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April 27, 2015
It's interesting how I thought I should have been handed a yoga teacher diploma after 14 1/2 years of study. My teachers basically taught stretch classes and never assisted. I ordered the Aura course and thought it would be a breeze. When I received all the stuff it blew my mind. The instructions were easy to follow, but I wanted to wing my practical quick.
Here was my critique:
The neck rolls, with the head tilted back, can grind the cervical vertebrae against each other, causing premature wear. This is not suggested for students of any age, especially middle age and up. Linear movement and the front part of the circle is fine.
Relationship of Breath to Movement - When the body is open, there is an inhale; when the body closes (or folds), there is an exhale. For example - on "Cat/Cow Pose," you instructed the student to inhale when they were in Cat Pose and exhale when they were in Cow Pose - which is the opposite of how the pose should be performed.
The primary physical objective of Downward Dog is to have a sharp peak at the sit bones - and not to focus on placing the feet flat on the floor. The reason for this is skeletal compression, where bone rubs against bone. Some people have skeletons that are constructed so that they will never be able to achieve getting the feet flat on the floor.
There are a few ways to accomplish any problems experienced when performing Downward Facing Dog:
1. Have your students walk the hands back or the feet forward.
2. Physically assist by drawing the hips back or applying gentle pressure to the sacrum.
3. Allow your students to bend their knees.
You did not cover a blood pressure or prenatal warning at the beginning of your class. Your student went into a Plow Pose, after a very brief warm-up, which would be dangerous if your student had high blood pressure. You should thoroughly go over a warning, at the beginning of your practical exam class, and when new students come to your class.
Generally speaking - your performance of asanas is excellent, however, when you teach classes, and a student needs help, you should demonstrate the pose, cue your student, observe and physically assist, if needed.
Your cueing skills are good, but you need to get off the mat when your student is not able to do the pose correctly.
This does not mean that if a student is having difficulty, or is not able to do the poses perfectly, that you will lose any points on your Practical Exam - however, if your student is having problems, and you do not assist or help that person, then this is where the problems are evident.
Also, when you perform a pose to demonstrate to a student, you still need to turn and watch your student. It is very important to observe to ensure that your student is doing the pose correctly and not harming himself/herself.
Here are some examples:
During the Plow, your student could have put his feet on a chair, against a wall, or use some blocks under his feet. This would have allowed his legs to go into perfect alignment, without putting stress on the spine.
During Cobra Pose, you needed to go around, behind your student, draw his elbows toward his torso, and if possible, draw his shoulders up from behind, without force.
During Marichi Twist, after you demonstrated, you needed to get up - stand next to your student - and assist, so that the spine is spiraled and straight - from the floor to the sky.
The Shoulder Stand could have been modified. You can start from Legs up the Wall Pose - then bring the feet down halfway toward his knees, and pressing his feet into the wall. This is a modified Shoulder Stand which keeps his back straight while his knees are bent 90 degrees, and his feet are touching the wall.
I failed! And I felt crushed, but you know what - I was determined that Paul was correct and I was going to pass this test if it took me the rest of my life.
I never had anyone give me such a kind let down and I had learned so much.
So, I took the practical agin. There was no re-test fee. As every other school does and I passed! But what an experience it was and I feel that I deserved the grades I got because of effort.
This course is the real deal.
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