Yoga Teacher Training Forum » Yoga Teacher Training and Education (issues relating to continuing education and teaching classes) » Restorative Classes
Restorative Yoga and Standing Warm Ups(18 posts) (13 voices)
Restorative yoga has been the foundation of my Yoga practice for many years. The basic routine, which involves standing first, sets my body in motion to accept other postures better if the standing warm ups are long enough and in multiple sets. Lets discuss different types of standing warm ups.Posted 8 years ago #
Slow circular movement for most joints except the neck and knees are fine. Slow sun salutations also make a good warm up. You can gradually increase the speed, but not too much.
I joined the IYTA (international yoga therapy association) recently and have been aware of the growth of yoga as therapy.
Through two programs each day, I continue to practice to maintain good health. I am 52 years old and have been able, through restorative yoga, to continue to be able to work full time and run a mile each day! I can even perform a head stand now in the iyengar style.
Curious? Would you recommend a headstand as a standing warm up?
Knee circles for a yoga warm up should be performed with one foot raised off the floor to lower friction. The synovial fluid will then swish around thoroughly. As mentioned above, this movement should be performed slowly.
About the headstand: Wonderful asana, but too many contraindications. Definitely not a warm up asana.
Getting back to warm ups before a Yoga class.
Do you consider Surya Namaskar to be a good enough warm up? 10 - 15 minutes seems about right, but I have been in classes where the warm ups were twice as long. Is there a clear guideline or rule for the amount of time spent on warm ups?
As for warm-ups, I do about ten minutes of warm-ups which include Sun Salutations. I also do some shoulder and torso rolls as well as some other stretches. It seems to be enough to prevent injury and also not so much that my students get bored with it.
I hope this helps.
Thank You Jeanne',
What you said makes sense but, I was just curious about guidelines for warm ups. Some Yoga classes start similar to Kundalini because the warm up lasts 30 minutes or more. So I am curious about the reason why some classes handle warm ups sp differently.
Within a Hatha Yoga class are many different ceremonial aspects, which make up the entire class.
These aspects are necessary components of a Yoga session such as: The greeting, bringing your presence into the room, rooting, mantra, mudra, Pranayama, warm ups, Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), Asana, relaxation techniques, meditation, and the closing ceremony; which may end with a reading, Udgeeth Pranayama, Japa, Namaste, Thank You, a combination of these, or something else.
The value of warm ups before Asana (Yoga posture) practice cannot be understated in Yoga, and in life. Warm ups reduce the chance of injury to the practitioner. The time spent doing warm ups can vary due to the purpose.
The age of the students, the time of day, the outside temperature, and the purpose of the warm up, can be factors, which determine the time frame. When I teach a Chair Yoga class, the warm ups may take 30 minutes or more because the median age in the class is 70 years of age.
In relation to this, and for safetys sake, warm ups, before personal Yoga practice, exercise, or any sport, tend to be longer as we age. Morning warm ups should be longer than evening, if we are on a regular day time schedule (rising in the morning and sleeping at night).
Muscles tend to contract as we sleep, so we should be careful not to strain them in the morning. The muscles also tend to tense up in the winter, so time of year and the region where you live can be a factor.
Finally, the purpose of the warm up may also differ. Older students, who practice in Vinyasa or Power Yoga classes, should warm up, a little more, than younger students. Older students should be aware of pre-existing injuries and take care of them.
It seems obvious now, but age is a big factor in the the amount of time spent doing warm ups. Medical condition and pre-existing injury are also factors.
If 10 minutes is average - Maybe we should add 5 minutes for every 10 years we are over 30.
So I would have to do 10 minutes, while Paul would have to warm up for 20.
This would also explain why some elder students are in classes early and already warming up. The elder student has the wisdom to care for his or her body in an educated way. The student who ds not warm up, lacks wisdom, experience, and Yogic education.
My warm up secret has been revealed.
Now you know why I always show up early.
Have a nice week.
Then, is there any truth to the ideas that advanced yoga students do not have to warm up as long as beginners? Some yoga teachers tell beginners to warm up more than the advanced students. Could you please explain what that is all about?
If you love your teacher, don't read this, but I have to tell the truth.
Telling beginners that advanced students don't have to warm up is an opportunity to puff up the teachers ego or inflate the ego of "advanced" Yoga students. And it sounds like pure fiction. Probably some elitist teacher nonsense to make less flexible students feel like they are not good enough to be in the advanced Yoga club. Everyone needs to warm up, no matter how flexible they are. Besides, as has been explained many times on this forum and at Paul's Blog: An advanced Yogi is not defined by physical mastery. An advanced Yogi has invested some serious time in practice and there are many many facets of Yoga.
It is a great thing to physically master hatha Yoga, but some people and teachers become egotists. Then snobbery finds a way to get into Yoga. Sorry, but very few Yoga teachers can put their ego aside. It is only natural to alienate the beginners and less flexible Yoga students. Warm ups are important for everyone!
You are 100% correct. Everyone needs to warm up, even Yogacharyas. It is amazing to think that warm ups should be skipped by "advanced" Yoga students. Without a doubt this is pure arrogance and a physically unsafe practice.
Juli - you hit the nail on the head about the elite yoga club. Sometimes the hidden truth is - egotism has crept its way into a yoga instructor's personality. Yoga seems to be the only activity where one yoga teacher's students would trash another yoga school's display. Would a dog groomer do that to another dog groomer? Where is the (ahimsa) high ethical standard? Worst part - We can't accuse the men, because these are definitely yoginis doing it to each other. In my town there are no male yoga teachers! Some of us can't put a flyer up without another school ripping it down and putting theirs in that space. Tell me this is not about ego, jealousy and irony too!
In the case of warm ups, I like the approach Paul mentions in some of the newsletters. Basically, as we age, we should devote more time to the warm up. Warm ups are for injury prevention and so is restorative yoga. Related to that idea, restorative yoga is recommended for people who have a pre-existing injury, so why in the world would and yoga teacher recommend cutting the warm up time short? Its pure b.s.
Back to Warm ups for your yoga class. Before performing asanas it is wise to warm up the joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles with gentle restorative yoga exercises.
This will help with performing yoga techniques and will reduce the chance of injury in muscles and connective tissue. A warm up will improve the experience of performing asanas. Warm ups should be practiced at the beginning of each session.
It is recommend that you warm up, or practice Surya Namaskar as part of your restorative yoga warm up session.
Some yoga teachers show a variety of warm ups. For example: Paulji often shows circular movements or kundalini based movements for warm ups. This is a good option. But I want to mention that Sun Salutations performed at a very slow pace and with complete control are also a good warm up. You could still make props available for students depending on their age, size, and level of flexibility. The blocks or two chairs make nice props for the lunge.
Realizing that there are exceptions to every rule it is best to demonstrate how to use a prop rather than pushing one on an older or obese student is wise. I have a fairly large framed woman (over 250 and about 5' 6") who can easily perform splits in every direction. I also have a student over 80 who has better flexibility in her hips and spine than I do. Never judge a book by its cover.
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