SAVY Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training Curriculum


SAVY Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training Curriculum

This 85 Hours course is an advanced Speciality Yoga Teacher Training course and is taught under a Primary E-RYT 500. This can be taken up as an Elective for SAVY 500 (RYT 500) course in-Studio, or, as a separate course, online as well.

Curriculum is in compliance with recommendations of Yoga Alliance, USA.

After your initial 200 hours of yoga training, to become certified at the advanced level, teachers are required to take an additional 300 hours of training with a registered RYS 300 yoga school.  These 300 hours must cover certain curriculum requirements in order to meet Yoga Alliance standards, out of which 130 Hours is the mandatory Core Curriculum, and rest of the hours can be picked up from Electives.

SAVY International Inc./ SAVY Studios have created a menu of diverse course offerings in convenient modules, so that you can complete your certification in a way that honors your unique interests and fits easily into your lifestyle. This SAVY Toga for Seniors Teacher Training course is offered as an Elective under RYT 500 course.

This 85-hour training provides education in the following areas:

In this program, you will explore more advanced concepts geared towards geriatric population in:

  • Asana Practice in Old Age
  • More About Pranayama
  • Meditation
  • Kriyas and Mudras
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Yoga History and Philosophy
  • Introduction to Ayurveda
  • Teaching Methodology
  • Business of Yoga
  • Practice Teaching
  • Assignments

What You Learn

  • Integrating a theme into a Seniors Yoga class
  • Posture modification to accommodate older adults
  • Pranayama appropriate for seniors
  • Practices to enhance bodily function
  • Practices to enhance brain function
  • Yoga for Dementia/Alzheimer
  • Practices to enhance lung function
  • Yoga exercises for Cardiac Rehab &  COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease)
  • Practices geared to older adults with greater mobility and health challenges
  • Teaching Chair Yoga Classes for Seniors
  • Fundamentals of Yoga Chair Dance for Seniors
  • Creating your own Chair Yoga sequence
  • Teaching in non-studio settings such as in bed (hospital or home) and wheelchairs
  • Visualizations and meditation
  • Spiritual practices that support a senior population
  • Major senior health challenges such as Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Hypertension etc
  • Yoga postures for Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis
  • Examination of scientific research and data
  • Marketing to Seniors
  • And as usual, a lot more…


The full course can be taken with online/ distance learning option. You can take up to 1 year to complete it. This requires the submission of assignments and quizzes with each module and a project. Completion of this work is necessary. 20-Hours for Continuing Education can be claimed for this course as non-Contact Hours if taken online. Certification Test is not mandatory for this purpose. Candidates will be provided a Certificate of Attendance for the course. With this option, you won’t be able to use it towards RYT 500 course or Contact Hours in Continuing Education.



It is mandatory to attend Contact Program for full hours to be considered for Yoga Alliance registered RYT 500 program. This program has the following major components:


1. General Background in the Specialty Area: 10 hours

Min. contact hours: 10 hours
Min. contact hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours
Includes the study and understanding of all old age stages from age 65 onwards and how the issues of each stage impact what is appropriate for teaching them. We split 65+ population into three groups. All five of Yoga Alliance’s educational categories are to address the specifics of appropriate aging application for each age group. Also includes the understanding of the yoga teacher’s relationships with guardians/ caretakers/ health care professionals and geriatric specialists and basic communication skills for conducting those relationships. Knowing when to suggest that a health care professional be consulted regarding health issues. Understanding of psychological considerations in geriatric age group and how to differentiate between high-risk and non-high-risk medical conditions.

2. Techniques, Training and Practice: 20 hours

Min. contact hours: 20 hours
Min. contact hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 18 hours
Includes yoga-based practices appropriate for aging population, such as asanas, asana-based movement, yoga-based games, dances and activities, breathing techniques and chanting. This material fosters an enhanced understanding and experience as compared to the content of RYT 200 foundational Techniques, Training and Practice sessions. These hours are a mix between:1) analytical training in how to teach and practice the techniques and2) guided practice of the techniques themselves.

Both areas receive substantial emphasis.


Learn alignment principles for advanced elements of practice, as well as techniques for safely guiding students in and out of yoga poses. Develop the skills and confidence to provide effective private yoga sessions.The most popular component of yoga in the West, the asanas (or postures) are what typically inspire people to explore this ancient practice and lifestyle. In this program, you will learn how to teach postures in safe and supportive ways. You will revisit as well as learn about different yoga postures, the principles of entry and exit, and alignment, the precautions, contra-indications and benefits of asanas as well as how to offer safe and appropriate assists and modifications to help safely deepen your students’ experience of yoga. Your teacher will help you refine your postures. You will be required to practice an asana routine daily. To deepen your teaching skills, you are also required to attend yoga classes taught by individuals with a minimum of RYT 500 Yoga Teacher certification.

Classes will be led by training faculty members and/ or visiting teachers. We will focus on growth and exploration of asanas (yoga postures). A variety will provide tools for interpretation, and further the process of making your teaching personal and authentic.


Practice giving more advanced postural assistance and receiving feedback from peers and skilled facilitators. Learn Yoga Anatomy principles through experiential posture clinics focused on the cultivating internal awareness of body systems. Learn to have every student experience the anatomical benefits of a pose in a way that works for them through the use adjustments. In this interactive series, each posture in the SAVY sequence will be broken down to explore alignment, variations, staying in pose, and sequencing. This segment covers each representative pose in deep detail, so that the teacher trainers can discover the biomechanics of each posture and hence the safest and most effective way to enter and exit each posture. This section revolves around one of the most important aspects of teaching: the safe and effective performance of yoga asanas. We shall focus primarily on the entry, stasis and exit to and from poses, using both verbal and hands-on adjustments. There will also be discussion revolving around the issues of hands-on adjustments, recognizing limitations, and how to be most effective in directing students to self-adjust.


Prana is the basis of life. Practice of yoga is incomplete without proper knowledge of pranayama, or the science of breathing, moreso in Yoga for Seniors. In this component of the program, you will learn how to teach a variety of breathing practices, as well as develop a solid understanding of their benefits and associated precautions/contra-indications. You will learn about their relevance to general health.

Dr. Jitender K Sahdev has done a lot of work on Pranayama and is a leading researcher on yoga therapy through breathing exercises. He leads this segment. This is an extension of the regular teachings of yoga anatomy; you will learn more about respiration. It reviews how the living matter is developed as a human being from molecules to cells and tissues and organs and systems. Then we move into a more subtle understanding of the relationship between matter and energy, structure and function, marma, yoga, energy and Prana, covering all the main principles that will make you understand more deeply the underlying secrets of each asana. The knowledge of these principles enables also the student to integrate more deeply how we can utilize these postures when applicable, to help the healing process.


Teacher trainees will get a chance to get introduced to kriyas and mudras and other streams of yoga. Learning all that opens up your mind to the facts connected with hatha yoga and gives you a chance to understand all that in a better way.


The physical practice of yoga is essentially about preparing the body and the mind for meditation. To be sure, the journey inwards is not for the faint at heart. You will learn about a variety of meditation techniques so that you can have your own experiences to draw from as you lead your future students through this life-altering practice.

The ultimate aim of all yoga is moksha or liberation. The common aspiration of all yoga practitioners is to overcome suffering and imbalance, physical, emotional or spiritual, and awaken the inherent wholesomeness and the feeling of unity with all things. Meditation, dynamic or adynamic, is an essential practice to accomplish this and teaches us mindfulness.

We’ll be learning about meditation/ pranayama practice daily, led by one of our teachers. Although the practice will be more suitable to experienced practitioners, previous experience is not mandatory. It is no problem if this is your first time practicing meditation/ pranayama. This is a great way to cultivate a mindful, productive and stress- free day.

3. Teaching Methodology: 10 hours
Min. contact hours: 10 hours
Min. contact hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 6 hours
Includes knowledge of classroom techniques, lesson plans and group processing for activities of the aging population.  Age-appropriate teaching skills for yoga class techniques (including how to phrase age-appropriate questions to old people) and effective communication skills (such as songs and stories) for working with older population.

Teaching yoga is a privilege and working with people in this practice offers many opportunities for self-growth and discovery. There is so much more to teaching than simply knowing the asanas and breathing practices. You will develop your capacity to make connections with your students and foster healthy relationships as you explore yoga. Some of the topics covered are:

  • Communication skills such as group dynamics, time management, and the establishment of priorities and boundaries
  • How to address the specific needs of individuals and aging populations, to the degree possible in a group setting
  • Principles of demonstration, observation, assisting, modifying and correcting
  • Teaching styles
  • Qualities of a teacher
  • The student learning process


It is theory and interactive practical workshop that will focus primarily on all the teaching moments that happen before, during and after class. This teaches how to create comfort and confidence within the art of teaching. We’ll explore teaching techniques such as voice projection, utilizing key words, body language, and the use of visualization to convey information. Further discussion will revolve around the different ways in which people learn, how to create a supportive environment for new students, and how to prepare oneself mentally before teaching a class.


Yoga is a multi-billion industry in the west. In this component, you will learn about how to set up your own yoga business and how to make it really work for you. Traditionally, yoga, just like all other learning, was taught free to deserving and meritorious students. In modern times, that is no more a practical way to keep yoga learning and teaching sustainable. Learn how to build a sustainable teaching career and practice the art of abundance. We will explore in detail the nuts and bolts of setting yourself up as an effective yoga professional and introduce practical techniques for managing your time, building your class, creating a strong and consistent following and ultimately flourishing as a teacher.

4. Anatomy and Physiology: 10 hours

Min. contact hours: 10 hours
Min. contact hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours
Anatomy and physiology related specifically to changes during old age and their application to yoga techniques.  Includes both the study of the subject and application of its principles to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc).  Includes both human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.)

An understanding of body mechanics is essential to keeping your students safe as they learn new poses and breathing techniques. You will learn about how muscles, ligaments, bones and connective tissues are impacted by the physical practice of yoga and pranayama, how the skeletal system supports those muscles and connective tissues and how yoga can become an effective, therapeutic way to heal the body of aches, pains, injuries and chronic conditions.

This section will visit Human Anatomy and Physiology, Anatomy of Chakras, Nadis and Marmas and Relation of Anatomy with Yoga (at least 5 hours).

You’ll get an exciting introduction to the larger structures and systems of the body. Dr. Jitender K Sahdev’s experience in the study of Human Anatomy and Physiology in Medicine, his extensive and in depth study of yoga and his passion for anatomy and physiology combined with his work as a Surgeon make what can be a dry topic interesting and fun to learn. All of our teachers are well-versed with human anatomy.


5. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Prenatal Yoga Teachers: 5 hours

Min. contact hours: 5 hours
Min. contact hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours
Includes basic yoga precepts as they relate to ole people and to teaching Yoga to the aging population (e.g., the Yamas and Niyamas). Awareness of ethical behavior and state and local legal requirements as related to behavior with and supervision of aging people. Specific training in parameters and techniques of ethical touch with regard to teaching aging population. Basics of ethical language and behavior, both when guardians/ caretakers are present and when they are not.

Topics in this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Study of yoga philosophies and traditional texts relevant to aging population
  • Yoga lifestyle, such as the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), and the concepts of santosha, dharma and karma
  • Ethics for yoga teachers, such as those involving teacher – student relationships and community
  • Understanding the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others through yoga (seva)

The philosophy of yoga is integral to complete understanding of the subject. Learn about its modern day applications and relevance. History of yoga is grand and newer research is taking us closer to witness its right perspective. We cover all that and explore the history and philosophy of yoga with the intention of connecting to the ancient roots of Yoga. You will be introduced to the main yoga texts and their central themes in a way that brings them to life and makes their wisdom relevant for yogis in our times. The study of yoga philosophy will give you an overview of a rich tradition and add greater depth to your teaching.

6. Practicum: 20 hours

Observing teaching, contact hours:10 hours
Observing teaching, contact hours with Lead Trainer(s): 6 hours
These hours must be spent observing another teacher lead a yoga class for seniors.  A portion of these hours must be spent with Lead Trainers.
Teaching, contact hours: 10 hours
Teaching, contact hours with Lead Trainer(s): 6 hours (at least 4 hours as lead teacher)
These hours must be spent teaching a seniors’ yoga class.  A portion of these hours must be spent with Lead Trainers and as lead teacher of the class.

Topics in this category include:

  • Practice teaching (does not include assisting, observing or giving feedback)*
  • Receiving and giving feedback
  • Observing others teaching
  • Assisting students while someone else is teaching
Learn to teach from your most authentic self, using your own inner wisdom as the seed for inspired teaching. Develop techniques for crafting transformational workshops and creating sacred classroom space, including group facilitation methodology, approaches to assessing and shifting group dynamics, and reflective listening skills. In the program, you will be given opportunities to teach what you are learning and engage in compassionate and supportive feedback to help each other develop. At the end of the program, you will be asked to design and teach a complete class that includes asana, pranayama and meditation.Emphasis will be placed on preparing the teacher trainee for the actual practice of Yoga for Seniors teaching. Each student may have the opportunity to lead small groups of their fellow trainees through several consecutive postures and learn thematic approaches to teaching. The teaching will be followed by feedback sessions.


Writing is another form of meditation. Document the physical, emotional and spiritual journey that you experience throughout the training. It gives you an opportunity to slow the mind and work through the challenges and excitement that arise in an intensive training.

Also, teacher trainees will be required to give a presentation. Presentation topics will be provided, though trainers can choose to present a seminar on any topic that could benefit the group. This is an opportunity to put public speaking skills into practice in a setting that is more comfortable and varied than a standard yoga class.

ASSIGNMENTSYour own personal practice and continued self-reflection will always be most beneficial to you. The assignments are designed to give you a format in which you can explore the various program components in a method of self-study that encourages you to delve more deeply into your experience of yoga. What you discover in this journey will have a lasting effect on you as a person and a teacher.

TOTAL HOURS: 85 hours

Total min. contact hours: 75 hours
Total min. contact hours with Lead Trainer(s): 36 hours
After completing training, graduates must also teach 30 hours of Yoga for Seniors before they may be given Certification Test. These hours of Yoga for Seniors must be taught after completing training.



















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