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Yoga

Share the Savasana!

Many yoga teachers consider savasana—also known as corpse pose or relaxation pose—both the easiest and hardest of all postures. Why? On the one hand, the point of the pose is to relax deeply and fully in a supine position with arms and legs gently rolled out to the sides.

Yoga Adjustments

Think back to a recent time when you left a yoga class and felt joyfully transformed. Maybe the teacher had great auditory and visual cues. Maybe he or she made you feel safe and supported, allowing you to explore poses in deeper and more rewarding ways than you would have been able to on your own. A well-balanced yoga teacher connects with all types of learners—auditory, visual and kinesthetic. The most fulfilling classes happen when the teacher successfully blends all three teaching modalities.

Sample Class: Yoga + Hip Hop = Fusion Fun!

For years, yoga has supported my career as a b-girl (breakdancer) and professional contemporary and hip-hop dancer. From this stable foundation, I’ve built strength, grace, balance and power. The following sequence—which blends dance, yoga and footwork drills—has the basic structure of a hip-hop class. The combination gives participants a unique cardio experience while safely building flexibility and increasing upper-body and core strength.

Yoga as Therapy for Postpartum Clients

Many women enjoy the benefits of yoga or other exercise during pregnancy, but then become inactive postpartum—perhaps because they don’t know which activities are safe or appropriate. Sadly, they miss the opportunity to restore a…

Yoga Safety

I just finished reading the article “Is Yoga Safe?” by Shirley Archer, JD, MA (July–August). It is really terrific for students and teachers alike. I am a yoga teacher, trainer and holistic health counselor. Increased awareness regarding yoga safety and its medical benefits, as well as proper training for new teachers, is extremely important to the future of yoga. Thank you so much for the information, as well as for the suggestion that potential students look for a teacher with a background in somatics. Great advice!

Finding Contentment With Your Body and Your Yoga

For most of us, being content with what we have, who we are, what we do and what we look like is very challenging. We are flooded with images of people who are better-looking, have more wealth or are better at doing something than we are. And it will always be that way. We can’t control how beautiful, successful or talented others are. What we can do is avoid comparison—and practice contentment with who we are. For those of us who study yoga, that includes contentment with our asana practice and with our physical limitations.

Is Yoga Safe?

A purported rise in yoga-related injuries in the United States has stimulated a firestorm of discussion in the yoga community, as well as a national media blitz. Over the past 20 years, yoga has expanded…

91-Year-Old Yoga Instructor Sets World Record

While B.K.S. Iyengar may still be teaching at 93, Guinness World Records has awarded the distinction of “oldest yoga instructor’ to Bernice Bates, a 91-year-old who instructs yoga at the Mainlands Retirement Community Center in Pinellas Park, Florida. Bates has been practicing and teaching hatha yoga since about 1960, according to Today.com. She currently offers a once-weekly hourlong yoga class that includes 10–12 poses and ends with relaxation. Personally, she practices several postures before getting out of bed every morning.

Yoga Can Help Neck Pain

In our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload and “terror alerts”—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck. Chronic neck pain is linked to a host of related disorders, including headache, jaw soreness, and pain radiating into the shoulders, upper back and arms.

Yoga for Teenage Girls

According to research from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty’s 2005 Global Study, “Beyond Stereotypes: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs,” 70% of teenage girls who feel bad about their looks respond by withdrawing from life. They avoid school, cancel doctor visits and feel afraid to speak up in class.

Cross-Train and Cross-Promote With Yoga

How many times does the staff email blast urge you to “talk up other classes on the schedule?” It’s a good idea, but by the time you get to the studio, cue the music and lead people through your own class, either you forget to mention the vinyasa yoga class or participants leave before the cool-down, which is when you usually share announcements. Why not use the warm-up instead? This dynamic, yoga-inspired warm-up works for a step, dance, boot camp or strength circuit class and serves many purposes:

Yoga Lesson Plan 5: Core Strength

About this series: Each yoga lesson plan provides both a physical focus, to guide your choice of postures, and a practice focus, to help students explore an important principle of yoga practice. The intention of the series is to present guidelines for creating a coherent and thoughtful class experience, with suggestions broad enough to allow you to choose yoga poses that are appropriate for your students.

Yoga Lesson Plan 2: Twisting from the Core and Intention

This is the second of a three-part sample lesson plan series that will provide both a physical focus to guide your choice of postures, and a practice focus to help students explore an important yoga principle. The intention is to present guidelines for creating a coherent and thoughtful class experience. The suggestions are broad enough to allow you to choose poses that are appropriate for your students.

Yoga Lesson Plan 3: Shoulders and Liberation

About this series: Each lesson plan provides both a physical focus, to guide your choice of postures, and a practice focus, to help students explore an important principle of yoga practice. The intention of the series is to present guidelines for creating a coherent and thoughtful class experience, with suggestions broad enough to allow you to choose poses that are appropriate for your students.

Yoga for Seniors

You are likely seeing a larger number of older adults walking through your yoga studio doors. Are you prepared to serve them? What are some of the benefits and contraindications of yoga for active seniors? Are there appropriate yoga breathing techniques and pose sequences for older clients? And what can we do to appropriately adapt our yoga classes to accommodate them?

Yoga Lesson Plan 1: Hip-Opening and Patience

This is the first of a three-part lesson plan series that will provide both a physical focus to guide your choice of postures, and a practice focus to help students explore an important yoga principle. The intention is to present guidelines for creating a coherent and thoughtful class experience. The suggestions are broad enough to allow you to choose poses that are appropriate for your students.

The Soothing Power of Music

In the April issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, you asked if anyone was using music to enhance the experience of clients. I am a clinical musician intern playing harp for patients in the hospital as well as in hospice care. I include harp playing to induce the relaxation response during my yoga classes. I use the musical scale to tone the body to get ready for exercise and then use harp music at the end for relaxation, meditation and visual imagery.

Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain

IIn our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload, “terror alerts” and sleeplessness—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck.

How to Become a Yoga Instructor

If you are enthusiastic about yoga and have seen its transformative effect in your own life, it’s natural to want to share that with others. And if you are comfortable in front of a group but also know how to connect one-on-one, teaching yoga may be a perfect fit.

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