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What Should a 500-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher Know?
The highest quality class suffers when it is subjected to a short time frame, and 500-hour classes offer a wider range of learning opportunities than 200 or 300-hour classes do. The former offers a deeper knowledge base, and as a result, there are more requirements of teachers that have completed this certification training. These teachers are expected to know more than teachers who have completed only a 200 or 300-hour course. Many yoga instructor schools require completion of a 200-hour course prior to enrollment in a 500-hour course, as the basics from this course are necessary.
Knowing the anatomy and physiology of the human body at a basic level is an absolute necessity for all levels of certification. It is important for yoga teachers to be aware of how the body is structured in order to be aware of proper positioning in students and in their lessons. Knowledge of the physiology is important, as it allows for the instructor to properly assign therapeutic yoga positions for certain injuries or illnesses. This will also allow a yoga teacher to recognize signs of poor posture or pain in students who may not recognize it themselves, or otherwise may be unwilling to ask for help.
Complex knowledge of the asanas, or postures, meditation, and deep breathing exercises is also required of teachers certified at this levels. Understanding how to best develop a personal sequence and a sequence for others to benefit from is also key, and the best teachers are those who regularly practice yoga for their own personal benefit, as well as teaching it for the benefit of others. A teacher who has completed a 500-hour course should know more poses than the simple poses taught in basic yoga lessons. Therapeutic poses, stimulating poses, and relaxing poses should all be covered.
The ethics and philosophy behind yoga are also important for 500-hour certified yoga teachers to know. Teaching yoga without an understanding of how it helps the mind and body is nearly impossible, and the ethical questions related to teaching yoga can be vital in making decisions regarding a career. There is debate among yoga enthusiasts and teachers alike regarding whether or not instructors should accept payment, and as much of the main focus of yoga is on healing, there are ethical notions surrounding the levels of help and the methods of help offered in certain circumstances. Politics can occasionally become involved in teaching yoga.
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