This yoga teacher training for ages 50 and up at the Heartwood Yoga Center is designed for mature yoga instructors with an eye towards teaching others in the later stage of life.
As our boomer generation ages, one is six people are seniors, making retirees the fastest growing population in America. This mature demographic is more active and health conscientious than previous generations, and receptive to the recommendation of yoga as a path to wellness by health care professionals. The need for yoga teachers with training and sensitivity to the special needs of aging bodies is growing and older teachers are often a source of great inspiration to their peers as role models. Whether you are looking for a way to be involved in life and serve others with new purpose at this stage, or just want to dive into yoga for personal growth, the YTT for 50 plus provides invites students with similar experiences to connect, learn and grow together.
*All participants should be 50 or older or have physical considerations that make this the best training for them and their goals as a teacher.
This course includes all the material required for world recognized Yoga Alliance certification so our graduates can teach all ages and levels, but we emphasize the special needs and considerations of mature bodies in this course, both for the maturing yoga teachers and their clients. You begin teaching what you learn to one another on day one, and by the end of the course, will have practiced and will be leading a class. Students leave ready and excited to teach yoga safely.
The 50 plus YTT program includes Chair Yoga certification online, where the focus is often on accessible yoga and gentler approaches to the physical practice for clients who have mobility limitations. Learn more about Chair Certification here. Students may choose to stay for two additional days to complete an in-person Chair Yoga Certification for a discounted rate.
Come prepared to have a wonderful time, get in shape (inside and out) and enjoy the inspirational and beautiful facility of Heartwood Yoga Institute. The facility is air conditioned and includes lovely, inspirational areas to make your yoga journey special, including a labyrinth, chakra meditation garden, art room, outdoor fresh air pavilion, two gorgeous state of the art studios, yoga library, elements firepit and more. Learn more about the facility here
Everyone in the 50 plus program is 50 or older or has physical limitations that make this the best program for them. As such, the group connects on a deeper level as we share life experiences and work through the material at a pace that works for all. There is lots of laughter, sharing, and acceptance for all.
We can't lie - this isn't a yoga retreat. Getting yoga certified in 16 days is hard work at any age, but we nurture you through the process, so you feel supported and cared for. We provide healthy vegetarian abundant meals, yummy snacks, and coffee and tea all day as we practice and learn. The days unfold with a mixture of yoga, lectures, films, activities and conversations to pace things well. We know a successful learning experience demands everyone keep their energies balanced and enthusiasm sustained. But everyone is of like mind and deals with the circumstances of being an older student, so we pull together, take breaks when necessary and support each other as we go.
October 14 - 29, 2023 (Last 16 Day Offering)
March 3 -15, 2024
October 13 - 25, 2024
The immersion format of this yoga teacher training course for ages 50 and up is offered in a retreat style seminar. We cover all the yoga education elements to be competently trained as a yoga teacher, with time devoted to self-discovery and introspection as well. The anatomy component is offered online to be reviewed at your pace, and we offer online reinforcement for other portions of the training as well so students can revisit the material later to digest it over time. We begin on our first day (Sunday) at 6:00 pm with an orientation. After everyone is settled, we begin the formal training the next day, Monday, at 8:30am. We require an elective to fulfill your hours that must be completed online. However, the weekend after the program concludes, you have an opportunity to complete chair yoga as your elective in-person for a discounted rate. While these are long days, we pace the material to assure everyone has an inspirational, progressive experience while also covering a great deal of material in an engaging way.
Tuition: $3,895.00 Includes all materials and meal plan. Limited lodging is available on a first come first serve basis.
Payment plans are available.
Please be advised: The first date noted is arrival day, which includes orientation and a few hours of instruction, beginning at 6pm. The last date noted is departure day, and as such no instruction will take place. Students may choose to leave the night before, after class ends at 6pm.
RYS-200 for 50 plus Fall Daytime Session
(for local students)
Jan. 2 - April 30, 2024
(Plus Friday, March 1 & one Chair Yoga Weekend)
This yoga teacher training course for ages 50 and up meets each Tuesday from 8:30-3:00. The weekly meeting helps everyone keep their practice progressing and makes it easy to digest the material. We require an elective to fulfill your hours that must be completed online. However, you have an opportunity to complete chair yoga as your elective in-person for a discounted rate. (please To complete the 200 required hours, students must also complete an online anatomy course at their own pace.
Since there is no food plan with this training, students bring their own lunch each day.
(Payment plans are available)
Absolutely! You will be able to join Yoga Alliance and start teaching immediately, and we have plenty of opportunity to practice and get feedback before you graduate. We also send you extra guidance and information once you get home to help you get started sharing your yoga with others.
No worries about the pacing of the course. It helps that everyone is over 50 because everyone is dealing with similar issues and we all need breaks. The staff is responsive to the energy in the room. We do this program often, so we have learned the best way to unfold the material so that we get the most done in the time allotted while also assuring everyone is enjoying the process and able to retain the teachings.
There are no formal tests, although we do have competency activities that everyone must pass to be sure you can teach yoga safely and with confidence. But no one has ever failed. We consider "tests" to be testing the staff more than the student. If an attendee hasn't learned something that is important to know, it shows us we need to go over that material again and find a better way of communicating the information to assure the student is ready to call themselves a yoga teacher and will leave our program feeling confident and competent. In most cases, our 50 plus communities take the work seriously and they all study and practice together throughout the course, and they pass any competency testing with flying colors.
A good yoga teacher isn't in class performing, but observing, mentoring and sharing information with others. All teachers at Heartwood are advanced IAYT certified yoga therapists with years of experience, so they are sensitive to and mindful of limitations and can provide modification and suggestions for anyone struggling with the work. Students can watch anything they don't feel up to doing, and every challenge is a teaching moment for the group as, together, we learn how to address limitations or challenges in yoga classes. We've had people successfully complete this training with MS, Parkinson's, cancer, after surgeries, with little past yoga experience, and more, and in every case the student has graduated and found the program helpful to their own healing and their dream of helping others in similar circumstances.
A powerful YTT isn't about students gathering to do challenging yoga, but a learning experience focused on yoga methodology, theory and a wide range of information preparing a yoga teacher to work with clients of all levels and circumstances. Even the fittest yogi needs to understand how aging invites potential injury, and how different body types or fitness levels can practice yoga safely with correct guidance. We have plenty of robust practices available for attendees to enjoy while on site, but exposure to diverse practices and addressing the needs of less fit practitioners is important to expand a yoga teacher's awareness. Remember that attaining a yoga certification is not about enjoying yoga classes for you specifically, but about learning to guide others. We have plenty of fit, strong, experienced, mature yogis who take this course, right alongside of yogis whose limitations help everyone gain insight into the real world application of yoga's goals and practices.
Actually, there are two components to the course that you will do online because this has proven the easiest way to learn. One is an anatomy course you can go through at your own pace, and the other is a course on how to begin teaching and establish classes after graduation (which is optional). Students also have the option of leaving before the last two days and taking the chair yoga course online at your own pace if that is of interest.
We wish Heartwood had more lodging available, but we have limited spaces to stay on site. The good news is, our dorms are only for sleeping, and other areas of the property are open 24/7 such as the library, yoga kitchen or practice spaces. Everyone who wants privacy can find it. Meanwhile, our dorms offer privacy curtains around beds, large, comfortable mattresses and big, beautiful bathrooms. It may have been a while since you shared sleeping accommodations, but if you chose the dorms, think of it as a slumber party with good friends. Some people tell us that dorm lodging is one of their favorite parts of the experience, feeling young at heart and connected with others in an adventurous way. For those who are not comfortable with the dorms, we have just a few private spaces and can recommendation nearby air B & B's. Many people elect to stay off site, and if this is your choice, no worries that you will be missing anything important.
A self-serve continental breakfast is available including fruit, yogurt, cereal, hard boiled eggs, healthy muffins, etc. Lunch and dinner are served family style. All meals are vegetarian with gluten free and vegan options. Individual servings of snacks, such as power bars, nuts & fruit are available all day, as well as coffee and tea to keep up energy and focus. You will be well fed and nurtured while with us.
Worried about retaining all the information offered in a comprehensive 200 hour course? Heartwood provides all our graduates with the complete training program online which our graduates can access to revisit or reinforce all the core material you learn with us in person. This is a valuable lifetime resource to deepen your understanding and to support your education beyond your time on site with us. The online content includes introduction to Sanskrit lectures, philosophy, anatomy, posture and alignment, sequencing, modifications, chakra studies, business of yoga, and more. With lifetime access, you can always revisit the teaching to refresh, deepen or inspire your studies.
Previous graduates share their insight about the program
Don't worry about age, ability or limitations. Intention is what counts. You can be inspired by a new purpose for your next chapter of life.
Study with people you can relate to who have experience life in various stages just as you have.
Check out this video of the RYS-200 program for ages 50 plus to see images from the course in action.
There is power in the community of caring people who want to learn yoga beyond the physical.
Yoga is for all ages and all levels of ability. Don't stand in the way of your exploring this amazing practice in a deeper way..
To learn more about Yoga Alliance Standards and how Heartwood Yoga Institute covers the core competencies check out this presentation. Included are links to teaching and coursework examples to provide you with more information on the yoga teacher training process.