Yoga Teacher Training Forum
Yoga Instructors: Would you like to network with fellow teachers worldwide? Here is a resource to find answers for every possible question regarding continuing education, improving your classes, student safety and much more.
In my classes at a large health club, I have included meditation and pranayama and I have found the students to be very receptive. Most of my classes are in the late afternoon and many students have commented that this aspect of the class really helps them "unwind" and focus after a long workday. However, the asana portion of my classes emphasizes power yoga and I have found that this allows me to get a lot of yoga in during the more limited timeframe for classes at a health club. Whereas, most of the yoga classes at yoga studios that I have taken as a student were about 2 hours, health clubs tend to prefer classes to be around 1 hour.
What about classes at a YMCA where there is a need for two types of yoga practice: restorative and power? Shall I schedule two different classes and call the classes by two different names?
Power yoga would be an hour of motion and postures and restorative would be relaxation and modifications for all ages and body types? Can you list exact course descriptions?
Dear Dr. DiEdwardo:
From what you have said, I would recommend two separate courses. One course in "power yoga" or "flow yoga" and a restorative yoga class. Restorative yoga classes often have titles such as "Gentle Yoga". Please note that additional props (I saw your other post) might be needed for a restorative class. In addition to blocks, mats and belts, postures in restorative classes can also benefit from the use of yoga blankets, bolsters and folding chairs. Not sure from your post what you were asking about for a course description. Are you referring to a title for the courses or a more complete description of each class?
I appreciate your clear answer. That is exactly what I thought. I like the titles "gentle yoga" and the alternative more advanced "power yoga." I think the postures in gentle would not be based on a series or flow but on the nature of restoration...holding key movements in prone and supine positions and sitting with breath. Right?
Dear Dr. DiEdwardo - Restorative or gentle yoga classes do tend to emphasize the holding of poses with a focus on stretching and opening, and breathwork. However, I have seen classes in "gentle flow yoga" involving a vinyasa flow working through a sequence very slowly. For this, the poses tended to be ones appropriate for beginners. In my teaching I have tended to teach gentle yoga classes with the former approach; holding poses and emphasizing stretching and opening. One thing that I have done with a gentle yoga class is to have a theme for the Asana practice. For example, opening the hips or release in the lower back or lengthening in the spine. I then have a sequence of Asanas to approach the theme (with appropriate sequencing of counter poses). I've also tended to have an emphasis at the end of the practice with several restorative poses such as Vaparita karani (legs up the wall) and Supta Baddha Konasana (supine belted cobbler's pose) prior to final relaxation (Savasana). Students have liked this approach. Another thing that can be very useful for a gentle yoga class is to teach Yoga with an exercise ball. There is a very good book called "Yoga on the Ball" by Carol Mitchell (Healing Arts Press, 2003) that describes modifications of postures for use with the exercise ball. Students have also found this to be very enjoyable and these exercise balls would likely be available at the YMCA that you are interested in teaching at.
Dear Dr. DiEdwardo - I think it is possible to teach such a mixed level class and we often encounter this situation when teaching at a health club. However, you should be prepared to have several modifications of each posture so that the beginners and seniors can actively participate in the asana practice with your more advanced students. It really helps to first set up your asana sequence and then take each posture and come up with the necessary modifications for beginners. One can also come up with modifications that make the postures more challenging for your advanced students. A good reference book for postures and modifications is Judith Lasater's book "30 Yoga Poses for Beginning Students and Their Teachers". Another good one is Stephanie Keach's book "The Yoga Handbook. An Inspirational Reference for Teaching and Home Practice".
April 27, 2015
Hope I'm not intruding on this thread, but it was as close as I could find to my question.
Does anyone have ideas for Yoga postures in an office? I have opportunities to teach in local businesses, but space is an issue and I would like some ideas for using the chairs and desks for props. I would love to hear your ideas.
Vanessa - One option would be to conduct a chair yoga class. The are a number of DVD's and books on chair yoga postures and sequences. We offer a chair Yoga class at the health club where I work and it has become very popular. If you go to Amazon.com and type in "Chair Yoga" as the subject term, you will retrieve a number of useful resources.
April 27, 2015
Great advice Don.
Just to let the Cat out of the bag, a little early - Paul has been working with developing web clips for future newsletters. One of the topics he is going to cover this year is Chair Yoga / office Yoga. Expect to see this covered quite a bit since he works with seniors and trains local teachers for corporate Yoga assignments.
You could get a stack of DVD's that would not cover all the material that Paul presents at a single workshop. I kid you not.
April 27, 2015
It's very interesting to see how much more information Aura continues to put out about chair yoga. You can see the need for it as more people become seniors every day. People are living long enough to realize the mistakes they've made in the health maintenance.
Getting back to the original posts in this thread. With styles that differ so much in contrast like - restorative and power yoga, you're not going to make both groups happy. In other words: Anyone who can't sit still is going to love power yoga. Anyone who doesn't want to be in constant motion is going to want to take restorative sessions.
There are stereotypes that almost fit most of these typical classifications of student groups, but there are exceptions too. The type of class chosen might reflect age, physical ability, medical conditions or anything else. Regardless of our beliefs, these two forms of hatha yoga meet the needs of two uniquely different groups of people.
If you mix the two styles you may find another unique group of people that didn't exist before, but if I'm recovering from post-op or a serious illness it's unlikely that you would see me in a power yoga class. That said - If I'm full of energy and have been sitting at a desk all day, why would I want to sit still for a restorative session?
Just sharing some thoughts about the unique needs of people in yoga classes can help us get ideas going that will make our classes interesting enough to stay with through the summer or a holiday season.
April 27, 2015
Yoga - A Part Of The American Health Quest For Decades
By Lindaa Adams
As you continue on your journey of discovery in yoga, you've no doubt probably come across a few terms that are unfamiliar to you, either from your yoga instructor, classmates or in books and magazines you might have read on the subject. Some terms might refer to yoga moves or poses, or they may refer to concepts particular to yoga.
Don't panic if they are unfamiliar to you. Like many special practices, yoga comes with its unique terms that become familiar to yoga enthusiasts during their journey. Many of the terms (if not all) are Hindu in origin and might be difficult to grasp (or even pronounce) at first. But as you continue your yoga journey, these words and others will become clear and relevant to your life.
Below are a few terms that you may run across in the study of yoga. This list is, of course, in no ways a complete one, but it might provide a useful overview of the concepts of yoga.
Abhyasa means "practice" and refers to the constant spiritual yoga practice.
Acarlya refers to a instructor or guide, primarily one in religious areas, but it is also used in yoga.
Ananda is the state of bliss and ultimate joy. It gets its name from one of the most devout followers of Buddha.
Asana is the name of the actual poses in yoga, which are designed to promote a sense of well being and harmony of the mind and body. There are numerous asanas that promote different types of flexibility or mental relaxation.
Ayurveda is an Indian medical system that has a long tradition in the country. Despite the millions of practitioners worldwide, it is looked at as an alternative medicine by many doctors in the West.
Bhakti Yoga, or the "yoga of devotion", is a major branch of yoga that focuses on forming a devotion to a personal form of God. Within Bhakti, there are three schools: Shaivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism.
Bodhi means "awakening" or "enlightenment" and is the state of the awakened Buddha.
Buddha is the title given to a person who has attained enlightenment and ultimate inner peace. Is it the honorary title of the founder of Buddhism, Gautama.
Chakra means "wheel" and refers to the psycho-energy centers on the body. Buddhism yoga maintains there are five chakras on the human body, while Hindu yoga practitioners believe there may be seven or more.
Diksha is an initiation process given to those who gain insight into the hidden aspects of yoga. It may include the presentation of a mantra given by a guru of Buddhism, Hinduism or Jaimism
Goraksha was the founder of hatha yoga and was its first teacher. These days the name also applies to a person who has reached an upper level of yoga practice and has mastered some of the more difficult hatha yoga poses and practices.
Guru is an advisory and spiritual teacher.
Guru-Yoga is a theory in yoga that placed the guru at the center of a yoga practitioner's learning process.
Hatha Yoga is one of the major branches of yoga that is highlighted by its combination of poses, body cleansing practices and breathing exercises.
Ishvara-pranidhana teaches practitioners to focus on restraint, self-control and dedication to their spiritual side.
Jnana-Yoga is a branch of yoga that focuses on obtaining knowledge and wisdom. The practice focuses on four distinct paths: development of a discriminating mind, the skill to remain dispassionate when needed, virtue and freedom from earthly bonds.
Kaivalya is the ultimate goal of yoga, to be free of the material constraints of the world and "isolated". People in a kaivalya state are aware of everything around them but have the ability to stand apart from it.
Karma refers to an action of any kind and its subsequent effect on one's life. Karma concerns the entire cycle of life, the causes and effects.
Krishna is the human form of the god Vishnu, whose teachings form the basis of the practice of Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavate-Purana.
Kumbhaka is a breathing exercise in which the lungs are filled with air. The practice is generally done while meditating or chanting.
Kundalini-shakti is the lowest psycho-energy center in the body and is key to full enlightenment. To activate the kundalini-shakti, the practitioner must awaken it and direct it upwards to the crown of the head.
Laya Yoga is a Tantric yoga process in which the energy of several psycho-energy centers of the body is gradually dissolved.
Mandala is a circular design that is created as a representation of the cosmos and is often used in meditation techniques.
Mantra means a sound or phrase that is sacred and has the power to induce a meditative state when chanted. Mantras are sounds or phrases, such as "om" or "hum" that are chanted. They are usually given to a student before undergoing a disksha.
Mantra-Yoga is yoga where a mantra is the primary means of meditation and path to enlightenment.
Marman is the area on the body where much of the physical energy is either concentrated or compressed and blocked.
Nada is an inner body sound that practitioners of nada yoga or kundalini yoga say can be heard during the practice. It is key to concentration and meditation.
Nyasa is the ability to fill certain areas of the body with the "life force" simply by touching or thinking about the areas.
Om is a phrase often referred to as the original mantra and is considered the "ultimate reality".
Prana is the "life force" or "life breath" that yoga practitioners believe exists in all life on earth.
Prasada refers to a state of mental clarity and pure grace that is reached through meditation.
Recaka is a term uses in connection with meditative breathing and refers to the exhalation of breath and the control of the breath.
Samadhi is the unity of body and mind that is achieved through meditation. In this, the highest level of meditation, the waking, sleeping and dreaming mind are all working in harmony.
Samatva refers to balance and harmony in the mind.
Sat refers to the "ultimate reality".
Siddhi is somewhat related to Sat in that it refers to spiritual perfection and reaching a state of ultimate reality.
Sushumna-nadi is the central area of life force in the body. It begins at the base of the spine and extends to the crows of the head.
Turiya is a state of consciousness that goes beyond the most common states of walking, sleeping and dreaming. It is frequently described as the human spirit in harmony with the human experience and is the focus of a great deal of meditation.
Upaya refers to the practice of compassion in Buddhist yoga teachings.
Veerasana, additionally referred to as the "hero's pose", is regarded as an essential pose for concentration and discriminative thinking.
Yoga is the practice of bringing into harmony the state of the body and mind, individual and universal consciousness. It unites opposing states within the body to reach a higher state of awareness.
WoYoPracMo refers to World Yoga Practice Month, a period in which yoga practitioners, both veteran and new, vow to practice yoga every day for an entire month. Many yoga studios offer special rates and sessions during this month and yoga practitioners help each other with motivation and support.
Lindaa Adams really loves all things health and fitness related.
One of the most reliable health websites Lindaa has found is Yoga Teachers Kamloops, which is a distinctive blend of yoga and exercise.
For more information, you may also visit Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp
April 27, 2015
So Many Different Yoga Styles, But Which One Is Right For You?
By Clare Swindlehurst
You might be surprised to learn that there isn't one style of yoga practice so you'll need to learn some more about the different styles in order to decide which one is right for you. In this article we'll take a closer look at four practice styles: hatha yoga, vinyasa, ashtanga and power yoga to help you on the way to your decision.
1. Hatha yoga
Hatha yoga is often used interchangeably with the word yoga and classes are usually slow-paced involving stretching, some simple breathing exercises and some seated meditations. If you are a beginner then this is a good place to start so that you can spend time learning the basic techniques.
If you are looking for a calming and relaxing experience then hatha yoga is probably right for you. If you'd prefer something more energetic then you should consider vinyasa instead.
Vinyasa means breath-synchonised movement and in these classes the teacher will ask you to move from one pose to another in time with your breath. The poses all flow together in a fluid movement.
Vinyasa classes offer a lot of variety due to the vast number of poses, although most will include the Sun Salutations. The speed of the movements is very much dictated by the teacher, so if you find that a class is too fast for you look for a different teacher. In order to appreciate vinyasa you need to have a teacher that you are comfortable with as their style will shape the class, keep looking until you find someone you connect with.
Ashtanga is a series of poses which realign the spine, detoxify the body and build strength, stamina and flexibility. There are 75 poses in all and they can take anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours to complete. You start with sun salutations and then move to standing poses, seated poses, inversions and backbends before finishing with relaxation.
You can learn ashtanga at a teacher-led class, and then when you are happy with the order of the poses you can either practice on your own or in a mysore class where you practice at your own pace but have a teacher for guidance.
Ashtanga is a very athletic form of practice and is very popular. If you like a sense of order then this style will appeal to you.
4. Power yoga
Power yoga is often used to describe vigorous, fitness-style classes, which are based on ashtanga but don't follow the same series of poses each time. The classes focus on strength and flexibility and are popular in gyms and health clubs.
If you already quite fit and enjoy exercise rather than meditation then this style of yoga may appeal to you.
There are many different styles of yoga practice from the slow meditative style of hatha yoga through to the structured approach of ashtanga and the vigorous but often changing power yoga. Start out with a class suitable for beginners to that you can learn the poses and then move onto the style of yoga that suits you best in order to benefit from this wonderful form of exercise.
Whichever style of yoga you choose you will need a nice thick skidless yoga mat. Stop by https://www.meltbellyfattoday.com/yoga-m ... a-pilates/ to find the most popular thick yoga mat as voted for by the people.
April 27, 2015
Authentic Yoga: East Vs West
By Siddharth K
What makes for an authentic yoga practice? The word Yoga literally means union, referring to the union of the body, mind and soul. In Yoga, the body, mind and soul come together to achieve an elevated level of consciousness that brings in immense happiness, joy, satisfaction and wisdom into one's life. This was the concept with which the ancient teachings about authentic Yoga evolved in India over a period of thousands of years.
However, when the West adopted the concept of Yoga, it became more of a fad and fashion statement than a spiritual experience. An elite group of yoga teachers in America live in multi-million dollar homes catering to the uber-rich. Even the ordinary teachers have modified the teachings and the core philosophy of Yoga to suit the "consumer needs" of the growingly interested Americans. Thus, Yoga today is offered as a quick fix solution to everyday problems. This defeats the original purpose of authentic Yoga itself, which is meant to elevate an individual beyond these everyday trivialities. This modification of Yoga is thus ironical and it can never fulfill its original intended purpose when done in this way.
Traveling from India to America, I see a huge difference in the way Yoga is treated not just by the Gurus but also the people who want to learn it. In America, it is yet another way to make money while in India it is still largely a community help or service. Barring a few exceptions that cater to the billionaires and millionaires of India, almost every authentic Yoga school is free of cost to join or takes a nominal $1 to $2 for a month to cover expenses. The Yoga guru seldom teaches for money and usually has a day job which feeds him and his family. By separating monetary issues and the practice of Yoga, the Guru is thus able to practice and teach authentic Yoga in its true spirit, that doesn't pander to the consumer fetishism of the 21st century where Yoga is just another commodity to be purchased in the market.
In addition, the practitioners and teachers of Yoga should never forget the real philosophy behind Yoga. Yoga is much more than physical exercise to keep your heart healthy and remove stress from life. These are but the side effects of a truer and larger goal, which is, as the word encompasses, the union of body, mind and soul. The original goal is a worthy one and something that every individual should pursue. The true purpose of authentic Yoga is thus not physical but spiritual, of which physical benefits are mere additional benefits.
The American concepts of Yoga are thus fundamentally flawed and it is difficult to realize the true potential of this ancient Indian practice. True, it will still provide the fringe benefits to the population but never the original benefits that it was intended to provide. One needs to fundamentally rethink about Yoga to practice it in spirit. One very good starting point to understand the Eastern point of view is by looking through the spirit of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga Sutras, which is an eight step method to practice Yoga. Until one looks at Yoga from the way it originated and the way it was initially intended, he/she is being deprived of the wisdom of the wise Gurus who laid down this system of spiritual elevation.
Siddharth K is a freelance writer and is deeply interested in philosophy and spirituality, both Eastern and Western. He has studied various forms of healing, meditation, yoga and philosophy. He currently resides in the southern state of Hyderabad in India and writes for Vayu, a grassroots eco-friendly active wear brand that creates organic yoga clothes made for the conscious consumer. Check out our stylish hemp clothing combined with organic cotton. Shop Now!
April 27, 2015
The Different Types of Yoga - Similarities and Differences
By Ntathu Allen
The other day I received a phone call from a potential yoga student. She was stressed, overworked and exhausted. Life was getting her down. A work colleague advised her to try yoga as a way to find relief from her worries and to boost her energy. listened to her recall her daily struggle -from waking up feeling tired, anxious and clock-watching about getting her children to child care on time; feeling unprepared for her weekly Team Meetings and the manic rush to pick her children up from child care.
I remembered how anxious I used to feel working as a Probation Officer, juggling heavy workloads with a young family. I was glad she was making effort to tackle her stress. However, what came next was a shock. She said "looking for a yoga class" was adding to her stress!
There are so many different styles and types of yoga advertised, that my potential student didn't know where to start. She was not sure what style of yoga would suit her lifestyle and support her desire to relax, feel more in control and on top of things.
If this sounds like you then I hope the following information will give you a brief overview of the different styles of yoga and the similarities and differences between them.
What Does "Yoga" Mean? The traditional meaning of the word 'yoga' originates from Sanskrit yuj meaning to yoke, unite, union, join together as one. In today's climate, yoga is seen as a practical way to help you achieve a state of balance, sense of harmony and union into your life.
What Are The Names Of The Different Styles Of Yoga? There are many different styles of yoga on offer. Classes range from very dynamic physically challenging styles to gentle flowing restorative practices. Depending on your particular need, the more popular styles are:
Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is the generic term used to describe the different types of yoga and is the most popular type practiced in the west. The word "Hatha" is a Sanskrit word, made up of "Ha" - sun and "that" - moon. So, Hatha yoga literally means sun and moon joining together as one. The sun and moon represents the masculine/active (sun) and feminine/receptive (moon/lunar) principles as the opposing polarities of life. The idea is to find the balance between the two opposing qualities which suits your particular needs. Between a very physically challenging practice and a very gentle style. When these are in balance, you have perfect health, energy and vitality. This forms the core of what most yoga students seek.
Sivananda Hatha Yoga: This style of yoga focus on 12 basic classical postures, relaxation and breathing exercises also form a key part of a class. Most Sivananda classes will include an element of chanting and spiritual discourse. Founded by Swamiji Sivananda, this form of yoga is considered a fairly gentle to moderate pace and good introduction into yoga.
Iyengar Yoga: BKS Iyengar is the famous yoga teacher associated with this style of yoga. In Iyengar yoga, great emphasis is placed on alignment and uses of props to support the body achieve the poses. Again, Iyengar yoga is considered a good introduction to yoga, especially with its strong emphasis on posture alignment and anatomy.
Astanga Yoga: Considered a more strenuous form of yoga and definitely more physically challenging than Sivananda or Iyengar, Astanga yoga is very good for those who like a physical dynamic practice. You are taught a sequence and over time encouraged to self practice. It is best suited to students who are reasonable fit and in good health and in my view, looking for a "work out". Pattabhi Jois is the founder of this style of yoga.
Bikram Yoga: Some people refer to Bikram Yoga as "Hot Yoga" as it is taught in rooms which are heated to at least 38 degree Celsius. The room is as hot as a sauna. As a beginner, it is essential you are in reasonable health and feel comfortable in learning yoga in a hot environment. You will sweat a lot. Founded by Bikram Choudury, this system of yoga consists of you learning 26 basic postures.
What Are The Similarities Between These Yoga Styles?
Regardless of the "style" of yoga you chose, all yoga class consists of a mixture of the following four main areas:
Stretching Exercises/Poses known as asanas.
Breathing Practices known as pranayama designed to cleanse the body and calm the nervous system and emotions. Some schools of yoga place a lot of emphasis on learning breathing exercises. So if that interests you, chose a class where that is taught.
Guided Relaxation to release body tension and promote a sense of well-being. Again, check with your teacher how much emphasis is placed on that in her class.
Meditation and Chanting -Meditation helps to calm and focus your mind and encourage you to experience a sense of inner peace. If you are interested in meditation, again check with your teacher how that is structured into the class and what type of meditation is taught. Some schools of yoga do not include chanting whereas others do.
Conclusion Given the popularity of yoga classes on offer, it is understandable that my potential student felt confused about what class to join. I would suggest, try out a few taster classes or workshops, talk to yoga students - they are a friendly bunch. At the end of the day, you have to choose a class and style of yoga where you feel comfortable with the teacher and trust your inner wisdom.
And now I invite you to find more stress management and relief techniques for women when you visit https://yogainspires.co.uk/yoga-for-stress-management-a-practical-guide-for-working-women/ Discover how to transform your worn-out body with increased energy, improved flexibility and more vitality-for good. So you have more time, energy and space to care for yourself, have fun with your family and feel creative and productive at work.
Wishing you joy, peace and light.
Most Users Ever Online: 79
Currently Browsing this Page:
Yoga Paul: 138
Don Briskin: 69
Guest Posters: 27