Posts Tagged ‘yoga instruction’

Yoga For Women’s Fitness

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

yoga teacher trainingBy Jenny Park

As many of you already know. Yogic practices are good for both genders. Yet, Yoga teacher training programs are full of women. What makes Yogic techniques so popular with women? Yoga is a healthy way of life and one of the most versatile forms of exercise.

It can be extremely beneficial for people, especially women, who may be unable to participate in other types of exercises such as running or other high impact activities. It can also be used as a supplement to other forms of exercise. There’s no doubt that asana practice can help improve flexibility as well as contribute to stronger muscle tone and improved cardiovascular health. All of those reasons, plus many more, can help to positively impact fitness levels.

As women age, bone density starts to decline. Also, flexibility issues and joint pain due to arthritis and other conditions can occur. Keeping the body strong and active through the practice of posturing can help to decrease pain and lead to better overall health, not to mention a healthier state of mind. Yoga training, like other forms of physical activity, helps the brain to release endorphins, which is what makes us feel good.

Endorphins help to make us happy, so it stands to reason that when we participate in activities that help to release them, our mood generally brightens. Stress and anxiety are all too often a part of our daily lives, practicing Yogic techniques can help to keep the negative emotions and side effects of that stress and anxiety to a minimum.

No matter what your fitness level is, asana practice is a wonderful way to improve or maintain it. For women who like a challenge, Power or Hot Yoga are two very intense workouts. Those who prefer a more traditional style or are just getting started will appreciate Hatha Yoga and the benefits aren’t just physical. It is a form of physical activity that also incorporates pranayama, mantra, meditation and other relaxation techniques to help quiet the mind.

Since Yoga instruction is so accessible, it can be practiced by almost any one, even pregnant women or women who have recently had babies. It is an accessible form of exercise that helps to re-align the body and the mind. Yoga can be incorporated into other workout routines and can be very beneficial to swimmers, tennis players, and runners. It can add an aspect to your fitness routine that you may have never gotten without it, especially with regular practice.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Yoga teacher training and continuing education courses for specialized Yoga certification, please visit the following link.

http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

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!

Becoming a Yoga Teacher: Finding a Niche

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

yoga certificationBy: Virginia Iversen

If you are considering becoming a Yoga teacher, finding an inspiring and appropriate niche for yourself is one of the most important decisions you can make prior to enrolling in a teacher training program. Over the last two decades, the benefits of a regular practice of Yoga have become well known in both the health and fitness industries. Yoga asanas, meditation techniques and pranayama exercises have been shown to reduce stress, improve the immune system, lower blood pressure and help an individual to maintain flexibility of both mind and body while bolstering a sense of well-being and optimism.

There are many different niches or populations of students who can benefit from Yoga instruction. For example, Yoga programs have been incorporated into school settings in order to help students focus and concentrate more easily, so that they can more successfully achieve their academic goals. Yoga instruction has also been integrated into hospital settings in order to support individuals who are struggling with serious illnesses, including convalescing from surgery. There are also specialty classes offered to women who are pregnant, students seeking renewal and restoration as well as women and children in domestic violence shelters.

The practice of asanas and pranayama exercises can support individuals in many different circumstances in improving their physical and mental health and well-being. Choosing a group of students or a particular setting in which to work, prior to enrolling in a Yoga teacher training program, will help you to find the program that will offer you the most fitting instructional information. If you are just beginning the instructor certification process, you will want to consider signing up for a training program that offers a good foundation of knowledge about the basic asanas, breathing exercises, meditation techniques and general modifications for teaching specific populations of students.

After you receive the basic 200 hour level of certification, you may wish to continue your studies with some additional classes tailored to your individual interests as a teacher. Good examples of additional courses are certifications in prenatal Yoga and teaching Yoga in the public school system. There are a variety of training workshops that you can choose to take after receiving your basic level of certification, which will individualize your credentials as a professional Yoga instructor. Clearly defining your special gifts, talents and interests in bringing this ancient practice to a group of students will help you to select the best training program for your professional aspirations.

© Copyright 2012 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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

http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

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!

Intermediate Yoga Standing Poses for Trauma Survivors

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

yoga certificationBy Jenny Park 

A new niche in the field of Yoga instruction is working with trauma survivors. Since trauma survivors often experience residual physiological effects from a traumatic experience, body based healing modalities are becoming more and more important for therapists, counselors and other practitioners who work with trauma survivors. The practice of Yoga asanas, breathing exercises and meditation techniques offers healing practitioners a wide range of therapeutic tools for this population.

Trauma survivors often experience a constellation of symptoms that keep the traumatic event constantly cycling in their minds and bodies. Replaying the traumatizing incident over and over in their minds also keeps the body in a constant state of hyper arousal. The body maintains a state of hyper arousal by increasing levels of adrenalin and cortisol in the blood. On a short-term basis, these hormones are tremendously helpful for analyzing, preventing and getting out of dangerous situations. On a long-term basis, high levels of cortisol and adrenalin wear the body down and even negatively impact memory and concentration.

On the other end of the spectrum, a trauma survivor’s primary psychological defense mechanism may be to dissociate or numb out from painful, intrusive memories. Again, in the short-run this defensive strategy may prove beneficial to protecting the trauma victim from additional pain, but in the long run it is maladaptive. Dissociating from painful memories will prevent an individual from integrating and understanding traumatic experiences, which will keep the traumatic memories continually simmering in their body and mind.

The practice of Yoga can be tailored to reducing anxiety and hyper vigilance that is often seen in trauma survivors, or it can be tailored to rectify dissociation, somatization and hypo arousal. Vigorous and activating standing postures will help to break through dissociation and raise energy levels. As an intermediate Yoga practitioner, practicing vigorous standing postures, linked together by the movements of the Sun Salutations, will help to increase the flow of chi or life force energy throughout the entire body. This practice will offset hypo arousal and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The psychologically therapeutic aspect of a strong practice of vinyasa linked standing poses is to remember to be aware of the feelings and images that arise as you or your students practice the Yoga asanas. Maintaining Ujjayi breathing will help ground you and support you and/or your students in developing affect regulation. Affect regulation is the ability to allow feelings to arise without pushing them back down under conscious awareness. This is one of the key skills for beginning the healing process of remembering, understanding, integrating, and resolving painful traumatic events.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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

http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

FREE Yoga Report. FREE Yoga Newsletter. FREE Yoga Videos. Free Podcasts. Bonus: Free Yoga e-Book, “Yoga in Practice.”

FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, 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 Best Possible Locations for a Yoga Studio

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Sangeetha Saran

There are few things more exciting for a yoga teacher than opening their own yoga studio. While this is one of the most wonderful events for a teacher, it should also be a time of careful consideration and thought. The studio will serve, as a foundation for all future success, so making wise choices is essential.

The first consideration is the location of the property in relation to the surrounding town or city. The more centrally located the studio is, the more clients the studio could potentially attract and serve. Looking at the layout of your particular region will be very helpful in determining the perfect target location. Being located close to a reasonably sized population of people makes drumming up business a lot easier since there are more people to work with. However, the trade off of being in the highly sought after commercial district is a higher priced space. Ultimately, that higher cost will be passed to the students, who may choose to seek classes elsewhere if the price is right.

An alternative to simply choosing the most central location possible is to go the opposite route by selecting a specialized location, which helps generate clients, such as placing the studio near a college campus or health spa. The nearby foot traffic of health minded individuals would serve as passive advertising for your yoga studio. Weighing the cost of space in these areas against the potential growth in studio clientele will help you to determine if this is the right choice for you.

Choosing to place your studio in the lower priced industrial or residential districts could be a good option for some teachers. The lower cost of space in these areas could be passed to students, making for a steady clientele of budget conscious individuals who are looking for yoga instruction on the cheap. These students will be more willing to overlook unconventional surroundings in light of competitively priced rates. This will also put your studio in direct competition with other higher priced studios in your area, which happen to be located in the best possible location. A lower priced space paired with solid yoga instruction and a good marketing campaign is a recipe for success.

Making the yoga studio easy to get to also helps passively generate more clients. If your studio can be reached by public transit, all the better, especially if other yoga studios in the area are not. Many yoga students strive to reduce their carbon footprint by utilizing public transportation whenever possible, and making their trip easier will surely be appreciated.

By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each type of location, a yoga teacher may select the best possible location for their studio, helping to guarantee success in the future.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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

http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

FREE Yoga Report. FREE Yoga Newsletter. FREE Yoga Videos. Free Podcasts. Bonus: Free Yoga e-Book, “Yoga in Practice.”

FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, 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!

Torah Yoga

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Judy Pachino

As an Orthodox Jewish woman I believe that the Torah (loosely translated as the five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) contains an entire detailed guidebook for life. Each word and syllable has been analyzed by sages throughout the generations, and a multitude of works have been written to explain how one should live a Torah life. Just as the Torah provides an amazing framework and guiding light for my life, so I have found Yoga also includes much insight into how I should live and connect to my physical, emotional and spiritual self.

In her book “Torah Yoga Experiencing Jewish Wisdom Through Classic Postures”, Diane Bloomfield has created a unique book, which is “both a Torah book and a yoga book, presenting classic yoga instruction in the light of traditional and mystical Jewish wisdom”. Ms. Bloomfield immersed herself in study of traditional Jewish texts for many years in Israel. She claims that her deep immersion provided her a different lens in which to see and practice yoga. She realized that many of the principles she learned in her Yoga practice were also in Torah, and she could identify and locate those teachings in Torah texts. Ms. Bloomfield discovered that “Because Torah was within me, practicing yoga was a new way to study Torah. Every yoga posture was a gateway to greater Torah consciousness.”

In her book, Ms. Bloomfield includes seven chapters in which she expounds on seven central Jewish spiritual concepts: hidden light, constant renewal, leaving Egypt, essential self, body prayer and alignment, daily satisfaction, and remembering to rest. The seven chapters could easily represent the seven days of the week and/or the seven days of creation. Each chapter includes: a short introduction and introspective section, a Torah Yoga segment connecting the concepts and describing how to connect to yourself, your yoga practice and Torah teachings, a traditional Torah study on the concepts, and finally detailed Yoga practice postures “with which you can further experience, express and exercise the Torah concepts of the chapter in your own body-mind-heart-soul”. She has chosen certain postures to include with the different concepts, but emphasizes that “any yoga posture may apply to many Torah concepts”.

The first chapter titled, The Hidden Light, introduces the concept of the first light and it’s connection to God’s essence. Ms. Bloomfield believes that “With the practice of yoga, you can look for, find, and reveal to the world the power and beauty of the mysterious hidden light within you”. You can make yourself into a vessel, which you can stretch and mold. It is important to realize that your mind, heart and soul also contribute to the molding of the vessel you become, the vessel that can reveal and receive the “mysterious hidden light of the first day of creation”. In Jewish mysticism, the vessel is a central image. “The world and human beings are seen as vessels that need to prepare themselves to receive love.” In addition, “Your body-mind-heart-soul is the raw material on the yoga pottery wheel.”

The meditation or introspective practice section includes the direction to “visualize in every cell of your body a point of first light – divine, radiant and exquisite”. The postures included in the Hidden light chapter consist of Mountain Posture, Triangle Posture, Warrior Two Posture, Standing Forward Bend, Simple Sitting Twist, and Bridge Posture.

In chapter two, Ms. Bloomfield explores the concept of constant renewal. One of the sages, the Sfat Emet, teaches that “in order to appreciate God’s daily gift of abundant new life, a person should perceive at the very least one new thing every day”. Ms. Bloomfield connects this idea to yoga by explaining “Yoga is an immersion in the river of divine renewal flowing through your body. Each time you do a posture, you are stepping into a new river”. The Sfat Emet also teaches “The opposite of habit is renewal”. Ms. Bloomfield explains that habits lock your perceptions and do not allow you to perceive new things. “Yoga is a technique for unlocking your habits in order to perceive the constantly renewing creation both inside and around you.” “With the practice of yoga, you can continually transform yourself. You can keep yourself open to the constant renewal of life within you.”

The meditation or introspective practice section includes the direction to “Take a moment to see whether you feel locked in old or habitual patterns in your body. Take a moment also to see whether you are locked in old or habitual pattern of thought or emotion”. Ms. Bloomfield has included the Seated Mountain Posture, Extended Child Posture, Downward Dog Posture, Locust Posture, and Cobra Posture in this chapter.

The third chapter discusses the idea of leaving Egypt. For Jewish people the exodus from Egypt is not just a story from history. It is an ongoing story and “a paradigm of personal experience of release from trouble of all kinds, a release into new possibilities”. “Yoga teaches you ways to actively participate, posture by posture, breath by breath and moment by moment in leaving Egypt, making it your own story.” The Hebrew word for Egypt contains the letters that also form the word for narrow straits. “Leaving Egypt is the movement from narrow to expansive places. You join the exodus from Egypt when you discover areas of tension and release them. Yoga teaches you how to leave Egypt.” It teaches you how to stretch and open yourself in gentle ways. “Through breath and movement, you learn to release yourself, cell by cell, from your narrow straits.” By practicing yoga, you can attain physical as well as emotional release.

The introspective practice section includes the direction to “check to see if you have any places that feel narrow, limited, or troubled” or painful. Ms. Bloomfield included the following postures in this chapter: Extended Side Angle Stretch, Wide Legs Standing Forward Bend, Staff Posture, Head Beyond Knee Forward Bend, Reclining Mountain Posture, Knee to Chest Posture, Reclining Leg Stretch, Reclining Twist and Resting with Legs on Chair.

In chapter four, Ms. Bloomfield introduces the concept of the essential self. Ms. Bloomfield contends that the essential self goes back to the time of Adam and his response to God’s question “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9) A famous Rabbi and scholar, Rav Kook, explains, “He (Adam) did not clearly answer the question ‘where are you’ because he did not know his own soul, because his true I-ness (his essential self), was lost to him.” Ms. Bloomfield believes that “Yoga is a way to meet and know your essential self. Each posture is an opportunity to connect with yourself and to clearly and openly answer, ‘Here I am’ to the question, ‘Where are you?’ ” In order to truly know yourself, it is important to learn from yourself, trust your intuition and your experiences. “Let the teachings you receive from outside sources deepen your connection to yourself and to your own inner knowing.” “Yoga will clarify your inner wisdom. Eventually, your own body-mind-heart-soul will be your greatest teacher”. Ms. Bloomfield teaches that you should be especially cognizant of the wisdom of your body, your intuition, and your inner teacher as you practice yoga.

The meditative portion of the chapter includes instructions to inquire of yourself, “Where am I?” Also, “attend to yourself in the same way your would attend to a teacher you greatly admire and respect. Consider yourself a source of wisdom.” The postures included in this chapter are: Chair Twist Posture, Supported Standing Forward Bend with Chair, Standing Forward Bend Over One Leg, Revolved Triangle Posture, Hero Posture, and Resting Fish Posture.

Chapter five explores the concept of body prayer and alignment. Ms. Bloomfield suggests that you should “imagine prayer being not only the service of your heart but also the service of your body. Yoga is a way to include the voice of your whole body in your prayers. In so doing, you can align yourself with God and reveal your full essence.” According to Rav Kook, your soul is always praying. Ms. Bloomfield states “Yoga helps you to feel and hear your soul’s continual prayer both spiritually and physically”. “Rav Kook teaches that a person can be either bent-over or straight, both spiritually and physically”. “Neither posture is appropriate all the time.” Yet, your full essence is revealed when you stand straight. “Yoga helps you to stretch and lengthen all your vital parts and powers, and to reveal them in their full measure both to yourself and to the world. Yoga also helps to reveal to you some of the reasons, fears, emotions, and memories that keep you from standing up tall.” In the Jewish morning prayer service, there is a blessing of gratitude for being able to stand straight, for alignment. “Standing straight is not an isolated act that involves just your spine. Your whole body influences the movement that is possible in your spine. All the postures in yoga can add to the full expression of the blessing of alignment in your body.”

In the meditative portion of the chapter, Ms. Bloomfield directs you to “Stand straight without being rigid. Relax around your elongating spine.” You should ask yourself, Do I you feel comfortable, awkward, scared or safe? The postures for this chapter include: Upward Reaching Prayer Posture, Tree Posture, Warrior One Posture, Reclining Hero Posture, Camel Posture and Bow Posture.

The concept discussed in chapter six is daily satisfaction. In the book of Exodus, God provides for the daily sustenance of the Children of Israel with manna (heavenly bread). According to Ms. Bloomfield, “Heavenly nourishment is still falling. Torah and yoga take you to the fields of your life- places you might even consider desert- to gather there your portion of heavenly bread. With yoga, you can become more aware of the satisfying feast that God showers on you each day.” By learning to trust that you will receive the nourishment you need every day from the divine, you learn to feel satisfied. In addition, she states, “Ultimately the outer world is not the most important factor in finding satisfaction. The most important factor is your inner world, where, consciously or not, you choose what to pay attention to.” She continues, “the inner energy that flows through you is the energy of life itself” (prana). “Imagine your own life energy as a hearty slice of heavenly bread, with God giving you just the right amount to nourish and satisfy you every day.” “Yoga teaches you to turn your attention inward and to sense the life energy within you. When you are doing postures, feel the flow of your life energy through your body, mind, heart, and soul.” She continues by explaining the practice of satisfaction. “Satisfaction is in the stretch you are doing now and in the breath you are breathing now.”

In this chapter’s meditation, Ms. Bloomfield guides, “take a few deep, slow breaths into your whole body. Notice in your body an inner nourishing field of divine energy. Affirm that what you need to be satisfied today is within you”. The postures for this chapter are: Cobbler Posture, Supported Cobbler Posture, Sitting Forward Bend, Seated Angle Posture, and Supported Cross-Legged Forward Bend.

In the final chapter, chapter seven, Ms. Bloomfield explores the concept of remembering to rest. This chapter clearly connects with the seventh day of the Jewish week, the Sabbath, which is the day of rest. Ms. Bloomfield states, “Shabbat (Hebrew for Sabbath) is a day for soulful, holy rest. Shabbat teaches us how to rest.” She continues, “Yoga also teaches us how to rest. In yoga, rest and relaxation are an essential part of the practice. The climax of every yoga session is the posture of rest.” It is important to learn how to rest and relax in postures, because “all yoga postures can and should be done in a relaxed, effortless way” which takes great practice. Ms. Bloomfield sites the sage Patanjali, “Perfection in a posture is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless, and the infinite being within is reached” . She explains, “Learning to rest and relax in restorative postures makes it easier to bring the restful state into the more active, challenging postures. Learning to be relaxed in the challenging postures is like bringing the peace and rest of Shabbat with you into your workweek.”

In the introspective section, Ms. Bloomfield guides, “Affirm to yourself that, during the following postures, you will not busy yourself thinking about things you need to do. Let go of thinking about what you were doing before you began your practice. Let go of thinking about what you need to do when you finish your practice.” She continues, “Establish a connection to a realm of quiet and rest within you.” Ms. Bloomfield chose the following postures for this chapter: Supported Extended Child Posture, Resting Side Twist, Supported Fish Posture, Supported Bridge Posture, Gentle Inversion Posture, Relaxation Posture (Corpse Posture).

In my quest to find resources that could help me synthesize my new understanding of Yoga with my Judaism, I was very fortunate to find Ms. Bloomfield’s book. Her thought processes were very clear and her style intelligent, accurate and very informative. I found her progression from concept to concept extremely insightful. The meditation focus in each section was particularly helpful to me and solidified the concept for me. It is through the meditative focus instructions that the section took on an experiential nature. I was then able to move onto the postures with deeper focus. I look forward to integrating some of her ideas into my own classes in the near future.

Judy Pachino is a certified Yoga teacher. She teaches Yoga classes in the Baltimore, Maryland area.

References:

i Bloomfield, D 2004, Torah Yoga Experiencing Jewish Wisdom Through Classic Postures, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, p. xi

ii Bloomfield 2004, p.xiii

iii Bloomfield 2004, p. xv

iv Bloomfield 2004, p. xv

v Bloomfield 2004, p. 1

vi Bloomfield 2004, p. 2

vii Bloomfield 2004, p. 3

viii Bloomfield 2004, p. 2

ix Bloomfield 2004, p. 8

x Bloomfield 2004, p. 23

xi Bloomfield 2004, p. 23

xii Bloomfield 2004, p. 24

xiii Bloomfield 2004, p. 24

xiv Bloomfield 2004, p. 25

xv Bloomfield 2004, p. 28

xvi Bloomfield 2004, p. 41

xvii Bloomfield 2004, p. 41

xvii Bloomfield 2004, p. 42

xviii Bloomfield 2004, p. 43

xix Bloomfield 2004, p. 47

xx Bloomfield 2004, p. 68

xxi Bloomfield 2004, p. 68

xxiii Bloomfield 2004, p. 68

xxiv Bloomfield 2004, p. 68

xxv Bloomfield 2004, p. 72

xxvi Bloomfield 2004, p. 72

xxvii Bloomfield 2004, p. 89

xxviii Bloomfield 2004, p. 90

xxix Bloomfield 2004, p. 90

xxx Bloomfield 2004, p. 91

xxxi Bloomfield 2004, p. 91

xxxii Bloomfield 2004, p. 91

xxxiii Bloomfield 2004, p. 96

xxxiv Bloomfield 2004, p. 113

xxxv Bloomfield 2004, p. 114

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xxxvii Bloomfield 2004, p. 115

xxxviii Bloomfield 2004, p. 115

xxxix Bloomfield 2004, p. 116

xl Bloomfield 2004, p. 120

xli Bloomfield 2004, p. 133

xlii Bloomfield 2004, p. 133

xliii Bloomfield 2004, p. 135

xliv Bloomfield 2004, p. 135

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xlvi Bloomfield 2004, p. 141

xlvii Bloomfield 2004, p. 141

The Purpose of Yoga: Aging Gracefully

Monday, June 11th, 2007

yoga teacherBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Most Yoga practitioners, and teachers, begin to realize the anti-aging benefits of Hatha Yoga training, within a short time. However, with all of the anti-aging scams in abundance today, most Yoga teachers hesitate to utter the words “anti” and “aging” in the same sentence.  The many benefits of steady Yoga practice, to all age groups, are enhanced, when we explore the physical limits of our bodies. There are times when we surprise ourselves with what we can, and what we cannot, do.

The more experienced students usually do not take risks. They have “been there and done that.” New Yoga students are warned not to force, while they learn their physical limits.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Youth is wasted on the young?” When I first heard it, I was quite young, and the words were shouted at me by a man who was about the age of my Grandfather.

Unfortunately, I took offense because of his tone, and I did not understand his message. My reaction was silence, because of his age; he deserved respect, and I did respect him, completely.  In my mind, I thought, “I’m not wasting my youth.” I really did not understand. His whole point was lost because my mind was not open to the message, and he did not explain it in depth.

Ten years passed, and I heard the words again from a mentor, and friend, named, Harry, but his tone was one of equanimity. He explained the words from an older person’s point of view. When we reach middle age, most of us stop taking risks. These prospective risks can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, or financial, but when we age, we tend to think, “Been there and done that.”

Most children, and young adults, will come up with new and creative ideas, but older adults want to protect them from risks. Older adults want to keep their children and grand children safe from harm. Children can learn a lot from parents, but many parents could receive a refresher course on youthful living by observing and listening to their children.

Children are not afraid to learn new skills. Children often have more than one solution to a problem because they are not “set in their ways.” We become conditioned with age to react to situations in a predictable way. We think “inside the box.”

You see – it is the attitude, within us, which most often ages first. If we never take calculated risks from middle age on, we have “played it safe” for the rest of our lives.  Now, I am not suggesting that seniors should start sky diving, surfing, and hang gliding, next week, but the in the twilight of our lives, we often regret the opportunities we did not take advantage of. The thrill of a challenge makes life worth living. A calculated risk is a “breath of fresh air.”

For example: The seniors who take chair Yoga are the “mavericks” of their time. Most of them did not have the opportunity to receive Yoga instruction as children, but they are not afraid to participate and receive the benefits.  Now, that is an inspiration to the rest of us.

© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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How to Become a Yoga Teacher
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To see our selection of Yoga teacher training courses and continuing education courses for specialized Yoga certification, please visit the following link.

http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

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

——————————————–
FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, 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, Paul
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The Truth about Options for Yoga Teachers, Part 5

Monday, March 27th, 2006

yoga certificationBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

About Kids Yoga: You usually have to be connected to a children’s day care center, private school, or public school, to have large numbers of kids joining your classes. This may not be the case everywhere, but it reflects the feedback I get from Yoga teachers worldwide.

It is also true for our wellness center in North Providence, RI. Our kid’s class started small but now has a regular following of 20 students per class. To be honest, I brought Yoga into the children’s martial arts classes by integrating Vinyasa with their regular warm-ups.

The result was children who shed fat, became a bit more muscular, and demonstrated more strength and positive attitudes than ever before. The parents are ecstatic about the results now, but wondered what I was up to, when children in Jujitsu or Karate classes were engaged in Yoga training, as part of the curriculum. The benefits to children who learn Yogic techniques are endless.

This is a non-competitive atmosphere, where a kid can just be a kid. Children, who regularly participate in classes, do not have to put pressure on themselves, and can learn many life skills, such as enhanced self-appreciation.

If you are going to teach children, make sure you are prepared for them to be your biggest challenge. It is all about keeping their attention span, therefore, split your class into segments. Classes have to be fun, and you should only address four components such as: posture, breathing, relaxation, and meditation. Keep it simple, and do not go off into a lecture that will put them to sleep. Kids do not come to classes to learn the finer points of Bhakti.

Always praise each child who participates, as this does help their self-esteem. Many times, a kids class is similar to a carnival, where every child wins a prize. In this case, always point out the children who try. This atmosphere will create children who follow the best examples; then, praise those children who try to copy. This is a win-win situation for every child in your Yoga class.

If you do not have patience, please do not consider teaching Yoga to children. Teaching a children’s class is not for every Yoga instructor. You have to be creative, an entertainer, and a guide, to become a kids Yoga teacher.

After all, kid’s classes contain aspects of Yogic methodology that many adults have lost track of – from a very silly Lion face, to an extremely serious meditation. When you are giving Yoga instruction to a class full of children, your mind must be as flexible as your body.

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© Copyright 2005 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

 See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about our selection of distance learning yoga teacher certification programs.

 If you are teaching a yoga class, a yoga school 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. Namaste!

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