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Thursday, June 03, 2021

Teaching Mood Elevating Yoga Classes: Bow Pose

do bow pose at home
By: Virginia Iversen M.Ed. 

As many of us know from experience, a really good workout is one of the best ways to elevate a sour mood. A well-rounded, comprehensive Yoga practice can be even more effective at elevating one’s mood, because of the emphasis on releasing tension, focusing on the positive aspects of life and opening up the entire front of the body, including the heart area. A low mood is often evidenced by rounded shoulders, a lack of “get up and go” energy and tense shoulders. Additionally, painful experiences that remain lodged in the body are often accompanied by a clenched jaw, which can result in the painful condition, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). 



Many different Yoga postures help to release deeply held muscular tension throughout the body. Back bending Yoga postures are particularly good at elevating one’s mood, because these poses help to open up and expand the entire front of the body, including the throat chakra area. When the front of the body is expanded, the flow of life force energy, or prana, is increased. This boost of energy helps to dispel the lethargy that so often accompanies low mood states. When the heart area is open and expanded, it is also easier to release tension in the jaw, shoulders and neck areas. 



If you are teaching Yoga to a diversity of students over the course of the week, do be aware that a number of your students may be struggling with low moods states, including feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, which are often emotional symptoms of depression. Please keep in mind that some of your Yoga students may be contending with unintegrated, painful life experiences, which are lodged in their bodies. Remember to move slowly and gently with these students and to not push them too quickly into back bending postures that they are not ready to practice. 



Even relatively simple back bending Yoga postures can be profoundly effective at releasing the physical tension that is often held around the heart, throat, neck, and shoulder areas. Another area of the body where painful or difficult life experiences are often held is the hips. In all of these areas of the body, it is important to guide your Yoga students respectfully through the practice of these postures and to remind them to slow down or take a break and rest in Child’s Pose, if they need to do so. When necessary, you also can offer your students the option of practicing restorative, supported versions of many of the traditional back bending Yoga postures, if it is more appropriate for a particular student on a given day. 

* Bow Pose or Dhanurasana

Bow Pose is a wonderfully accessible beginning back bending posture, which has an immediately expanding, energizing and mood-elevating effect. This posture is practiced from a prone position on the mat, so it is appropriate for a wide range of Yoga students. Although Bow Pose is generally regarded as a beginning to Level 1 Yoga posture, it can be quite challenging for some students if they are particularly tight throughout the front of the body. Bow Pose elongates the entire front of the torso, expands the rib cage, elongates the quadriceps, and releases tension throughout the sides of the neck, shoulders and thoracic spine.



Bow Pose is usually practiced towards the second half of a Yoga class. It is often practiced after a series of Sun Salutations, standing asanas and balancing postures, so that the students are thoroughly warmed up. When you are ready to guide your students through the practice of Dhanurasana or Bow Pose, have them flow through a final vinyasa and then come to a prone position on their Yoga mats. When they are ready, ask your students to bend their legs and grasp their ankles with their hands and to keep their palms facing the central line of the body. 



With their next inhale, ask your students to exert a gentle pressure against their hands as they raise their bent legs off the mat several inches. Ask your students to be mindful to keep their knees in a straight line with their hips, while they hold the posture for five full breaths. With their next exhale, ask your Yoga students to release Bow Pose and come back to a resting, prone position on their mats. Repeat Bow Pose two more times with your class, and then guide your students into the next Yoga posture. 



Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York, where she works as a writer and an academic support specialist. 

© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Related Resources

The YOGA MIND: 

52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice 

by Rina Jakubowicz

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE

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Want to learn more about how to become a certified yoga instructor or practicing yoga as a form of therapy? Please feel free to use the resources on the right side of this page for research.


Wednesday, June 02, 2021

What Type Of People Should Take Yoga Teacher Training Online?

Yoga Teacher Training Online


By Faye Martins
Many people opt to become yoga instructors, oftentimes by taking yoga teacher training online. However, there are many yoga students who have considered undergoing teacher training, but aren't sure if this career path is right for them. While there is certainly a difference between a student who's passionate about yoga and a full-fledged instructor, both share a passionate interest in yoga, meditation and advancing their practice. To help determine whether or not teacher training is right for you, here are some of the qualities that make for a good yoga instructor.

Someone Who Lives and Breathes Yoga - If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is heading off to a class, then you might just be a perfect candidate for teacher training. Yoga teachers share a deep and universal love for their practice. They say that those who do what they love will never work a day in their lives. If yoga is your passion, a career as an instructor could be perfect.





Someone Who Wants To Help People - In the media, yoga has gotten the reputation of being nothing more than a mere workout. However, passionate yogis know that this is simply not the case. Yoga has been known to treat a wide array of physical and psychological ailments, from depression to physical injuries to insomnia and more. Those who feel that it is their calling to help people would be happy in a position as a yoga instructor. As a teacher, you'll not only help your students to advance their practice, but to deal with issues that they have been struggling with in their lives.

Someone Who Wants To Own a Studio - Many yogis harbor the not-so-secret dream of someday owning their own studio. While some studio owners don't have their certification, the vast majority do. By having your teacher certification, you'll be a better studio owner. You'll have a good understanding of what makes a great teacher and also have the option to potentially teach a few classes on your own.





Someone Who Wants To Deepen Their Practice - Not everyone who takes teacher training online is completely positive that they want to switch careers and become an instructor. Sometimes, enthusiastic yogis enroll in instructor training for the simple reason that they are ready to deepen their practice and get a better understanding of yoga. Even if you aren't sure that you want to become a teacher full-time, investing in teacher training will help you to expand your practice and become a better yogi.

Teacher training can be invaluable to a wide array of yogis. Even if you aren't positive that you are ready to become a full-time instructor, passionate yogis often find that teacher training programs help them to improve their own practice and get a better understanding of the deeper meaning of yoga. For those who are ready to definitely become yoga instructors, teacher training is the crucial first step towards beginning your new journey as an instructor. By devoting your life to yoga, you'll gain a sense of peace and joy that all novice yogis aspire to obtain. Namaste.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources

The YOGA MIND: 

52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice 

by Rina Jakubowicz

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE

A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman

YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH

by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

Want to learn more about how to become a certified yoga instructor or practicing yoga as a form of therapy? Please feel free to use the resources on the right side of this page for research.




Low Cost Yoga Teacher Training Courses

low cost yoga teacher training courses

By Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

Please be prepared to laugh because I call it like I see it. Once in a while, I read an advertisement with a headline that states: "Free Yoga Teacher Training." This makes all of us curious! I'm jumping out of my seat like I drank a quad mocha latte! I teach Yoga classes regularly, but I believe in continuing education for life. Meaning no disrespect to my Guru, I click on Free Yoga teacher training in anticipation.


When reading the small details, I learn that I must spend over three thousand dollars for the course and I have to travel (more money). The lodging is going to cost me another three thousand dollars. When I call up, they tell me I'm going to pay extra for my study materials. I don't want to buy the ashram - I just want to get the free course! The advertisement states that I don't have to pay.

All of this is making a long and expensive flight back to India look really appealing! At least, I can stay with family and friends while I'm there, but where can I find this "FREE" Yoga certification course? I mean, they said, "free" and I really want it. It turns out that most North American ashrams have seva programs and I'm willing to work for free while I learn more about teaching Yoga.


After talking to a dozen of these ashrams, I learn that seva means I work for free, but I can't be accepted into a Yoga teacher training program, while I'm doing seva. Do you see the big picture? I'm a Yoga teacher already, and I'm good enough to sweep the floor, peel potatoes, and clean toilets, but no free yoga instructor course for me.

I didn't like their food anyway. How many days do they expect me to eat kale soup and go without a coffee? It was a five mile ride to the nearest Starbucks and I'd have to do it on a bike through ice, rain, and snow, because I can't afford to keep my car if I'm going to work for free for a whole year.

Uncle! I give up already. There is no free course for continuing education or for somebody who wants to become a Yoga teacher. I fell for the free deception. This is what Paulji meant by "Maya." He talked about how maya is the primary aspect that manifests illusion and duality. So, "free" is an example of the practical application of maya.


Now, I'm willing to go for low cost Yoga certification. There isn't one until I search for online and correspondence Yoga teacher courses. Well, I've come full circle and back to the arms of my Guru. Thank you, Paulji and Aura Wellness Center, for creating a low cost solution to my need for continuing education.

Hari Om Tat Sat


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources

The YOGA MIND: 

52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice 

by Rina Jakubowicz

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE

A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman

YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH

by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching therapeutic yoga sessions and our selection of online yoga teacher training intensive coursesTo see our complete selection of affordable yoga instructor certification programs, please click on the courses and products button in the navigation bar in the upper left section of this page.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Yogic Happiness - Fact or Fiction?


500 hour yoga teacher training programs
By Jenny Park

If you practice yoga all the time, you might be oblivious to the number of people who are suffering from depression. As the current mental health epidemic continues to be at an all time high, the practice of yoga training to increase one's happiness and sense of well being has become a growing trend. 

In today's fast paced world, many people find themselves chronically stressed and worried, which can often lead to bouts of depression. As the population continues to over rely on medications in order to cope with life's dilemmas, a growing trend of utilizing yogic practices alongside traditional medicine has proven to be very successful for many people to combat depression and regain a sense of happiness.




Yogic practices are deeply embedded in ancient traditions, which focus on utilizing the mind and body connection to achieve a blissful state of being. What makes yoga techniques particularly effective for achieving happiness has to do with effectively developing this connection and becoming more in tune with one's inner self. When an individual engages in any kind of physical activity, endorphins are released, causing a rush of intense happiness (often referred to as "runner's high," in the jogging world), however, with yogic practices, the mindfulness which one must utilize in order to effectively engage in each pose is so powerful, that those hormones, which are released into the system, cause a more permanent state of bliss. The practice of utilizing pranayama techniques while maneuvering into each asana causes one to eventually reach a sense of inner tranquility.

Yoga training has been recommended by doctors as an adjunct therapy for individuals who are suffering from depressive disorders, as a way to teach them how to be more mindful of the small things that create states of inner happiness. This practice is particularly helpful for people suffering from depression, due to the fact that these individuals are often not aware of how their mindset might affect their physiological being, as well as vice versa. By becoming more aware and in tune with how interconnected their mind and bodies are, they are more empowered to exert a positive influence over their physical and mental well being.




In today's fast paced lifestyle, many people have become less aware of the beauty that surrounds them. People go through life at break neck speed and run on autopilot day in and day out. Oftentimes, they don't slow down until they are forced to by illness or death. A typical class within a yoga school is a wonderful place for all people to learn to slow down, rejoice in life's little pleasures, and rediscover a state of inner happiness and complete bliss.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources

The YOGA MIND: 

52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice 

by Rina Jakubowicz.

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE

A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman.

YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH

by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

Want to learn more about how to become a certified yoga instructor or practicing yoga as a form of therapy? Please feel free to use the resources on the right side of this page for research.




Thursday, May 20, 2021

Yoga for Cancer Recovery: Boosting Immunity

By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

If you are coping with a cancer diagnosis, remember that you are not alone! Unfortunately, the incidence of cancer has risen dramatically over the last fifty years. By some estimates, one in two people will be affected by cancer at some point in their lives, as opposed to one in twenty people fifty years ago. 

This increase in the incidence of cancer is quite daunting. So, if you are a Yoga practitioner and you are facing a cancer diagnosis, you are clearly not the only one. 




However, even if you are not alone, dealing with cancer can be very overwhelming and incredibly upsetting. According to experts, many forms of cancer are related to environmental toxicity. Some researchers believe that up to 95% of all cancers are related to environmental factors. For those of us who have a genetic vulnerability to developing certain types of cancer, the high level of carcinogenic chemicals in our food, air and water directly promotes the development and growth of cancer cells. One of the most important aspects of fighting cancer and winning is limiting your exposure to carcinogenic compounds in the environment, in addition to supporting the optimal functioning of your immune system. 



Many of the cutting-edge allopathic treatments are now focused on boosting the immune system, because the functioning of the immune system is so critical to winning the war against cancer. In addition, many of the natural protocols for beating cancer entail nutritional recommendations and herbal supplements for enhancing the immune system. One of the primary ways of boosting the functioning of your immune system is to get enough deep, restorative sleep. Sleeping well is one of the most important factors of allowing the body to balance, heal and fight disease of all kinds. A regular practice of Yoga postures and breathing exercises will help to promote restorative and deep sleep. 

Taking in an adequate amount of vitamin D is another critical element of supporting your immunity. Spending time outside in the sunshine for twenty to thirty minutes a day will help to boost you immune system. By combining moderate physical exercise, such as Yoga, with being outside in the sun, you will further support your immune system. If it is too cold to spend time outside, or it is cloudy or rainy much of the time to receive your vitamin D from the sun’s rays, you may want to take a vitamin D supplement. If you are fighting cancer, maintaining an adequate level of vitamin D is critical to winning the war against cancer. 




Researchers are discovering that an optimal amount of vitamin D is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a strong immune system, keeping your mood optimistic and lowering inflammation throughout the body. In addition, by remembering to breath deeply and take in fresh oxygen, you will help to create an internal environment that is not conducive to the growth of cancer. If you are a Yoga practitioner, the combined practice of Yoga postures, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques will comprehensively support your physical and emotional well-being, while you strive to eradicate cancer and reestablish an optimal state of health.

Another critical element to winning the war against cancer is to maintain strong connections with your loved ones and your community at large. By taking Yoga classes at a studio or health club, you will easily maintain your connection with others and also help to support your health through a balanced practice of Yoga postures and breathing exercises. In order to increase the level of oxygen in your body, practicing gentle Yogic breathing exercises will flood your tissues with more oxygen. By saturating your tissues with oxygen, you will create an internal environment that is inhospitable to the growth of cancer cells. 




Including pranayama exercises into your Yoga practice will also nurture your body’s ability to relax, which will boost your immune system, as the adrenalin-fueled release of cortisol is turned off for a period of time each day. As you consciously practice Yogic breathing exercises, you may discover that you have been unconsciously holding your breath or breathing in a shallow manner most of the time, especially if you have been dealing with a life-threatening illness such as cancer. Consciously practicing Yogic breathing exercises will help to retrain your body to relax and take in the life giving energy of fresh oxygen on a daily basis. 

Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York, where she works as a writer and an academic support specialist. She is currently accepting Yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at: enchantress108@gmail.com 

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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https://aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

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Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources

The YOGA MIND: 

52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice 

by Rina Jakubowicz

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE

A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman

YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH

by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens