Written By Paul Jerard

Training to become a yoga instructor consists of many different aspects, such as learning about proper diet, asanas, relaxation and meditation, enlightenment, pranayama and others. Each is equally important in order to become a well-qualified yoga instructor. A good training program will not omit these aspects from their curriculum.

Asanas Aspect

Asanas are basic positions used in yoga. They are relatively easy to perform. They are used by beginner yoga students, but must be taught properly in order to avoid injury. Asanas can be seated positions, standing positions, balance positions, among others. Asanas are used to open energy channels through the body in order to purify the body and strengthen it. Performing asanas should be comfortable, firm, and relaxed. You receive a good stretching through asanas positions, but avoid straining your muscles.

Relaxation and Meditation Aspect

Yoga is equally used to strengthen your body as well as help you find inner peace and spirituality. For this reason, learning to teach proper relaxation and meditation techniques is essential in training to be a yoga instructor. The goal of meditation is to bring your mind to a central focus and keep it there in order to block out any irrelevant thoughts. If the mind starts to wander, you must bring it back to that center focus.

Pranayama Aspect

Pranayama, simply put, is the act of being able to control your breathing. Pranayama was developed by yogis long ago. Their breathing techniques have been carried through the ages and are still used today. Pranayama is used to clear and cleanse one’s mind in preparation for meditation. It is also used to prepare for asanas in order to gain the most benefit from the postures.

Enlightenment Aspect

Enlightenment is coming to the realization of yourself or being conscious of your being. It is becoming aware of your existence. This is done through awakening the psychic force within you that is called kundalini. It is believed that by eating properly, keeping your body clean and staying fit, you bring yourself into better unity with your higher being.

Chakras Aspect

Chakras are energy centers within your body, as they pertain to yoga. The spine and human energy fields contain charkas, and when taught how to release them properly, bring peace even when facing the challenges of life. This in turn helps individuals’ live purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Bandhas Aspect

Bandhas are muscle locks. These locks are used to direct the flow of prana in the body to release spiritual energy. They work by forcing prana to flow up the spine, rather than release it in the lower body. A person training to be a yoga instructor must learn how to teach bandha techniques properly to students, otherwise improper technique may cause injury.

Mudras Aspect

Mudras are positions, usually of the hands, that lock and guide energy flow to the brain. They also send reflexes to the brain. The key to proper mudra technique is to apply enough pressure to feel energy through the psychic channels, but not cause the fingernails to turn white. There are 10 basic mudras that a yoga instructor in training must become very knowledgeable about in order to teach the techniques to students.

Yamas and Niyamas Aspect

Yamas and Niyamas are a set of ten guidelines that help you live a happy and healthy life. They are not designed to be your conscious, but let you discover your own conscious and awareness.

Yamas are guidelines on how we should react to the outer world and those around us. They consist of:

* Ahimsa
* Satya
* Asteya
* Brahmacharya
* Aparigraha

Niyamas are how we react to our inner world. They consist of:

* Shaucha
* Santosha
* Tapas
* Swadhyaya
* Ishwara-Pranidhana

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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