classes for yoga teachersBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Opportunities for Yoga teachers are plentiful. Here are two more unique directions teachers can go in.

Partner Yoga: Usually, Partner Yoga is reserved to workshops or special occasion classes. When I first practiced Yoga, as a child, we did a lot of partner work. In those days, I don’t think we were really concerned with space issues. Kids tend to gravitate toward each other like a “litter of kittens.”

Somehow, Partner Yoga has not grown among adults in the popularity it deserves. In a Partner style class, many students remark at how much they got out of each aspect, including meditation. A relaxation sequence can be performed with the crowns of the two heads being four to six inches apart. This actually creates a more intense form of relaxation.

Marie, my wife, and I used to teach these classes to singles groups. This puts a “new twist” on the term, “blind date.” Our Partner Yoga workshops did serve to get singles more comfortable with each other. So, Partner Yoga can be adapted and re-define the purpose of a Yoga class.

We know that Yoga training helps people in every aspect of health. However, Partner Yoga integrates Yoga with touch, bonding, and sometimes, a bit of humor. All of these, combined with Yoga practice, make for a very healthy activity. Despite all of this, Partner Yoga seems to be resigned to workshops. Partner sessions are also a good “at home practice” to be shared among loved ones.

Prenatal Yoga: To be blunt – If you are teaching pregnant students without their doctor’s approval, and you are not a certified Prenatal Yoga instructor, you are “playing with fire.” It is hard enough in a Yoga class to address the needs of all students. For pregnant Yoga students, I recommend a specific Prenatal Yoga class.

This may seem a bit harsh, but Yoga instructors need to protect themselves, legally, as well as the health of all their students. Once you research all the precautions and guidelines for Prenatal Yoga, you will fully understand my point.

Just to “scratch the surface of the iceberg,” here are a few ideas to consider. Prenatal Yoga is a specialist’s field. Just because you briefly covered it in a level 1 Yoga teacher training, does not mean you should enter this field without a specialist education and certification in Prenatal Yoga.
Each trimester is handled differently. The first trimester can be as dangerous as the third trimester, if a student is not receiving specialized Prenatal instruction. The last trimester is similar to Chair classes, but that does not qualify a Chair Yoga instructor to work with pregnant students.

Therefore, if you feel the “calling” to teach Prenatal Yoga, you should enroll in a Prenatal teacher’s course. Once you graduate as a certified Prenatal Yoga instructor, you will be glad you did. This is a rewarding field, but you need to be trained properly to become a Prenatal Yoga teacher.


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