By Sanjeev Patel, CYT
We left off at the prone series in part two of this series about teaching a fitness yoga class. The postures we covered were cobra, king cobra, bow posture, half locust posture, and locust. At this point, students are advised watch me demonstrate a supine series containing partial recline pose, bridge, fish, happy baby, a variety of lying supine twists, and finally we rock side to side in knees to chest pose.
This is a physical wind down, but the mind easily follows these postures into relaxation mode. The purpose of such a relaxing sequence is to prepare for stage-by-stage relaxation in Shavasana. I guide students from the toes to the crown of the head.
At each point of the relaxation sequence, we inhale and focus on a particular part of the body. During exhalation, we mentally and physically release tension at the body part we are focusing on. There is also an emotional release during exhalation in a stage-by-stage relaxation sequence.
After students have finally released tension at the crown chakra (sahasrara), students are advised to slowly roll over to the right side and slowly sit up straight for pranayama. At this point in our class, we may practice six to ten rounds each of Brahmari, Anulom Vilom (both sides), and Udgeeth pranayama, as preparation for the meditation session.
The easiest form of meditation seems to be breath awareness. Students often admit that meditation and all forms of mental focusing are the greatest challenge they encounter during Yoga practice. Knowing this, all Yoga teachers should show students the easiest path to meditation.
It is best to start new Yoga students with shorter meditation sessions. For this reason, beginners should start with ten to fifteen minutes of meditation and gradually expand the duration of meditation practice time. Advanced Yoga students may practice meditation for thirty minutes or more.
After meditation, we may cover a reading from any philosophy or religion. The point is to focus on carrying Yoga practice beyond the mat and into life. This is one of many examples of how my Guru taught me to teach Hatha Yoga classes.
Even though the first two earlier sessions were filled with physical exercise, we cannot forget that we are Hatha Yoga teachers. The entire class is the full Yogic experience for the students.
© 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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