restorative yoga teacher certification intensiveBy Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

This is the last article in this three part series about teaching Yoga warm ups before asana practice and the value of the warm ups for our students. The older a student is, the longer the warm up session should be. When we think about the physical practice of Yoga – safety the most important factor.

Every student should feel better after class than he or she did before Yoga class. If this is not the result, we Yoga teachers should adjust our lesson plans to meet the exact needs of our students.

In the words of Paulji: “Yoga class is structured to meet each student’s needs. There is no cookie cutter Yoga. If you cannot meet your student’s needs, it is time to go back to the drawing board.” The “drawing board” is a term Paulji uses to refer to an instructor’s need to learn more about teaching skills, modifications, lesson planning, or in some cases, to refer your students to a particular Yoga teacher who can help them – right now.

For everyone of us, who teaches Yoga, we must work on improvement every day. This is not something for next week, next month, or next year. There is no time to waste, when we consider student safety. Please remember that we all have to start some where.

Starting and continuing our Yoga education is a daily chore. This is true for all professionals, but there is no time like the present to work on continuing education. Below are more suggestions for the warm up segment of your lesson plans that take place before asana practice.

Sitting Alternate Toes Touch: Sitting on floor with back erect and legs straight and spread as far apart as comfortable, exhaling lean forward and touch the left foot, or toes, with the right hand. Few seconds of pause then sit up, inhaling. Exhaling, repeat on the opposite foot with the opposite hand.

Leg Raising and Sit up: Inhaling, raise the legs together, with your knees straight, and simultaneously sit up, forming a V with trunks and legs. Balance on the buttocks for a few seconds, then exhaling lower legs and back slowly to the floor.  Modification for lower backs: Place hands under sit bones and lower back as extra support and shorten the range of motion.

Side to Side Rolling: Lying flat on the back with knees up and back, hands clasped around the knees and thighs pressed against abdomen and chest, roll over to the floor on the right; on to the back again; then over to the left. Exhale as rolling to the side, inhale as rolling on to the back.

Spinal Rock: Lying flat on the back with knees up and back, hands clasped behind the knees and thighs pressed against abdomen and chest, rock gently backwards and forwards on the rounded back. Breathe out rocking backwards and in rocking forwards.

© Copyright 2010 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Publications

Sanjeev Patel is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

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