology at Oberlin College and Physical Therapy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a Master in Health Sciences degree in Biometry from Duke University School of Medicine and a PhD in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University Me
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