Archive for March 23rd, 2011

Backbends Part I

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, Director of Yoga Teacher Training, shows several modifications and variations of backbends with guest Yoga Yang.

Teaching Yoga – Breath Awareness

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins

Proper breath awareness is the foundation for asana and meditation in yoga training. Proper breathing is such a fundamental part of every yoga class.  Yet, some yoga instructors fail to mention the importance of breath awareness. You must be aware of your breathing before meditating. Simple breath awareness is one of the simplest forms of meditation, but it is also one of the most significant. It is best practiced lying on your back with your legs straight or bent. As you improve, you may be able to practice it while sitting or standing. It is just as important to keep good posture during asana practice as it is during meditation practice.

As you observe your breathing, it will become refined and you will achieve perfect breathing over time. You should not consciously alter your breathing as this will cause anxiety and tension which is the opposite of what you want to accomplish.

As many of you have already learned in yoga teacher training, once you are comfortable with simple breath awareness, you will begin to use your lungs to their fullest capacity in a relatively short period of time. Your lungs will then begin to expand, growing new tissue, which will give you more lung capacity which will be achieved over a long period of time.

Practicing with Ujjayi

Ujjayi pranayama is achieved by partially closing the epiglottis at the back of the throat. This partially restricts air flow and causes a hissing noise in the back of the throat as you breathe in and out. This is normally how many people breathe when they fall asleep. As you practice this breathing technique, you will be able to do this easily.

Ujjayi breathing allows you to listen to your breath helping your mind to focus on your breath and helps to enhance meditation. This breathing technique can be used with almost any other breathing technique as long as they do not involve forceful breathing.

Swadhisthana Chakra

Tension in Swadhisthana Chakra is one of the more difficult breathing exercises to produce, but once you experience this breathing technique it is much easier to perform. The Swadhisthana Chakra is the center of gravity within the body, it is just a few inches below the navel and believed by some to be one the seats of spiritual power within the human body.

Tension is created by putting diaphragm and abdominal muscles in isometric resistance. As you inhale, you make the diaphragm work harder and when exhaling, you make the abdominal muscles work harder. The diaphragm and abdominals are never in a completely relaxed state, and therefore, this keeps tension between them. Once you learn this technique, you can experiment by holding a little more or less tension until you find what works best for you.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Online Yoga teacher training courses, please visit the following link.

Free report, newsletter, videos, podcasts, and e-Book: “Yoga in Practice.”

If you are a Yoga Teacher, studio owner, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!

The Importance of Yoga Asana Adjustments

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

yoga Instructor trainingBy Gopi Rao

It is very important for every graduate of Yoga teacher training to have a thorough understanding of human anatomy, so that he or she can adjust the asana of a student properly and safely during a class. There are many amazing health benefits offered by a regular practice.

However, if a practitioner engages in a series of asanas without practicing proper alignment, the practice itself may become dangerous to the individual by causing discomfort and even injury. Therefore, it is of paramount importance for a beginning student to find a professional studio where the instructors are certified and experienced in proper asana sequencing and adjustments.

Depending upon the style, professional Yoga teachers should be familiar with thirty to over one hundred different asanas. The more postures an instructor is comfortable teaching, the more creative and versatile the instructor can be in creating a variety of sequences for the class to follow.

A competent teacher will also be able to tailor a class designed for the appropriate skill, flexibility, and strength level of the students that are participating in the class on a particular day. As the asanas are held by the students, a competent Yoga instructor will move around the class and correct student’s alignments in the poses.

This is a critical function of the instructor. In this way, students who participate in supervised Yoga training sessions will begin to learn correct alignment principals through the somatic experience of holding the postures, while in optimal alignment for their own bodies.

The correct alignment of the joints, ligaments, muscles and bones lead to an experience of being more centered and balanced, while the student actually exerts less effort in the poses. An asana that is practiced according to correct alignment principals will also be much more stable and far less likely to create an injury.

Proper alignment also creates more ease and inner space in the joints as well as improving circulation and a balanced flow of energy throughout the entire body. An asana practice done in this fashion will create health, energy, and well-being for the student.

Additionally, Yoga teachers should be familiar with asana adjustments and modifications for those students who are recovering from an illness, injury, or who are pregnant. There are many different modifications available for Yoga asanas that still maintain proper alignment principals in the pose itself.

An instructor may offer the student suggestions of props or supports to use in order to do the pose properly, or may even suggest an alternative asana that reaches the same goal. In order to guide students safely during a Yoga class, it is imperative that an instructor be able to adjust the student’s asanas correctly based on a foundational knowledge of human anatomy and alignment principals.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Online Yoga teacher certification courses, please visit the following link.

Free Report, Newsletter, Videos, Podcasts, and e-Book, “Yoga in Practice.”

If you are a Yoga Teacher, studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!