A while back Healthy Old Fatties wrote an article on Silver Age Yoga, a yoga based fitness regiment that is specifically geared for the needs of the senior population. Yoga is an excellent way to maintain flexibility and reduce stress at any age. We cannot overstate how important it is for people of all ages, sizes and walks of life to stay active, and we love learning about programs that help bring wellness to people outside the target health club demographic!
We recently learned about Silver Age Yoga’s annual retreat in Joshua Tree, CA. coming up September 14th-16th 2012. We wanted to let our readers know all about this upcoming event, so we conducted an interview with Maria Mazzi of Silver Age Yoga to uncover all the juicy details.
Q) For those unfamiliar with Silver Age Yoga, tell us a little about what it is and how it came about.
A) Nationally acclaimed yoga instructors, Frank and Serpil Iszak, have been teaching since 1998. Their passion is to bring the health and benefits of yoga to under served seniors. In 2003, they founded Silver Age Yoga Community Outreach (SAYCO), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free weekly yoga classes. These classes are specifically designed to meet seniors’ health concerns. Classes are taught by certified Silver Age Yoga teachers.
Q) What benefits does Yoga offer to seniors or mobility challenged individuals?
A) Yoga is well-known for its beneficial effects on stress, but there are many other benefits seniors can gain by doing yoga. One of the most important benefits is improved balance. As we age, our ability to stay balanced diminishes, and can result in serious injury, including hip fractures. By doing yoga, our students are improving their balance – and reducing the chances of a slip and fall type injury.
Other benefits cited by students, and sometimes by their physicians, include:
Reduction in prescription medicine Increased bone density Reduction of Parkinson’s disease symptoms Reduction in blood pressure Weight loss
Q) How does Silver Age Yoga differ from a more standard Yoga program?
A) Silver Age Yoga is a unique gerontology-based style of yoga which empowers seniors to take charge of their own health. While some students may use a traditional yoga mat, many
students practice yoga from their chairs. There are several classes at centers for the blind. The teachers are all certified Silver Age Yoga instructors and have learned about basic physiological changes that occur as we age. They understand how to modify traditional Hatha Yoga poses so that the elderly can practice yoga without fear of injury.
Q) What physical changes can seniors expect to see when beginning the Silver Age Yoga regiment.
A) Improved balance More flexibility More energy – vitality Sleep better More interest in life
Q) Silver Age Yoga will be holding a retreat in Joshua tree September 14th-16th this year (2012). What are some of the things people can look forward to on this retreat?
A) This will be our third Joshua Tree retreat; participants include teachers, students, and Silver Age Yoga senior students. In addition to the CEU classes for teachers, we will have both gentle and all-level yoga classes taught by Silver Age Yoga instructors.
Joshua Tree is the oldest and largest retreat center in the Western United States. It is a unique architectural landmark; most buildings were designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd. Built on a sacred land, it is located about two hours from San Diego or Los Angeles. The site, though desert, rests upon an aquifer, a running river, producing an intriguing magnetic effect. It has open spaces, sacred meditation locations and serene vistas filled with native plants. There are many hiking trails, meditation paths, a labyrinth, a medicine wheel and Tai Chi circles.
Q) Give us an idea of what a basic day on this retreat would consist of, from living quarters to classes offered.
A) We will be staying in the large and private Ridge Cottages and studios/apartments. Each cottage has two twin beds and a private bath. The spacious one bedroom apartments have a separate main living space and bath.
All classes will be held in Sanctuary or Lotus Hall. Both are welcoming spaces for yoga and meditation. Meals will be in the Water Terrace Hall, a well appointed dining room with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking a serene pond and panoramic desert vistas.
7:00 – 8:00am Sun salutations, meditation or walk 8:00 – 9:00am Breakfast 9:00 – 11:00am Teacher CEU class 11:15 – 12:30pm Gentle OR Levels I-II yoga 12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch 2:00 – 4:00pm Teacher CEU class 4:15 – 5:30pm Gentle OR Levels I-II yoga 6:00 – 7:00pm Dinner
What the schedule doesn’t tell you is how much fun the retreat is. We typically have about 50 people at the retreat, so it is fairly intimate. Most of the participants have a connection to Silver Age Yoga or Frank and Serpil, so it has the feel of being with family. We enjoy a wine reception on our first night with delicious appetizers from our favorite Chef Patti. The retreat is a great way to relax and unwind since it is about as low-pressure as it gets!
Q) Do you regularly have events and retreats that interested parties could become involved with?
A) Silver Age Yoga has held retreats in Joshua Tree for the past two years, and we plan to continue this event. We hold several workshops and special events each year, such as our “Yoga In the Dark” experience where participants did yoga with blind folds on. We always welcome new faces to our events.
Q) For people who want to become more acquainted with Silver Age Yoga, where can they find centers to participate in their area?
A) To learn more about Silver Age Yoga and class schedules, please visit our website at http://www.silverageyoga.org . There is a lot of information on the website, including
a link at the top right hand corner to show you exactly when and where the classes are being held.
Q) What is the overall message you want people to take away regarding Silver Age Yoga and the retreats you offer?
A) Yoga and it’s benefits are for everyone – no matter what your age or ability. What is unique about our retreats is that they are a mix of teachers, senior students, and other students. We welcome advanced practitioners as well as those with physical limitations to our retreat. We find that this blended group provides great experiences for everyone.
Q) Where can people learn more about this retreat and your programs?
A) For information about the retreat, please visit http://www.silverageyogaretreat.com . This site has the entire schedule, photos of the rooms and the retreat, as well as registration information.
To learn more about Silver Age Yoga, please visit our website at http:// www.silverageyoga.org
The early bird registration deadline ends July 31, 2012.
If you go to Silver Age Yoga’s website and click on register page after July 31 you can get a page with the prices that are $100 more.
For our readers, Silver Age Yoga can extend the early bird price to August 5. To get the early bird price just follow this link: http://www.silverageyogaretreat.com/register-now.php
We hope you’ll all take advantage of this generous offer and seek out every opportunity to live a healthy, active life!