Harvard Heart Letter

Finding a yoga teacher

Thousands of men and women have hung out shingles as yoga teachers. Some have extensive training and focus on all three aspects of yoga—postures, breathing, and relaxation/meditation. Others have little, if any, training and offer yoga-flavored exercise. The latter might be fine for anyone seeking a different kind of workout. Older people, or those with a chronic condition like heart disease or osteoporosis, need teachers who understand their needs.

One excellent resource is the Yoga for Seniors Web site, run by Carol Krucoff and Kimberly Carson. They have a program that trains teachers to work with older folks who want to do yoga. The site lists the names and contact information of graduates of the program, by state.

Another resource is the International Association of Yoga Therapists (www.iayt.org). It serves as a professional organization for yoga therapists and teachers. Through the organization's Web site, you can search for accredited yoga teachers in your city or region.

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