By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Like everyone else, Yoga teachers get to hear plenty of questions, but some questions come up often enough to develop a standard response. Some teachers do not want to answer them at all. In this case, read on, and you can develop your own canned response.

1. If you teach Yoga on a daily basis, do you want to be involved in the, “quick weight loss,” advertising fad? Sometimes, you might be best to point potential students to a professional first. This will save valuable time for you and a prospective client.

Q: I want to lose weight with Yoga. I am ready to make a life change. When can we get together and discuss my goal of losing 40 pounds instantly?

A: Yoga does help people change their lifestyles, but it is not a “get thin quick” scam. Rapid weight loss is often gained back just as quickly, when a client goes back to his or her regular lifestyle again.

Although Yoga students often see results with body weight, it does not happen quickly. Losing a pound, per week, is realistic and the weight will likely stay off, but this is more than showing up to Yoga class once or twice per week.

2. This leads to the second question Yoga instructors often answer. The concept of changing one’s lifestyle manages to evade common sense. Remember that there are 168 hours in a week.

Q: What do you mean – I have to come to Yoga more than once a week? I thought I could come to Yoga class once a week and go about life as usual.

A: Let’s say, you practice Yoga for two hours per week, but the rest of the week you refuse to exercise, have irregular sleep cycles, eat too much, and eat poorly. How could you think that any health maintenance system could stand up to 166 hours per week of negligence?

Once upon a time, I had a client who managed to walk 600 pedometer steps per day. We know that many walkers try to get a minimum of 10,000 steps per day for health maintenance. This client was easily able to walk more than 600 steps per day, but it was not part of her lifestyle.

She eventually began to lose weight slowly because of a lifestyle change on all fronts. She began to make wise dietary choices, she increased her pedometer steps, she came to Yoga classes more often, and everything fell into place gradually.

If a student manages to change his or her life by practicing Yoga only once a week, I have to wonder what changes are being made for the other 167 hours. It’s just a matter of math, but lifestyle changes add up over the long term.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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