By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
At the beginning of each class, Yoga teachers often prompt students to set an intention for their practice. This is usually part of the opening, or greeting, at the beginning of a Yoga training session. Bringing a student’s mental focus into the present moment can be accomplished in many ways.
Centering, meditation, rooting, pranayama, and warm-ups are some of the various methods for establishing presence in the moment; but setting an intention allows a student to choose an objective. This same principle holds true when we design a lesson plan. What is the objective? It depends on the general health condition and needs of the group.
If three out of fifteen students have scoliosis, we should take spinal health into consideration, when designing a sequence of Yoga techniques. Some of the most common ailments can often be traced back to chronic stress. Knowing this, stress reduction must be addressed for every age group, including children.
If we are planning a private lesson, the sequence we design is based upon the specific needs of an individual student. Creating, and following our Yoga class lesson plans, are not a matter of guidance through the unknown. Each and every session is created with intention and purpose.
The concept that one sequence is the cure all for everything that ails humanity is interesting, but not practical. When we design a sequence, for teaching Hatha Yoga sessions, the age and health of our students are factors to be considered. Some people may say, “Age does not matter.” That statement is difficult to make, when the average student in a chair Yoga class is over 70 years of age.
At the same time, health is not just a physical matter. The condition of the mind, and one’s emotional state, are among the many factors involved when accessing a health condition. If a student is dealing with grief, loss, or going through a divorce, these factors affect general health. We may, or may not, spot them on the surface of physical health, yet they are apparent to the particular student.
Where do we start, when considering how our lesson plans should be created and the evolution of a student’s practice? If we have a Guru, we may spend time with him or her. We may also consider an online Yoga teacher training course or an onsite intensive. The well of Yogic knowledge is deep, and we can easily share from it.
© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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