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Teaching yoga versus what you can actually DO 2017-04-26T15:29:50+00:00

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Teaching yoga versus what you can actually DO
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Forum Posts: 1
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February 10, 2015
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February 10, 2015 - 4:28 pm
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I have been doing yoga for over a year now. I am over 45 and I have had numerous physical ailments myself, and yoga has helped me tremendously. I now want to learn how to teach it and am considering yoga teacher certification. My problem is most of my spine is fused (thus the physical ailments I speak of) and I cannot physically do any of the poses that require your back to bend backwards.(i.e. camel pose, pigeon pose, upward bow). I can do some twists but not as flexible as most people when it comes to those either. My quesion is this: Do I have any business teaching something I can't actually do? Yoga has really helped me after spending the last 2-3 years having constant sciatica and numerous other pains having to do with the spine/hips and I want to learn so much more and pass that knowledge on to others (mostly the older folks over 40) who may benefit from it. I'm just not sure how seriously I would be taken since I can't do many of the back bending poses. Any insight?

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February 13, 2015 - 4:52 pm
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Dear Reniberman,

Your question is clearly sincere and honest. You have every right to teach and here's why: Teachers are guides who take students on a journey to learn without getting hurt. Paul gave a lecture on this very subject a few years back. He mentioned a teacher who assisted her entire class from a wheelchair. She had her best student model at the front of the class, when a pose was impossible for her to do. And she could modify anything. Paul also said, "A good Yoga teacher is like a good white water rafting guide. The best of them don't get their clients hurt." One more thought to consider: Are the best coaches of any sport the best players on the field. The science of teaching is not about performing. You have my vote!

Aum Shanti,

Sandy

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February 13, 2015 - 9:44 pm
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Here's an extreme idea. Most of the teachers who get their students hurt are performers who demonstrate to impress. They are far too busy with focusing on their own practice to watch their students or care about a student getting hurt in their classes. Yet, a teacher who has been humbled by an injury or an ailment will always watch his or her students with compassion.

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February 16, 2015 - 2:15 am
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hands up dreamy! 🙂

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February 27, 2015 - 4:58 pm
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Hi Reniberman,

Namaskar!

Teaching is a journey of continuing education. Life is the same. What you are today is different from what you were yesterday. As you learn to teach, you will improve. The teachers above have mentioned the duty of a teacher. A teacher is not a model for a yoga magazine. He or she is a guide for the students with a mission of keeping students out of harm's way. If teaching was only a matter of modeling, we could put a flexible 10-year old at the head of our class and hurt ourselves while trying to duplicate his or her modeling skills. The child teacher could then explain to us how to do gymnastic tricks as we injure ourselves one-by-one until the only one left in the room is the child.

My point is, you might already have the skills to teach within you, but you can work on modeling as you go. A person with a disability could teach yoga. If you have the will, you can open many doors.

Aum Shanti,
Faye

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March 20, 2015 - 9:08 pm
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Nice posts here! Some of the best coaches in the world train top athletes, but they are usually older, wiser, and understand the deeper aspects of what they teach. In most cases, the greatest of coaches are not able to physically compete with the athletes they train.

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March 28, 2015 - 2:30 am
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I was thinking that probably you can teach using your experience to inspire others, specially those that endure the same condition you formerly had.

You can also specialize in teaching chair yoga, and cater for nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support. It is in the process of being recognized formally as a type of yoga distinct from other types, such as Iyengar Yoga or Ashtanga yoga. Often the poses, or Asanas, are often adaptations of Hatha yoga poses.

Frequently the chair yoga student is unable to participate in a traditional yoga class due to the effects of aging or disabilities. However, Chair yoga is a great practise for everyone, as it deepens flexibility and strengthens personal body awareness. Chair yoga classes are sometimes made available at senior fitness centers, retirement facilities, and adult daycare centers.

Chair yoga is usually taught as a way to achieve physical and mental fitness, not as a way of life, as are most other yoga classes in the Western world.

Most people in chair yoga classes have health issues, and many are there because a health care professional that knows about their problems recommended it. A good chair yoga teacher will ask about, and be aware of any limitations the student might have. Chair yoga has helped people with the symptoms of many health issues including: hypertension (high blood pressure), anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, vertigo (medical), multiple sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, carpal tunnel syndrome, clinical depression, and chronic pain.

Chair Yoga is one of the gentlest forms of yoga available. Complicated maneuvers and complex movements are not present in a chair yoga class. Within this type of yoga class, you can cover standing, seated, and prone postures. Most of these classes use the chair only, due to the difficulty of getting down or up off the floor.

Chair Yoga classes are often seen in senior centers, people with assisted living lifestyles, nursing homes, adult day care centers, and physical rehabilitation units. Clients can learn many kinds of yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and ways of relaxation, with the aid of a chair.

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September 12, 2015 - 3:18 am
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Some very positive ideas here. Glad to see everyone is so supportive.

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September 18, 2015 - 4:09 am
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Thank you Dreamy!!! 

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