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Empowering Seniors: One Breath at a Time

July 7, 2023

We sat down with Denyse Le Fever, an Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training graduate. She shared many inspiring insights about her decision to pursue yoga teaching and therapy as a career.

Denyse’s journey in yoga started early in her life and was influenced by her personal and family health challenges. At some point, Denyse simply felt “too young to feel so old.” After leaving a forty-year corporate career, Denyse participated in the Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional training, took several professional courses, and pursued a Yoga Therapy certification. Her journey proves that a career teaching yoga requires practice, dedication, and extensive training but can be extremely rewarding.

Courtesy of Denyse Le Fever

What is your current role?

I am a Yoga Therapist working with cancer patients in a hospital setting and seniors with chronic conditions in various locations.

What motivated you to take the Integrative Yoga for Seniors professional training?

My family had a history of various chronic conditions as they aged. When I was in my mid-fifties, I received a T2 Diabetes Diagnosis and re-started a personal yoga practice. I noticed that my symptoms improved as I practiced more yoga. I decided to become a yoga teacher to learn techniques to improve my health. During my 200-hour training, someone told me about the Duke Program. I applied for the first session I could attend and immediately knew I wanted to share what I had learned with others.

Please describe your experience in the program.

This training was among the best in the thousands of hours of yoga training I’ve completed over the past 15 years. Carol and Kimberly confirmed that teaching an older population requires more knowledge and skill than I was taught in my previous teacher trainings. It continues to inform my teaching today. The interaction among patients who benefited from Carol and Kimberly’s teachings and the lectures by Duke Medical professionals were phenomenal. The patient testimonials deeply moved me.

How did the program help you grow professionally?

This course confirmed what my gut told me: “Yoga practices could benefit older adults, but I needed more skills to teach this population.” This course led me to seek further education and certification as a yoga therapist.

What would you tell others considering applying to the program?

This course teaches us that anyone can do yoga safely with the right skills. It also provides excellent preparation for what type of chronic conditions you might personally experience and how to move as you age safely.

Interested in the Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training?

Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training is an eight-day program for Yoga Teachers that combines the best of evidenced-based research with the ancient wisdom of yoga. Structured on the foundation of the physiology of aging, this program offers a framework for Registered Yoga Teachers to safely provide specific recommendations when teaching yoga to older adults.

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