By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Students come to Yoga classes for a variety of reasons, but one of the reasons is because the steady practice makes them happy. Those that think Hatha Yoga is a physically demanding form of torture will not continue the practice.

For teachers, the objective is to show students the multiple benefits of Yoga over the course of a month. Why a month? These days, most people are only willing to give 30 days to try something new, and Yoga is no different. Let’s look at ways to make new students aware of the benefits of a continued Yoga practice.

What is the primary form of instant gratification? If you are thinking of chocolate, that’s close. The primary form of instant gratification is happiness. In fact, you do not have to pay to smile or laugh. Some people pay for entertainment, but this is not a requirement for laughing or smiling.

Yoga teachers want their students to appreciate life “in the now,” but an easy place to start is by teaching them to develop full awareness of their surroundings. For example: The smell of flowers, the feeling of sunshine, and the sound of a bird’s song, are small features on this journey we call “life,” and they can each bring about states of happiness.

Your classroom does not have to become a comedy club or circus, but you can create a joyful atmosphere. Just by getting students to appreciate the simple pleasures in life, they will begin to open their minds to new paths of happiness.

Look at how much you appreciate the benefits of Pranayama – it required your awareness to appreciate it, and developed happiness, before you continued the practice on your own.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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