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Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training

Seniors age 65 and older are the fastest growing sector of the U.S. population and are increasingly drawn to yoga as health benefits are recognized. Older adults typically face numerous health issues, so it is essential to help yoga instructors learn how to best serve this population.

Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training (formerly titled Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors) is a pioneering eight-day program for registered yoga teachers that combines the best of evidenced-based medicine with the ancient wisdom of yoga.  While research into the effects of yoga on health is emerging there is currently a scarcity of scientifically-rigorous evaluation, especially for older adults. For this reason, yoga teachers of seniors are navigating uncharted territory and are frequently dealing with the unknown.  Structured on the foundation of the physiology of aging, this program offers a scaffolding from which to integrate specific recommendations gleaned from what is known and to creatively adapt the practice in areas that are yet to be clarified.

The program will cover:

  • How to safely and effectively teach yoga to older adults
  • Health conditions common to seniors including osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, chronic pain and joint replacement
  • How specific health challenges may affect yoga practice
  • How commonly-used medications may affect yoga practice
  • Hands-on training in teaching skills specific to older practitioners with varied health concerns
  • Yoga practices to help relieve symptoms of common ailments
  • Yoga practices to help improve function and enhance balance
  • Practical strategies for adapting yoga practice to older bodies, minds and spirits

Program developers Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff have extensive experience teaching yoga to vulnerable populations and provide hands-on training in safely modifying postures for older adults, especially those new to yoga.   Faculty lecturers, including Duke physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists and health psychologists cover health conditions common to seniors, such as heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis. We also explore special issues related to elderly students, including pain management, fall prevention, and palliative care. This program offers networking and group support, a certificate of completion from Duke Integrative Medicine, and continuing education credits.

Read the article featured in the Summer 2016 issue of Yoga Therapy Today by Carol and Kimberly, Special Considerations When Working with Older Adults.

Application Process

Participation is by application only and registration in each course is limited.  Applicants must have completed a minimum of a YA approved 200-hour RYT training or equivalent.  Exceptions may be made for those with comparable experience and we recommend submitting an application detailing comparable training.  There is no application fee.  To submit an application at any time access the online application by clicking on the orange “Apply Here” button. Please allow up to two weeks for review and notification of your acceptance decision.

Accepted applicants will receive instructions on how to register for the course.  Standard Duke Integrative Medicine cancellation policies apply.

What Participants Have Said:

“There was a total ‘shift’ in how I teach ALL classes – whether it’s a class designed for seniors, a power Vinyasa or stretch & strength class. There is so much wonderful content in your training that is so important for all yoga teachers to know regardless of whether they’re teaching to seniors or others.” Loretta Jo, Owner Yoga-Mojo Studio in Cary, NC.

“I wasn’t sure about signing up for the course – Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training, and making my way in from the Midwest. I was concerned that maybe I wouldn’t be able to apply it to my yoga teachings. Boy, was I wrong on that! The amount of people that have benefited from all I learned is astounding!” Kathy Freedlund, Director of Fitness at a community park district in Batavia, IL. Learn more about Kathy’s experience teaching yoga for seniors.

“I’ve always felt safety was the primary consideration but I didn’t really have the tools I needed other than my own intuition and common sense, which is valuable of course, but now I have professional and evidence informed information that will allow me to keep my students safe as they experience all the benefits of yoga.”

“Where do I begin? The entire experience exceeded my expectations. The quality of the instruction was superb and I left feeling much more comfortable to work with older adults safely.”

“This program has so much to teach. The information about how our bodies work, the insights into aging, and the lessons in compassion and connection would benefit everyone, not just yogis. This is so much more than an educational experience. It is an experience in what it is to be human.”

“I appreciated the professionalism & integrity Carol & Kimberly bring to this program. I liked the yoga therapy approach to bringing in leaders in different medical specialties to emphasize the aging human body and the conditions we must, as teachers, be keenly aware of.”

“Over the years, I’ve done a lot of trainings. The program at Duke is one of the very best.”

Alumni in the Media

Jana Long, a former media executive at the Washington Post who transformed her career and life. – Yoga Journal.

Instructors in the Media

Carol Krucoff – 12 Etiquette tips for yoga class — and the reasons behind them. The Washington Post.

Upcoming dates and deadlines

October 2020 | Cancelled – New Dates TBD

Sign up to receive notification when this program becomes available again.


Accommodations Statement

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access should contact us in advance of the program.

Continuing Education Credits Available

Students have the opportunity to earn a total of 50.0 Yoga Alliance continuing education units.

Students have the opportunity to earn a total of 50.0 credits from the International Association of Yoga Therapists.




This CE course is approved by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) for 50.0 continuing education units (CEP #100060).

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