Prasarita PadottanasanaBy Ishrattasleem Tasleem

Nowadays, people are living a busy and hectic lifestyle; fatigue is a common complaint of modern life. The sense of a fragmented and displaced lifestyle is found among people of all age groups and genders. To get rid of all the worries, stale energy, and effects of stress, yoga has proven to be an ideal holistic health system, gentle exercise for relaxation, refuge from the stress of daily life, and an ideal past time all around the world in recent years, especially with rapid growth in the Western world.

About Yoga

Yogic methods have been practiced for thousands of years on the Asian continent. Basically the word “yoga” is derived from a Sanskrit word, “Yuj” (which means to yoke or to bind). The essence of practicing these exercises means to unify the physical body with the mind and with the vital energy flowing in the mind. Yoga brings about a sense of harmony and balance, while it is also a practice of living a healthy life. It is the best method to calm our mind, accept challenges of life, and work on all aspects of health to encourage a strong body, sharp mind, and the ability to reduce effects of stress. It helps to re-connect the fragments of life and brings stillness to one’s personal existence. By practicing yogic techniques, the problems of life dissolve and life itself begins to flow more easily.

What Does Yoga Involve?

Yogic methodology is a non-competitive physical activity that should not cause any pain, strain, and puffing. It is an art and science of remembering to respect our body, by working at an individual’s pace. Asana practice is a form of exercise, which is designed around a series of postures. The complete practice involves a number of physical and mental exercises, which work together, to bring about health and tranquility in an individual’s life. Yoga offers a set of 8 principles for a healthy and comfortable life. These techniques include:

1. Yama: Moral codes of universal nature.

2. Niyama: Personal conduct.

3. Asanas: The practice of postures.

4. Pranayama: Breath control.

5. Pratyahara: Control of senses.

6. Dharana: Power of concentration.

7. Dhyana: The stillness of meditation.

8. Samadhi: Contemplation and reflection.

How to Correct Your Students

While performing these exercises, the following points should be kept in mind for improving movements and postures. First of all, it is advisable to make sure that the room is cleaned, light and airy, with leveled flooring and a peaceful atmosphere. Yoga students should be instructed to get themselves at ease by removing accessories, tying long hair back and wearing light, comfortable clothes. Moreover, it is most important for students to possess a yoga mat. The instructor should always act as a role model by presenting optimistic attitude during demonstrations.

A teacher should guide students with techniques kind heartedly, using positive phrases instead of harsh language. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t stop breathing,” you should rather say: “Breathe naturally.” As a trainer, your mission is to put your best self forth, while teaching them. Another important point to be noted is that if any student is following a wrong sequence of movements – do not stop them during the routine. The instructor must wait until the posture is completed, and then explain the correct movements, unless there is any danger of injury.

Being a mentor requires you to give close and deep attention to each individual, by observing your students keenly. Always teach students to work according to their own pace, and let them know that they should not compare themselves to any other student. You must also instruct students to avoid hurrying or to feel pressured. Make your students aware about what is right for their bodies at the present time. While practicing the postures, let your students know about the benefits, so that they perform with full concentration, ease, and appreciation. The most important thing in physical forms of yoga is the correct use of breath, as it helps to enhance the value of postures.

Safety Precautions

• Inhaling and exhaling properly is necessary for every asana. Make sure the students take a rest between strenuous postures. Always keep a check on body alignment. This means that you will have to get off your mat and walk around the room to clearly observe your students.

• It is wise to perform few warm-up exercises at the beginning of each session, to loosen and lubricate joints.

• Students should fill out an application, which makes you aware of pre-existing ailments. People suffering from any health-related issues, such as: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, ulcer, cardiac problems and AIDS should follow customized postures or techniques, which are carefully planned according to the advice of a medical practitioner and instructor.

• Pregnant students should be attending a prenatal yoga class, which deals with specific lesson plans for each trimester.

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