Learners need a variety of presentation formats to stay engaged during long sessions.
For example, an asana practice might begin a class, followed by a meditation. Next would be a lecture on the History of Yoga, followed by a group exercise worksheet using note cards that must be ordered for a hip sequence. Next would be group work on the details of Tree Pose. The class would conclude with a lecture on Sequencing Concepts.
To counteract that, if we are creative in our learning process, making it a notable experience, we will retain the information and find the experience fun and memorable!
o Explore what is meant by classical yoga and the timeline of Yoga in history
o What are the origins of Yoga
o Introduction to the studies of the Yoga Sutras and how they relate to the 8 Limbs of Yoga
o Trainees will read Desikachar and Iyengar’s texts to gain a deeper understanding of the philosophy and history. As this module can be studied for years to gain true understanding, the text books are an important support to the lead teachers!
o Who are some of the great master’s of Contemporary Yoga?
o Western vs Classical Yoga
o What are the 8 Limbs of Yoga
o What are the various forms of Hatha Yoga? : Ashtanga, Bikram, Partner, Iyengar, Kundalini, Kripalu, Sivananda, Vinyasa, are discussed yet not an all inclusive list as that list keeps growing each year with the popularity of Yoga in the U.S.!
o Understanding the Teacher-Students Relationship and what it is to be a Yoga Teacher
o There are many forms of meditation: breath, mantra, movement, transcendental, Buddhist forms, prayer, mindfulness, guided imagery, and creative visualization.
o What is the difference between meditation and relaxation and how it effects the brain/mind.
o Learn various styles- it’s not just a blank mind!! Thank goodness
o What are mala beads and mudras used for?
o Self Quiz: How do you breathe?
o What are common breathing patterns?
o Explore the 10 different exercises of breath control
o What is the Darth Vader Breath?
o How do yogis make their stomach move in a wave???!!
o What are Nadis and how do they relate to breath work?
o What are bandhas? How are they integrated into a yoga practice? Why are they used?
o What makes up a pose?
o Adjustments vs. assists
o Cueing – specific cueing skills are so important
o Be aware of contraindications of poses
o Category of poses
o Alignment is essential to keep poses safe
o Asana manual includes Independent Worksheet on the break down of poses such as benefits, description, directions, counterpose, contraindications, cautions, etc. The Group Worksheet is to be completed as a class during the Workshop of poses.
o Sanskrit Posters are included and can be posted up upon completion of pose.
o Pose exercises to facilitate learning such as “Name the Pose” game and “Talk Thru Poses” exercise.
Teaching the Poses
o There are many components of a pose…learn what makes up a pose
o How do I use cues to help direct a pose?
o What is the objective of my pose?
o What is the focal point of a pose?
o How do I create a level 1 versus level 2 class?
o How do you prepare the class for more challenging poses?
o Variations and modifications are essential for mixed classes
o Adjustments- learn how and know when!
o Includes Worksheets and exercises such as: Focal Point, Level of Pose, Objective of Pose and Category Sort Pose game.
o How do I think about the Progression of a Class?
o What are the 3 Elements of a Pose?
o Why do creative transitions make a better class?
o How to develop a class
o How to create a style that is an expression of you?
o What, there is a logic to the sequence of a class??
o How do you build a class to a “peak pose”?
o Excite your class by creating theme classes
o Let’s develop opening and closing sequences!
o You will have a Toolbox of various sequences upon completion of program
Qualities of a Yoga Teacher
o Boundaries in the classroom
o Discuss Code of Ethics
o What are your Personal Parameters on Your Teaching?
o Teacher/Student Relationship
o Your role as teacher
o Role play Questions & Answers you may get as a Teacher
o Private sessions and how to prepare for them
o Agreement and liability Release for your Students
o Entire workshop devoted to the Business side of yoga
o Taxes, expenses, when to ask for help?
o How can I promote myself?
o Where and Who do I want to Teach?
I also encourage the use of Ray Long’s various books to help support the Lead Teacher in the presentation of poses. Long is an orthopedic surgeon who spent a few years in India studying with Iyengar. He loves yoga and found that many yoga teachers were speaking/cueing/sequencing without a true understanding of anatomy.
Cues that we often learn to use often do not make anatomical sense. Or teacher ask students to do things with their body without giving them effective directions…how does one root through their feet? How does a new yoga practitioner even understand what that means?
Why do teachers cue you to soften your hip flexors when folding forward? We need the hip flexors to help fold us forward. That is their job! Open your hip in triangle…we need to cue them to tighten their top gluteal muscles to help make that happen…otherwise the cueing means nothing. He makes you understand how to use your muscles to help get you into the pose.
Having these books while talking through the Group Pose work during the Workshop, can help Lead Teachers discuss the poses more effectively. True integration of Anatomy and Pose.
Bonus Workshop- Ayurveda and Chakras
o 4 Yoga classes centered around the Chakras, building from Root to Crown.
– What is this form of Medicine?
– What type am I? Trainees will be asked to fill the questionnaire out before class to determine their predominant Ayurvedic Dosha Type
– What are Chakras?
– How can we use our yoga practice to balance our chakras
– Through the yoga sequences, the emotional and physical manifestations of imbalances will be explored.