Holiday Yoga Teacher Training Camp-in-a-BoxThank You and Happy Holidays

Thank you for helping us create a Yogic community, where we can share ideas, learn to improve our practice, and learn new ways to help our students. Your participation in the Yoga teacher forums has helped students and teachers around the world.

Your kind Emails have given us the encouragement to constantly improve our websites, services, and Yoga teacher courses to meet your needs. The concept of distance learning education, for Yoga teachers, has never changed so fast.

I can remember when the local library had one Yoga book, which was constantly “checked out.” In the days before the Internet, many of us ordered books by mail, just to obtain some information beyond the Yoga class. Luckily, Yoga Journal was created in 1975. At the time, a regular Yoga magazine was a giant leap forward.

It is easy to take information access for granted. With the use of DVDs, CDs, Podcasting, MP3s, e-Books, and books, any Yoga teacher or serious practitioner can learn so much more than ever before; added to this, the quality of televisions has changed.

The television, at home, is obsolete before we can blink an eye. HD television is the rage now, but will give way to 3D models in the future. Presently, one can find a television with Digital Light Projection (DLP), Hi-Definition TV, and 3-Dimensional (3D) stereoscopic technology, but those will give way to advanced 3D models that don’t require special glasses.

What does this mean about Yoga teacher training, by correspondence, in the future? It may be some time before the price of new technology comes down, but there will be a day when we can observe Yoga on television, at home, in 3D, without glasses. The world and technology are changing so fast, but Yoga has kept us grounded.

One thing that will not change is the need Yoga practitioners have to help others. For that, I am thankful for having shared your company. I wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a Happy 2009.

Paul, Marie and the staff of Aura Wellness Center

Yoga Teachers, Prepare for the New Year’s Rush

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

New Year Yoga Studio RushEvery Yoga studio offers stress management solutions, and 2009 is a year to prepare for an influx of new students. The doors will fly open on January 2nd with enthusiastic mobs of Yoga students. What can you do to prepare for the busiest stretch of the year? How can you keep their interest all year long?

If there was ever a time to clean up your Yoga studio or health club, now is the time. Depending on where you live, most of your Yoga students may be out Christmas shopping right now. This season is like the “eye of a hurricane.” It is a temporary slow spell before the busiest season for Yoga and fitness.

Bear in mind, there is a “second wind” in spring, when many Yoga students are preparing for “bathing suit season.” If you need a fresh coat of paint, or the rugs need to be shampooed, take advantage of this brief respite.

You should also have a game plan for keeping Yoga students’ interest. Do not get too far off the track, but spice up your schedule with special workshops or “pilot” classes. Yoga classes are much like spice; too many flavors can ruin your dish, or in this case, your class.

Keeping student interest has always been a challenge for teachers of any subject. With fitness or Yoga, it is easy to get flocks of students during January, in North America, with a little help from cold weather, and New Year’s resolutions. The big question is: How to keep the enthusiasm going all year long?

Therefore, open a special event class to “test the waters” for student interest. There is no sense in starting another Yoga class without researching, if there is a demand. If the crowd loves the class, you will have no problem getting sign-ups. Be certain that your sign-ups make, at least, a down payment on a class package.

It is very easy for people to sign up for a yoga class and never show up again. This is the culture of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and people move on to other things – like butterflies on flowers. So, you have to capture their attention and keep it. You don’t have to use all of these ideas, but you may find one, or two, that fit with your clientele and your Yoga studio. Below are some examples of workshops and classes to try in your Yoga studio.

Mommy and Me Yoga Classes: This requires special patience on the part of the Yoga teacher, and female teachers will usually fare much better, especially, if the Yoga teacher has children of her own. This is an age-specific niche, but there are always new mothers and new toddlers willing to try such a class.

Prenatal Yoga: Again, this is much better suited for the female Yoga instructor, but this teacher should be trained specifically in Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga. There are too many complications for the average Yoga teacher; this is for a Yoga specialist. This field requires much more research than the standard 200-hour training, but can lead to networking with medical professionals and hospitals.

Kids Yoga: Specialized training might be needed, but patience is a key element for Yoga instructors who want to embark on this path. I teach children myself, and a Kids Yoga class has to be fun and include games. Vinyasa will be very popular with children, since they get restless with nervous energy.

Children can learn a lot, but Yoga teachers, who spend time with them, realize they are not little adults. Sometimes, the Yoga teacher’s lesson plan will not be finished due to questions, answers, and kids just having fun being kids.

Hot Yoga: Most Hot Yoga classes originated from Bikram’s style. Be careful not to use his sequences; he has patented them. Also, the Yoga teacher who wants to pursue this path should be familiar with how she or he will perform under conditions of serious heat. Hot Yoga is good, but it is not for everyone. Hot Yoga classes are usually held at a temperature of 105 Degrees Fahrenheit.

108 Sun Salutations: Many Yoga studios and ashrams have these workshops at the beginning of a season. This is good bonding time for the more physical Yoga students within your facility. You could always go out to your favorite restaurant afterwards.

Yoga with Weights: Sherri Baptiste has a book on this subject. Bodybuilders have practiced combining weight resistance principles, with Yoga, for years, but Sherri may be on to something here. Yoga purists aside – the contracting of muscles during weight resistance training, and the stretching of muscles when practicing Hatha Yoga, can be a harmonious relationship.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications