Teaching Hatha Yoga: Lead Your Classes with Integrity

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

What is integrity? Simply put: Integrity is doing the right thing. Why should a Yoga instructor be an example of integrity? Yoga teachers have a responsibility to demonstrate a balanced lifestyle. If someone is not up to the task, why choose to teach classes?

Most Yoga teachers work exclusively with adults, but some work with children, too. Either way, you demonstrate integrity by “walking the walk.” Teaching integrity is a responsibility that is much more than role playing. Let’s look at an example of a way where Yoga teachers should be examples of integrity.

Within every ashram, and Yoga studio, is a culture. The culture of every Yoga class determines the success of the collective group. If you lead with integrity, you can never go wrong. Honesty, ethics, and discipline are admirable standards for any organization.

On the other hand, if you preach that you are the only source of reliable information, you have crossed the line. Some Yoga teachers will claim their style is the only true style. Their Guru is the “Big Kahuna” of Yoga.

Some of the more interesting claims are: “Everyone else teaches phony Yoga, because my path is right, pure, and the only path that is real.” Looking down a tunnel will keep you and your students focused, but intolerance usually follows “tunnel vision.”

Instead of dividing into smaller groups at every turn, Yoga schools and styles, should be networking with each other. Luckily, this is a rarity for schools to operate on the fundamentalist fringe, but the fact that some Yoga students gravitate in this direction is scary.

A lack of integrity is a mental weakness. For an adult to be influenced by a crowd taking the wrong action is an example of a lack of integrity. A positive self-image goes hand-in-hand with integrity, because a person who has strong personal values can think for himself or herself.

Some will say: “Define right action and make rules for us to follow.” For those who need to have a rule for everything, there are three words that define right action. To say it simply: “Do no harm.” We also know this as Ahimsa (the first Yama).

If you follow this one guideline, there is no need for a thousand rules. Yet, history has shown us that rules are made for most of us, because a rare few need to push the boundaries of common sense to get their way. As a result of these infractions – religions, governments, and organizations, must institute rules.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Yoga & Nature Cure For Migraine

By Dr. Rita Khanna

VipreetkarniHeadaches fall under several different categories and subcategories, the two primary ones being Vascular headache and Non-Vascular headache.

Vascular Headache

Migraine is vascular headache. It is caused by the inflammation and irritation of the nerve endings resulting from the expansion of the blood vessels of the surface of the brain. It is characterized by throbbing pain that most commonly originates on one side of the head and may be preceded by fatigue, depression or an aura. Pain may remain localized or spread to both sides of the head, at the back of the neck, around the eyes, on the face, or in the sinuses. Attacks occur sporadically and can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. They may occur only once or twice a year or as often as daily. Severe pain may be accompanied by a variety of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Non Vascular Headache

Common tension headache is non- vascular. It typically produces a generalized mild to moderate pain all over the head. It can also cause pain in the back of the neck at the base of the skull. Muscle tension is the main cause of this particular type of headache. It is caused when neck and scalp muscles become tense or contract due to stress or depression. A head injury, anxiety, activities like typing or other computer work, using a microscope & sleeping in a cold room can also be the causes. Cervical Spondylitis and poor spinal posture in general are frequent initiators.

Anatomy Of Headaches

The pain-sensing nerve cells called nociceptors, release chemicals called neuropeptides. These neuropeptides cause the vascular smooth muscle surrounding cranial blood vessels to relax, which in turn causes vessel dilation and increased blood flow. Neuropeptides also promote inflammation and tissue swelling. The combination of increased pain sensitivity and tissue and vessel swelling is what causes headaches. The pain may be confined to one area or it may be generalized and encompass the entire head. In short we can say that pain in the head can result because of the disturbance in the system of any organ. It can result due to disturbance in working of eyes, nose, throat, teeth, ears, brain, waist, spinal column, kidney etc.

Case Study Of Neeru

I first met Neeru two months back in my Yoga Studio. She came to meet me for Naturopathic treatment for her severe migraine problem. She started getting migraine attacks in year 2000 with the symptom of headache on one side of the head for 1 to 3 days long and most of these ended gradually, some after sleep. But in 2006 she got severe attack of migraine for 4 days. Her symptoms were nausea, sensitivity to sensory stimulation, tingling, weakness and negative mood changes. Her headache was accompanied with extreme irritability. She started getting this type of attacks more frequently. Her energy level had become so low that she was unable to talk to anybody in the house, not even to her children. She became addicted to the medicine Combiflame for headache & body pain. Along with this, she was also having constipation & acidity problem.


I first tried to remove her constipation problem by enema & some dietary changes since improper digestion & accumulation of wastes result in toxins entering the blood stream. These may reach the arteries of the brain, thus causing alteration in the blood flow. I also taught her specific Yoga exercises, Breathing techniques, Yoganidra, Concentration & Meditation techniques. After a few days of practicing all these, she started showing results. Then I initiated her to Asanas like Viparitkarani mudra, Matsyasana, Yog mudra, Adho mukha shavasana, & Shashankasana. In all these Asanas, we get ample blood supply to the brain thereby reducing headache-causing strain. She also learnt Omkar, Bhramari, Sheetali, Anulome-Vilome Pranayamas. By the practice of Pranayamas, sensory nerves of the brain can be made quiet and peaceful. Peace in the sensory nerves helps controlling the amount of headache. Details of the above Asanas & Pranayamas have already been described in my earlier articles.


Neeru in her feedback says,” Earlier, I used to have headaches weekly. After doing the proper Naturopathic treatment, Yoga exercises, Pranayama & Meditation, I am feeling more energetic & peaceful and substantially relieved of aches & pains . The severity of attacks has reduced & my anger has vanished. Now by God’s grace, I am taking medicines very rarely. My other problems like constipation, acidity have also been cured. I have reduced in kgs & inches, my flexibility has increased & am able to do my daily chores most energetically. I wish I had met Yoga Guru Dr. Rita Khanna much earlier”.

Some Suggestions

  • Learn Yoga exercises, breathing techniques, Kriyas like Jalaneti, Kunjal & proper relaxation.
  • Adopt the right type of diet; include plenty of fresh fruits, fresh green vegetables & sprouted grains in the food.
  • Chew the food well & eat slowly.
  • Remove constipation.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • During pain, apply wet cold pack around the neck.
  • Breathe in & out through the more congested nostril.
  • Avoid activities which strain the nerves.
  • Rest in a quiet and darkened room.
  • To remove tension, laugh as loud as you can.

If you feel inspired by this article, feel free to publish it in your Newsletter or on your Website. Our humble request is to please include the Resource as follows: Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra Studio. A popular studio that helps you find natural solutions for complete health and detoxification.

Dr. Rita Khanna
2nd floor, Plot#22, Suman Housing Colony, West Marredpally, India
Mobile: 09849772485 Ph:-040-65173344
Email: ritukhanna57@hotmail.com
The Yoga Studio is open 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Dr. Rita Khanna

Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into his discipline over two decades ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh.

She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients.

At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is teaching Yoga in Secunderabad. She has been treating and curing various diseases and disorders through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy and has been achieving tremendous satisfaction in disseminating this virtue.