Therapeutic Exercise Using Yoga and Pilates to Safely Challenge Older Adults

Catherine Lewan, PT, DPT, CPI, CYT

Therapeutic Exercise Using Yoga and Pilates to Safely Challenge Older Adults

CE Information


Course Brochure

Contains CE information for additional professionals

Summit Certification Series

This course is part of Summit's Women's Health Certification Series.

Learn More about this and other certification series available exclusively to Summit Subscribers

Course Highlights

  • Practice over 50 Yoga and Pilates-based techniques that you can apply in the clinic easily, effectively and immediately
  • Interactive Labs will keep you moving and engaged throughout the day
  • Improve posture, trunk mobility, and dynamic stability to reduce the risk of falls
  • Self-care and documentation strategies that integrate Yoga and Pilates to enhance standard treatment plans and improve outcomes
  • Modifications for a wide range of mobility limits including adaptations for patients with wheelchairs, walkers, and an array of ambulatory dysfunction
  • Exercises that strengthen the pelvic fl oor to improve toileting and incontinence
  • Improve adherence to treatment plans and exercise compliance with effective evidence-based therapeutic exercise plans that improve function in the aging patient population

Additional Info

There is a growing demand for rehabilitation specialists who can safely and effectively incorporate mindfultherapeutic exercise techniques into treatment plans that improve function in the aging adult population. Adults over the age of 65 are at increased risk for falls, and it is essential for therapists to utilize a full range of exercise tools to improve balance, posture, and overall functional strengthto prevent further decline in the health of this population,while maintaining an optimal level of daily function. The use of mind-body therapies, such as Yoga and Pilates has been steadily increasing since 2002, with theaforementioned therapies accounting for at least 75% of thisgrowth. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults currently utilizeYoga, Pilates, or other Complementary Alternative Medicine to improve health and wellbeing or to relieve symptoms, and Physicians are now prescribing Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation for a full array of medical conditions: chronic pain, balance deficits, anxiety, insomnia, heart disease, back or neck pain, and cancer, are among the most cited in the literature. Yoga and Pilates include thousands of exercises to improve, neuromotor control, stabilization, strength, and balance.

This dynamic and interactive workshop will teach you to easily and effectively integrate Yoga and Pilates into your treatment plans. The most clinically relevant and easily reproduced adaptations for geriatric rehabilitation will be taught in this one-day course. Participants will learn exercises that can be applied to effectively improve function in a wide range of geriatric patients. This workshop is jam-packed with exercise modifications, including seated modifications, so you can utilize the techniques taught withany geriatric client. Skills gained in lecture and lab will allowyou to leverage the popularity of Pilates and Yoga to improve adherence to Home Exercise Programs and exercise compliance, increase performance of ADLs, and gain new clients. Participants will practice Yoga and Pilates throughout the day, so they can effectively utilize these simple, but effective techniques, the next day in the clinic. These invaluable modalities will allow you to expand your treatment toolbox to improve function, ROM and ADLs in the older adult patient population.

  1. Implement Pilates or Yoga-based exercises in geriatric rehabilitation.
  2. Describe potential benefi ts of modifi ed Pilates or Yoga for older adults, as indicated by research.
  3. Expand your ability to cue deep core muscles for optimalposture and stability during exercise and function.
  4. Integrate a mind-body-breath focus to therapeutic exercise.
  5. Demonstrate chair or wall versions of Pilates and Yoga exercises for those who cannot easily transfer to a mat on the floor.
  6. Utilize meditation, mindfulness, imagery and breathe to enhance the experience of rehabilitation for the patient andhealth care provider.
  1. Pilates-Based Exercise for Rehabilitation
    1. What is Pilates?
    2. Local stabilizers vs. global mobilizers
    3. Posture and stability
    4. Integrated model of motor learning
    5. Relative hypermobility and hypomobility
  2. Yoga for Rehabilitation
    1. The eight limbs of Yoga
    2. Yamas and Niyamas
    3. Meditation and mindful movement
  3. Evidence Base of Pilates and Yoga for Older Adults
    1. Literature review of Pilates
    2. Literature review of Yoga
  4. Therapeutic Application of Pilates and Yoga in Older Adults
    1. Posture, balance, and fall risk
    2. Pain, chronic pain, low back pain and arthritis
    3. Men's/women's pelvic health and incontinence
    4. Stress and anxiety
  5. Documentation and Coding for Reimbursement
    1. Yoga/Pilates for wellness vs. rehabilitation
    2. How to bill for meditation, imagery, and visualization treatments
    3. Yoga/Pilates as therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activity, and neuromotor re-education
    4. Hands-on labs
  6. Lab 1: Posture, Breath, and Mindfulness
    1. Posture and breath assessment
    2. Breath as the mind-body connection
    3. Meditation techniques to improve body awareness and reduce pain
    4. Moving meditation: Mindfulness in action
  7. Lab 2: Pilates-Based Therapeutic Exercises
    1. Cervical stabilization
    2. Dynamic rib cage and scapular stabilization
    3. Lumbo-pelvic stabilization
    4. Pilates breathing to enhance core function and stability
  8. Lab 3: Pilates-Based Exercise for Older Adults
    1. Seated/standing Pilates for those who cannot transfer easily to the floor
    2. Functional core exercises to improve stability andbalance
  9. Lab 4: Modified Yoga for Older Adults
    1. Chair Yoga for strength, flexibility, and balance
    2. Wall Yoga to improve function and mobility
    3. Using props to make poses more accessible and reduce fall risk

Catherine Lewan, PT, DPT, CYT, CPI took her first pelvic floor training course from the Women's Health Foundation in 2006 while she was working as a full-time fitness, Yoga and Pilates instructor. She earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and set out to further specialize in Orthopedic, Pelvic, and Obstetric Physical Therapy. She created the Pelvic and Abdominal Physical Therapy Program at Andersonville Physical Therapy in Chicago, which continues to grow and thrive in its mission to serve the needs of those with pelvic floor and abdominal dysfunction by providing compassionate, integrative and evidence-informed care. Dr. Lewan is a member of the Orthopedic and Women's Health Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association, the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and the Chicagoland Pelvic Floor Research Consortium. She is a faculty member for several Chicago-based Yoga Teacher Training programs, including the Amala School of Prenatal Yoga's 85-hour prenatal teacher training. She enjoys integrating mind-body exercise into medicine (and vice versa!) and making information about the pelvic floor accessible and entertaining for all.


FINANCIAL: Catherine Lewan is compensated by Summit as an instructor. She is the owner of Inner Awakening, LLC.

NONFINANCIAL: Catherine Lewan receives sample product to demo from Elvie.

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Content Level: Intermediate

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All our courses are available at a number of locations and at various dates. You can also take many of our courses online whether in video or text format. Below are all the available options for

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