The Transformative Power of Shiva – Emotional Clarity

April 9th, 2014

practicng mantra for emotional clarityBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed 

Shiva is one of the most well-known Hindu deities. He is known in India as Parameshwara or the Auspicious One. He is considered to be the supreme lord in Shaivism, which is a tantric branch of Hinduism that originated, several thousand years ago. Shiva is also renowned as one to the primary three gods in Hinduism, referred to as the Trimurti. The Hindu Trimurti is comprised of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Additionally, Shiva is considered to be the guiding deity of the creative arts and Yoga. Shiva also wields the power of creation and destruction with ease and grace as seen in the stories of his divine dance throughout the classical Yogic texts.

The portrayal of Shiva in his divine, dancing form is known as the Cosmic Dancer. In this portrayal, his is exemplifying his profound ability to dance within a ring of fire as he destroys all that he has created. This action is similar in nature to the Tibetan Buddhist monks who create exquisitely designed sand mandalas over a period of days, only to reverently brush the colorful sand particles back into an unformed pile at the end of the creative process. This ability to truly enter into a creative process, and then release that particular creation when it is appropriate, is one of the corner stones of Yogic witness consciousness. 

Shiva is also worshiped as his unchanging, transcendent, formless nature. The symbol of his formlessness is known in Hinduism as the Shiva Lingam. This divine lingam encapsulates the very powerful, male essence of Shiva. Throughout our lives, many of us experiences situations and experiences that are difficult, painful and confusing. Some of these experiences are so disturbing that they may remain undigested or unresolved for many years. In more extreme cases, painful experiences and memories may become lodged in the body and mind and, in turn, generate mental and physical illnesses over time. 

A comprehensive practice of Yoga includes breathing exercises, meditation techniques and periods of chanting. Chanting the sacred syllables that comprise the names of Gods and Goddesses has the ability to put us in touch with the very energy that creates and sustains that particular God or Goddess. When we are in touch with this energy field, we are able to witness or release heavier thoughts, emotions and beliefs that may be causing us unnecessary pain and anguish. Because Shiva’s nature is so powerful and transformative, chanting his name has the ability to uproot and expunge painful emotions and memories. 

* The Practice of Mantra Repetition for Emotional Clarity 

Many Yogis and Yoginis also experience the deep peace of dropping into Shiva’s formless field of energy thought chanting or repeating his divine name is a concentrated fashion. Repeating the mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’, either silently or audibly, will quickly harness Shiva’s energy. Many Yoga practitioners like to use a japa mala to help focus the mind while repeating a mantra, or enlivened phrase. A japa mala is similar to a Catholic rosary. It is a long string of beads that is used to keep track of the number of repetitions you have completed of your chosen mantra. Many Yoga practitioners like to set aside a period of time to practice japa while taking a walk, just prior to meditation, or even while taking a train or bus to work 

* The Practice of Chanting Shiva’s Name for Emotional Clarity 

In a similar fashion, chanting Shiva’s name will effectively connect you to the essential vibration of Shiva’s nature. There are many different Shiva chants that can be found on compact discs or on Yoga Websites. The arrangements of the bhajans or chants are varied, but the essence remains quite similar. The mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is translated as “I Bow to the Essence of Shiva who Resides in My Own Heart.” One of the most profoundly restful and peaceful versions of Om Namah Shivaya is the Blue Pearl version. This is available for free on YouTube, both in a ten-minute version and a longer, full-length version. 

When you are ready to spend some time chanting Shiva’s name, you may wish to dim the lights and light a candle, in order to create a soothing, sacred space. You may also wish to set aside a certain amount of time to dedicate to this practice by setting a timer or alarm and turning off your cell phone. Chanting along with a recording is an enjoyable way to learn how to chant this classical mantra. As you chant, allow the energy of the vibrations to wash over you and heal any unresolved emotions that may be still lingering in your body or mind. Allow yourself to receive the profound benefits of your own loving kindness and compassion as you rest in the Shiva’s primordial nature.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga sessions and our selection of online yoga teacher training intensive courses.

If you are a teacher, 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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How to Spot Injury-Prone Students

April 3rd, 2014

In this video Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500 from Aura Wellness Center covers: Watching a student’s posture, balance, how competitive they are, focus, physical condition, and if they are locking their joins. All which are contributors to injury. Paying close attention to these attributes will avoid student injury.

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Secrets of Successful Yoga Teachers

April 1st, 2014

yoga marketing tipsBy Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

What are the marketing secrets of successful yoga teachers? Some teachers will tell you to wait for the flow of the universe to help you with your teaching career. Some people will gladly tell you, “It’s unethical to put yourself out there.” Advertising is bad? How will people know I teach, if I keep it a secret?  

I’ve heard it all and the best one was a yoga diva who preached to us about why creating a celebrity presence was wrong. I paid $500 to hear that lecture! I wish I could blame somebody else listening to that nonsense. By the way, she has a few dozen DVDs on the market, books, and a huge studio with money rolling onto the sidewalks.  So, what do you do if you don’t have the celebrity status of a diva? Most yoga instructors just want enough to get by, but I ask you to think a little bigger and stop listening to pessimists.

How to Break the Ice

Effective marketing techniques are a key component in any successful business. The yoga space is getting competitive, so the secret to success is learning how to make yourself stand out in the crowd.

The good news is you do not have to spend a ton of money to promote yourself. By taking advantage of three simple marketing methods, you will be well on your way to a successful career as a yoga teacher.

Social Media Marketing

Luckily, technology has created a world where marketing is more cost-effective than ever. Social media marketing is an essential tool you will want to master. You may want to check out the dashboard program, HootSuite as an efficient means of managing all your social media platforms.

Facebook: Set up a Facebook page and post at least once daily. It is as simple as listing where your classes are that day. Inspirational quotes and vivid photographs make great eye-catching posts.

Twitter: This platform is quick and easy to use. You can set up Google alerts to send you relevant information and then post those links on your Twitter page.

Pinterest: Plenty of beautiful photographs of people doing yoga are available with a quick web search. Use available resources to create attention-grabbing boards. Pinterest is the fasting growing platform for women.

YouTube: People love learning from Youtube videos. It is very simple to create a few yoga how-to videos.

Local Networking

In addition, local networking is always a good idea, as it will connect you to your community.

Chamber of Commerce: Be a member of the chamber of commerce and attend their monthly events.

Volunteer: Join the rotary club or any other local organization that interests you.

Festivals: Offer a workshop at local fairs and festivals.

Schools: Volunteer to teach a free fun child yoga class at local pre-schools.

Traditional Marketing

Do not forget to include some traditional marketing to ensure that you reach a broader audience.

Website: A website will give potential students a space to learn about what makes you unique.

Print Ads: Running a weekly ad in a local holistic or community newspaper could be beneficial, especially if you have a studio or do private lessons.

Flyers: Posting flyers at organic grocery stores or wellness centers will appeal to like-minded individuals.

Successful yoga teachers are not afraid to speak up and let others know what they have to offer. Show your community what makes you special or be quite, sit in a corner, and give up.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga sessions and our selection of online yoga teacher training intensive courses.

If you are a teacher, 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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Yogic Healing Through Proper Alignment

March 31st, 2014

500 hour yoga instructor training courseBy Jenny Park

As much as the world is growing technologically, alternative medicine is equally improving. Initially yoga was created to be more of a spiritual practice, but many studies have shown that the physical techniques help in healing the body and mind. Additionally, Yoga asanas are significant in promoting spinal health and improving skeletal alignment. In order to achieve maximum results, students must look for a well-trained instructor to take them through a typical class. Therapeutic techniques have made this practice very useful in the daily lives for millions of people around the world.

What Can Posture Do?

With proper posture, it is possible to get relief from ailments that affect human bodies. This is true for certain disorders that result from misalignment of skeletal structures. When the body is relaxed while practicing these postures, there are higher chances of healing than just sitting or resting. Learning a yoga asana requires care and patience from the student. This will enable you to practice the postures effectively and safely.

Spinal health is vital for a number of activities because it provides the nerves that control the contraction of various groups of muscles. Improper skeletal alignment may injure some of these nerves, which causes pain. For instance, lower back pain is known to result from improper sitting posture and inferior furniture. In order to deal with such conditions, you must practice the right postures and choose the best furniture. Studies have shown that when yoga teachers apply these postures on students, the students are likely to find relief from pain.

Advice For Students

There are reputable websites and books that have been published about these poses. Anyone who is interested in them can just visit a website or purchase a book to find out more details about these techniques. On the other hand, the safest way to learn yoga is to find a competent teacher. As long as you identify a teacher who has experience in this field, he or she will take you through the techniques. If you just try them alone, you are not likely to feel the maximum benefits.

If you succeed to practice proper posture, then you must enjoy the benefit. The best aspect of yoga is that students are not given any drugs to cure their disorders. They are also not subjected to surgical intervention. This implies that they are not likely to suffer from the side effects or complications of these conventional medicines. In this case, the patients are usually safer. Apart from healing, their flexibility is also enhanced; this makes them fit for other sporting activities.

With many physical exercises, individuals become very strong as well. This is also true for yoga, but care has to be taken because if these poses are forced, then they may result in an injury. Yoga postures have been used to help relieve the pain from nerve impingement such as in carpal tunnel syndrome. Yet, there is a need for guidance among people who are new to yoga.

Side Note for Instructors

Yoga teachers provide guidance in the classroom, but the student carries his or her body into many activities. If we instill the idea of proper alignment into our students, they will reap the benefits of life with less or no pain.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga sessions and our selection of online yoga teacher training intensive courses.

If you are a teacher, 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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Family Yoga for Bonding Time

March 30th, 2014

kids yoga teacher trainingBy Kimaya Singh

Family yoga is about creating a warm and inviting setting where people can gather together to practice yoga. Classes for all age groups and health scenarios can attend classes together. The community-based approach promotes healthy habits and awareness through courses.

What is family yoga?

Family yoga refers to a range of classes designed for people of all ages. Prenatal, postnatal with baby, parent and child, adult, teen, preschool and family yoga are examples of classes held at a family center. This type of studio, family yoga centers are about creating a close knit, cozy community for families of all backgrounds.

Children and yoga … how does that work?

A range of relaxation and meditation techniques are taught to children. The goal is to help children develop self-awareness at a young age and become more balanced. Children are introduced to the yoga basics while games and age-appropriate activities are enjoyed. Many of the principles and techniques taught in this course are also taught in public schools and implemented in special programs.

• A California State University study shows a 20 percent increase in sense of well-being reported by 8th grade students

• A 2008 Study showed a 43 percent improvement in spatial category area after learning yoga breathing, relaxation and meditation (PMID: 18300936)

• A 2012 ISRN study showed 46 percent improvement in ADHD in students when yoga was practiced

How does family yoga help families bond?

Families are able to spend more time together and bond over a healthy routine. Children can master the basics of yoga and have an additional option to attend a rewarding family outing together. Families are able to incorporate healthy practices into their life in incorporating the healthy pastime of yoga into their family time. Many families find that yoga signals a new beginning and approach to living a balanced life. As the family comes together and embraces fun activities like these, it is easier to implement other lifestyle changes.

Yoga for families promotes togetherness and balance. Children perform better in academic settings when they’re introduced to yoga relaxation techniques. Families can see an improvement in the family dynamic as a whole because children feel calmer and better about themselves because of yoga. Yoga empowers families with important relaxation, meditation and breathing techniques.

Resources:

Therapeutic Effects of Yoga for Children: A Systematic Review of the Literature Galantino, Mary Lou PT, PhD, MSCE; Galbavy, Robyn PT, MPT; Quinn, Lauren DPT

Slovacek, S. P., Tucker, S. A., & Pantoja, L. (2003) A Study of the Yoga Ed Program at The Accelerated School. P2, 10.

Suttie, J. (2007) Mindfulness and Meditation in Schools for Stress Management. Greater Good Magazine. v1 n4

© Copyright 2014 – 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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When to Offer Different Yoga Classes

March 29th, 2014

job opportunities for yoga teachersBy Kimaya Singh

As a certified yoga instructor, when to offer different yoga classes depends on whether you are teaching yoga to individuals or groups as an employee or whether you are a business owner with your own yoga studio.

Offering Different Yoga Classes as an Employee

As an employee for yoga studios or gyms, you may have to work within restricted limits or you may be given full latitude to create any type of courses that you like.

Assuming that you have the freedom to choose your own curriculum, then one way to offer different classes is to simply divide your particular style of yoga into different skill levels. So, you could have beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes.

Offering Different Yoga Classes as a Business Owner

If you own your own yoga studio, or have a teaching business, then your range of possibilities could increase quite a bit simply because you don’t have to do all the teaching yourself. You can hire other people to teach classes for you. With this level of latitude on how to teach classes, you are faced with two choices: you could teach yoga in a singular way or in a pluralistic way.

A Singular Approach

As a small business owner with your own yoga studio, you may choose to offer only one school of yoga. Suppose, for example, that your own training consisted of studying Anusara yoga, which works on developing alignment to release suppressed emotions. Thus, your approach will be to create heart-centered awareness through yoga.

Given that this is your specialty, you could use the gradient approach—beginner, medium, and advanced classes. You could also offer sub-levels in each one. The goal for your students is to climb the ranks, as it were, going from one level to a slightly higher level over time.

Additionally, you could introduce non-yoga classes related to heart-awareness. For instance, you could invite authors to discuss their books on heart expansion and raising consciousness.

The Pluralistic Approach

Another way of running your business is to develop it horizontally, rather than vertically. In other words, instead of creating a school where people can gradually improve their skill levels in one particular school of yoga, you can hire instructors from diverse schools to give your students a variety of classes.

This school, for instance, you could hire yoga instructors who had specialized in the following types of yoga:

1. Restorative Yoga.

2. Power Yoga.

3. Hot Yoga.

4. Hatha Yoga.

5. Chair Yoga.

6. Yoga Therapy.

7. Kids Yoga.

8. Kundalini Yoga.

9. Prenatal / Postnatal Yoga.

10. Viniyoga Yoga.

11. Vinyasa Yoga.

12. Yin Yoga.

For this approach, you would need brochures to describe each type of yoga. Students could then decide to sample several forms or to focus on just one form that they liked.

Conclusion

When it comes to offering different yoga classes, it really depends on a wide-range of factors. One factor, of course, is how much flexibility and resources you have available. Another factor is your own particular interests. For some teachers, the real goal of yoga is to help guide the student toward mastery. For other teachers, yoga is a means to introduce people to a wider range of possibilities for self-culture.

© Copyright 2014 – 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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How Do Yoga Teachers Get Jobs

March 28th, 2014

private yoga sessionBy Bhavan Kumar

According to Yoga Journal Survey conducted in late 2012, the number of people who practiced yoga had increased to 20.4 million and those enthusiastic about yoga spent about $10.3 billion a year on yoga classes, educational material, vacations, and clothing. While there are no surveys to assess the current growth of yoga in 2014, it is probably reasonable to assume that the numbers of those interested in taking yoga classes is still within the millions and the industry is still within the billion-dollar range. Essentially, then, those interested in transforming from students to teachers are pursuing a vocation that is in high demand and that can earn a person a very good living.

These numbers should inspire you to consider yoga an excellent business model. When you have this perception, they you will be able to confidently go about finding a job as a yoga instructor.

With that in mind, here are five ways to find yoga jobs as a teacher:

1. Build A Professional Kit

You will only need three things in your job-hunting kit: a cover letter, a resume, and a thank you letter.

The purpose of the cover letter is to briefly introduce yourself so that prospective employers will look at your resume. After they look at your resume, they may decide to call you in for an interview. After the interview, you should send them the thank you letter for inviting you to the interview. These three documents should be generic in nature; they should be templates that outline the ideas that you wish to communicate. Then, when you need to deploy them, customize them to fit your particular job application.

There are three ways to build this kit. The first is to do it yourself, assuming that you have an idea of how to do it or are willing to study the conventions used to create these kinds of documents. The second is to ask someone who is quite expert at creating these three types of documents. The third is to hire a professional writer or agency to do the work for you. There is no one best choice: it depends on your time, talent, budget, and resources.

Once you have your professional kit in place, send it everywhere you can, finding jobs posted online and in local newspapers.

2. The Insider Technique

Another way to get a job is to visit places where people are hiring. This could be fitness studios, yoga studios, spas and so on. If possible join one or more of these health-oriented establishments and build a relationship with the owners and patents. Naturally, you should want to join these places for the benefits they offer you, rather than merely as a way to meet someone who might know someone who needs someone just like you. This way, even if nothing happens, you will not feel that you are wasting your time by being there. Also, when using this method continue to use the other job-hunting methods as well.

3. The Direct Route

Simply use job boards online for yoga studio and visit local yoga studios. Also consider dropping in on other places that might hire yoga instructors—like gyms, spas, and other health or fitness related businesses.

Summary

Remember it’s a numbers game. The more you ask the more you are likely to succeed. Ultimately, you just need one win. So it doesn’t matter how many people say no. You just need to find that one person who will say yes.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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What to Expect as a Yoga Instructor

March 27th, 2014

become a yoga teacherBy Gopi Rao

Having finished a challenging 200-hour yoga course, you need to brace yourself for the demanding schedule of a yoga instructor. Without proper planning and preparation, the life of a teacher can easily slump into the rut of monotony. With proper planning, marketing knowledge, and streamlined time management, your life as a yoga instructor will be much better than the average person. Teaching yoga classes requires you as an instructor to be adequately prepared and to stay way ahead of your colleagues. Many new yoga instructors struggle with being nervous. It is very normal to be nervous when teaching your first yoga class, but this will pass as you continue to teach.

One of the expectations of being an instructor is that you should be an avid public speaker. The career does not necessarily require you to take to the podium and articulate about some mantra, ideology or rhetoric, but public speaking traits are a major aspect of any teaching career. This attribute is particularly important when you are teaching in studios and corporate yoga sessions. If you are to rise above ranks and get to the level of teaching corporate yoga you need to equip yourself with good language skills and the essentials of effective communication.

When dealing with corporate students, you are dealing with highly intellectual individuals who have high value expectations on what they want to achieve from their sessions. As an instructor you are expected to be confident, eloquent and articulate.

One of the major features of a yoga teaching career is planning. You know already that once you have perfectly planned out whatever you seek to do, you have half of the work cut out. This is true for teaching any subject. Yoga is an intricate practice and requires you as an instructor to be fully prepared, knowledgeable, and systematic in your approach. Before you go into your classes you will be expected to spend a great deal of you time planning your routines and everything that goes with a comprehensive session. You can start off with simple plans until you get a good grip and master the art of assembling more complex learning routines.

The following is an outline of some of the basic aspects that should make up your lesson plan.

Theme

Focus

Playlist

Flow

Teaching Point

Optional Yoga Related Story

Anatomical Focus

Core Message

Your planning may vary with the niche focus of your thrust. If you are conducting private yoga lessons for example your planning will not necessarily resemble that of an instructor dealing with a typical class.

If you are teaching private yoga lessons you need to narrow down your planning to suit the specific needs of your student. What goes with that might also be placing special focus on props that you need for your routines. In many cases you may find yourself in need of props and utilities such as straps, blocks, bolsters, pillows, chairs, or blankets. This can be avoided if you take time to thoughtfully plan ahead.

Once you have a solid grip of what it takes to be an effective and successful instructor you need to keep in mind that lack of continuing education could be a downfall in this industry, if you decide to sit on your laurels. Continuing education courses about teaching new and safe material will not only position you strategically for lucrative opportunities in the industry, but advancing your knowledge will make you more adaptive, versatile, and successful as a seasoned yoga instructor. The direction to take on continuing education depends on your current level of qualification and the needs of your students. You may consider upgrading your 200-hour yoga certification to the 350 or 500 hour training, for example. Once you can balance working successfully and advancing your knowledge, the sky is the limit.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division 

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Five Benefits of Yoga Instructor Courses

March 26th, 2014

yoga training for instructorsBy Sangeetha Saran 

Although yoga has been practiced for centuries, it has emerged from a secret tradition for spiritual evolution to become a popular mainstream philosophy for holistic self-improvement. This popularity has resulted in the emergence of teacher training courses. 

Yoga instructor courses train you to offer clients numerous benefits, including the following five: 

Benefit #1: Yoga Instructor Courses Teach You How To Help People De-Stress 

Our modern lives are busy, often frantically busy. This causes our minds to become confused and our emotions to become over stimulated. When we do too much, too quickly, rushing here and there, trying to solve one problem after another, our body responds to this frantic level of activity as if it is preparing for some great danger that will threaten its survival. As the hormone cortisol is secreted, we develop high levels of anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and physical tension. Additionally, our breathing becomes shallower and our heartbeat faster. In other words, we become stressed. Yogic breathing and asanas and meditative postures untangles this state of hyper-arousal. We de-stress. When we do, the emotion of distress can then transform into eustress, stimulating but not overwhelming stress, or deep relaxation. 

Benefit #2: Yoga Instructor Courses Teach You How To Help People Reduce inflammation, Stiffness, and Pain. 

The gentle stretching and toning movements of yoga, help the body realize that it is not in a state of danger. We begin to relax, calm down, and unwind. Inflammation begins to dissipate. Muscles that were braced to leap into action begin to relax. Overall, pain is reduced or eliminated. After a week or two of yoga, participants feel an amazing sense of well-being and a dramatic cessation of aches and pains. 

Benefit #3: Yoga Instructor Courses Teach You How To Help People Develop Deeper, Fuller Breathing 

Stress and high states of emotional arousal create shallow breathing. The body is preparing itself for instant action in the face of unexpected danger by breathing in a fast, shallow way. This upper respiratory breathing not only robs the cells of the oxygen they need to thrive, but also diminishes the overall energy and vitality of the whole body. Additionally, when breathing is shallow, a person thinks rapidly and experiences anxious or depressed moods. 

Benefit #4: Yoga Instructor Courses Teach You How To Help People Improve Physical Well-being 

Often people mistake yoga as a system of exercises that provides the same benefits as bodybuilding, calisthenics, or aerobics. In other words, it improves muscle tone, strength, and stamina. This is actually a very superficial way of looking at the health benefits of yoga. Yoga not only tones the external muscles, but also massages internal organs and improves hormonal fluctuations, blood flow, and lymph fluid circulation. What’s more, it lengthens foreshortened muscles, stretches ligaments, and eases tension in tendons. Someone who does yoga on a regular basis will have more than just a beautiful body; they will also have a very healthy one. 

Benefit #5: Yoga Instructor Courses Teach You How To Help People Experience Rapid Personal Growth 

Personal growth. Yoga is the ultimate self-improvement program because it works on many levels. Physically, it strengthens, builds, and stretches the body while improving all physiological functions. Mentally, it promotes clear thinking. Emotionally, it calms the nervous system. And spiritually, it makes a person aware of the higher meaning of human life. 

Summary 

Yoga is a holistic methodology that has been refined over thousands of years. As an instructor, it empowers you to change people’s lives for the better.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Yoga Training and Taming the Ego

March 25th, 2014

yoga teacher trainingBy Bhavan Kumar

In the East, yoga evolved in India as an esoteric science. The teacher chose only select students and only the best students became teachers. This process of selection and advancement required both the teacher and the students to learn how to harness the ego. Since the goals of yoga were unification of the individual to the divine, the yoking of the mortal self to the immortal Self, egoism went contrary to the goals of yoga. A chosen student and an elected teacher had to be humble about their roles and duties.

In the West, yoga has taken a different path. It is now considered more of a consumer service, with less focus on the ultimate spiritual quest for yoking with the divine and more focus on self-improvement through movement, breath, right eating, and balanced living.

In western culture, the egalitarianism, democratic ideals and Socratic dialogue makes the idea of shared privileges the norm. Student selection is not based on merit or attitude but merely the ability to pay the requisite fees to attend a session. This may give students a sense of entitlement since they are paying. If the teacher fails to measure up, then their yoga business may close down. In turn, teachers also risk the egoism of having a large group of people hanging on to their every word. So, egoism is possible in both directions. Students can become egoist because they pay for the teacher’s livelihood while teachers can be egoist because they command a large group of people to do exactly what they say

When students assume the attitude of paying customers with a right to make specific requests on how the teacher should conduct themselves in class, like patrons in a restaurant sending back a meal they don’t like, teachers need to decide whether or not to be flexible.

When to Be Flexible

Be flexible if demands are reasonable like the student cannot hear your instructions from the back of the studio. It is reasonable to make an adjustment. Perhaps, the student can be brought up to the front of the room or you can talk louder when giving instructions.

When to Stay Firm

Be firm when students make unreasonable requests. For example, a student may dislike the Ashtanga Yoga taught accustomed to a much slower type of yoga. In this case, it is important to stay firm, stick with your teacher training and not cater to whims and complaints. On the other hand, studios should not send beginners to Ashtanga, Power or Vinyasa classes. Additionally, students should be informed as to what type of class they are walking into. 

Be firm when students make unreasonable demands. For example, a student would like you to teach less asanas and take longer with each one. As a teacher, you have to stand your ground and explain why your particular routine is the one that will bring the best results.

Now, I have pointed out the students who want less physical activity, but there are students who will walk into a Restorative class and demand difficult asanas. Again, these students who want a hot or flowing class do not belong in your Restorative class and you are best course of action is to point them toward the best possible class for them.

Summary

This change in culture from East to West requires that Yoga training courses do their best to harness ego. Teachers and students need to learn to cooperate with the larger agenda—the teaching and learning of yoga. With reasonable flexibility, conflicts between teachers and students can be adroitly handled without egoism.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Teaching Yoga Without Ego

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How to Become a Yoga Teacher – Self-Study

 

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