yoga certification course subjectsBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Gentle forms of Hatha Yoga can help anyone who suffers from arthritis. Depending on the type, stage, and where arthritis is located in the body, a Yoga session will have to be modified to match the needs of the student. This can make the search for the right Yoga class, and a compassionate teacher difficult, at best.

In some advanced stages, the amount of movement must be reduced, while you hold postures; and areas of the body, where there is chronic pain, may have to be worked gently. At the same time, someone who has the beginning stages of arthritis, may feel relief from classes with flowing movements.

Some flowing styles are quite gentle, while many of them are physically demanding. One way to sort them out is to research the particular styles you are interested in. If you are in search of a style for healing purposes, there is no need to push the body with powerful, flowing movements.

Some of the more dynamic movements may have to be avoided for the sake of preventative health. One good example of taking precautions with movement is – if you have discovered arthritis in your lower back. In this case, movements, such as the “jump back” from forward bend, to plank, may cause excess shock in the lumbar spine.

Yoga sessions, where students hold postures for 20 seconds, to two minutes, usually do not teach jumping movements, which have impact on the joints. Nevertheless, it would be wise to consult with your family doctor or a physical therapist prior to taking a Yoga class. Make sure you inquire about how much warm-up time is recommended.

In this way, you will be advised about which movements will be beneficial and which movements should be avoided. If possible, get a referral to visit a competent Yoga teacher from your family doctor or physical therapist.

If you are a Yoga teacher, and you teach a therapeutic style, you should make an effort to network with local health professionals and make them aware of the services you provide. The difference between a Yoga school that is vibrant with activity, and one that is empty, is educating the community through public outreach.

One method for “testing the potential for student demand,” is to have an open house and invite local health professionals as guests or as guest speakers. Do not forget to reach out to chiropractors and massage therapists. Even if attendance is light, an open house may create a professional network.  Your efforts will enhance community awareness about the programs you have to offer.

© Copyright 2009 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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