yoga teacher safety educationBy Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

Teaching Yoga is an art form that constantly evolves. As the years go by, after our first Yoga teacher training course, we begin to form our own method of teaching. Some Yoga teachers have beautiful openings to their classes, while others may forget the importance of opening, centering, intention, warm ups and pranayama.

Very often students from high stress environments need guidance in focusing. One may say: Surya Namaskars are enough, but Surya Namaskars aren’t good in the evening. Surya Namaskars produce energy in your body and mind that can keep you awake for many hours. The following Hatha Yoga training warm ups are designed for students to bring their minds into practice within the walls of the Yoga school.

Arm Rotation: Standing erect with the feet one foot apart, arms fully extended in line with the shoulders and palms up, slowly turn the arms forward and back keeping the body as upright as possible. Reverse the rotation. The breath is free.

Standing Shoulder-blade Squeeze: Standing erect with feet together, hands on hips and elbows out wide, breathe in and draw the elbows slowly back and towards each other, squeezing the shoulder-blades together. Then slowly return the elbows to the sides, breathing out.

Hip Circling: Standing upright with feet about six inches apart and hands on hips, keeping the back straight, circle hips and pelvis slowly in a clockwise direction, breathing freely. Then circle the hips in the opposite direction.

Half Squat: Standing upright with feet about shoulders width, toes turned slightly out and arms extended straight out, take a deep breath and squat down until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Immediately rise to standing upright, and exhale.

Head Roll: Keeping the back upright and the neck muscles as relaxed as possible, roll the head loosely in a clockwise direction and then anti-clockwise. Keep the rotation of the head slow and smooth. Breathe freely.

Dog Shake Posture: Standing upright with feet about six inches apart, arms hanging limply by the sides, and knees slightly bent, start shaking arms, legs and trunk from side to side rapidly like a dog shaking off water after a swim.

The importance of warming up has always been reinforced in my conversations with my Guru and mentor (Paul Jerard).  At the same time he always encourages teachers to find the Yoga teacher within.  The greatest gift for all Yoga teachers is safe innovation.

© Copyright 2010 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Publications

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