Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hatha Yoga for Stress Management: New Year Yoga Plan


By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Are you ready to make a life changing resolution? What is a daily Yoga plan? How can a daily Yoga plan reduce stress and change your life?

You can make a change at any time of the year, but New Year’s resolutions are the most popular. Yet, we often see that New Year’s resolutions do not make it past Valentine’s Day. So, if you are ready to make a change and add Yoga to your life - let’s look at a way for you to be successful for the long-term.

Get a journal and prepare it for writing. I prefer to write things down, but you may prefer a lap top, personal digital assistant, or your computer. Either way, you should write your goals down - especially the amount of time you plan to practice Yoga in a studio, at home, or on the way to and from work.

You can practice Yoga all day long. When you consider the many aspects of Hatha Yoga, you can easily incorporate them into your life. Here are some examples, but remember to incorporate these habits gradually. Do not make Yoga into a task, but take the time to enjoy the aspects, which help you deal with stress and add quality to your daily life.

In the morning, upon waking, you can practice Pranayama in bed. There are many Pranayama techniques to choose from, but you may find Dirgha breath or natural breath to be easier at this time of the day. You could practice meditation upon rising, for ten to twenty minutes, if you have the time.

Once you are up and about, you could practice asana warm-ups or Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). If you do not have time, you could be mindful of what you eat by eating in moderation and making wise choices.

You can work on your posture as you sit, stand, walk or perform any physical task. Is your back straight when you eat? Do you take the time to enjoy your food? Are you breathing correctly or are you already short of breath? Does coffee make you short of breath? Which foods cause you adverse reactions?

This self-observation is just another exercise in mindfulness, but will cause you to open a form of consciousness, which will improve your daily life.

In order for us to make changes, we must first want, plan, observe, take action, and practice each day. Yoga is not a physical exercise to be counted by the minutes you practice on a Yoga mat. Physical exercise is just one aspect of Hatha Yoga.

To bring your life in balance, you must identify what you do that causes your stress. This will not eliminate all of your stress, but it will identify stressful situations, which you can prevent.

This is just one example of Yogic methods applied toward better health and a less stressful life. Writing down your Yoga plan is just the start of a good habit for positive change.

© Copyright - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) – Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste, Paul
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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga: Methods for Focus, Concentration, and Tranquility

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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Even though many Yoga instructors have the right mindset, it is part of human nature to be distracted by the “problem of the day.” No matter whom you are, you are still human and no one is immune from losing focus, not even a Yoga instructor.

When I was giving a motivational talk about Yoga, one gentleman raised his hand and stated, “If Yoga really worked, all Yoga teachers would be immortal.”

My answer was that Yoga can promise better mental, physical, and spiritual health, but nothing yet has been developed for immortality. This plane of existence is for a limited time, but we can make the most of our time here, through Yoga practice.

Let’s look at a few methods, which will aid Yoga instructors and Yoga students find focus, concentration and tranquility.

Create your own atmosphere of positive energy by show loving kindness on a daily basis, and helping those in need. Make time for sincerely encouraging others.

There are homeless people in almost every community. If you see them, do not look away, but say hello to them on a daily basis. Why should we do this?

Firstly, we see them every day. Most people do not talk to them because of an internal fear of poverty. They are the “untouchables,” which exist in all societies. Poverty is something that most of us do not want to take an in-depth look at. Even those of us who rise from poverty can “forget our roots.”

The truth is, we should all count our blessings for what we have. If we are teaching Yoga, of any style, we are obligated to help others who are less fortunate. We can still spread positive energy around, outside of our Yoga schools.

A close look at poverty is a form of sobriety. It gives us focus and a greater purpose in our lives. We can help or contribute to worthy causes. When you help others it has an internal reward and it does create good Karma. We should not wait for a special season to practice Karma Yoga.

Another way to create focus, concentration, and tranquility, is to get rid of clutter. This happens on a mental, physical, and spiritual plane. Mental clutter can be solved by writing a “to do list.” Please do not fill your list completely, but do make an appointment for meditation and loved ones.

Physical clutter can be handled easily. Clean up rooms that cause you anxiety to look at. An organized room is better for your mental health. Give possessions that you do not use to a reputable charity.

This is also Karma Yoga and a good method for creating peace of mind. Spiritual clutter occurs when we have unfinished business. All of us come from different religions; and this is fine, but we should not wait to reconcile with family, friends, co-workers, and God.

I know a man who is an atheist, but he practices Karma Yoga every day. I joke with him, and tell him, he might just get to heaven. It is not for any of us to judge each other. No religion endorses prejudice and intolerance.

When a teacher begins to feel self-absorbed and superior to others, he or she is not practicing the union of mind, body, and spirit. What do we practice most often? Yoga does not end when we close the doors to our Yoga studio.

© Copyright – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Visit our online community or watch videos about yoga teacher training.

If you are a teacher, yoga school owner, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) – Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste, Paul
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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Yoga Instructor Certification Courses: How Important is a 200 Hour Certification for Yoga Teachers?

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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When choosing a Yoga instructor program, you have to determine what it is that you want to get out of it. Do you want a comprehensive Yoga instructor’s course or a quick Yoga instructor diploma to teach Yoga classes? Potential instructors have different reasons for choosing to teach classes 

Are you looking for continuing education credits for the Yoga Alliance -The Yoga Register, British Wheel of Yoga, Yoga Alliance UK, The International Yoga Federation, or another registry of Yoga teachers? Do you want to enhance your knowledge and teach Yoga to your friends?

It is really all about evaluating what your primary motive is to teach Yoga. You should be aware that many places, which hire Yoga instructors, are requiring a Yoga teacher’s diploma from a 200 hour certification course. 



The 200 hour certification for Yoga instructor training has become a “bare minimum” standard for teaching. What is the reason for this? In a nutshell, it is liability. Liability has become a potential issue in every field, including fitness, weight loss, health, wellness, and Yoga.

Therefore, a teacher’s diploma from a 200 hour Yoga certification course; would be a prudent first step. A liability insurance policy for Yoga instructors would also be a wise precaution. Injuries in a Yoga class are very rare.

However, injuries can occur when a Yoga student has been inactive and develops the impulse to jump into a vigorous Yoga class. Yoga instructors should speak with potential students prior to their participation in a first class.

In this way, teachers will be aware of pre-existing conditions, within their students. Yoga teachers should establish communication at the initial meeting with any potential student. If an instructor course does not cover communication, contraindications, modifications, and some assisting, what good is it?

This is why a Yoga instructor’s diploma from a 200 hour certification course has become the minimum International hiring requirement for fitness centers and studios. Regardless of how you choose your certification course, for teacher training in Yoga, you want to be prepared for a variety of circumstances.



Hatha Yoga certification home study has become popular with many interns, who have family and work obligations. Some interns have expenses at home and do not have the luxury of $10,000 in spare cash to spend on a certification for teaching Yoga.

This is fine, but make sure the course is a 200 hour certification for teachers, and you will receive a diploma to teach upon successful graduation. There are continuing education and specialist certificates for instructors, which are for short courses. These make beautiful “wall paper,” for established Yoga teachers, but these are not Level 1 Yoga instructor certifications, which should state that you participated in a minimum 200 hour program.

© Copyright – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To see find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our online hatha yoga teacher training intensive courses, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!



Thursday, November 30, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga: My Yoga Students Do Not Want to Meditate


By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Recently, I received an Email from a colleague about local Yoga students and their desire to “skip” meditation. It seems some Hatha Yoga students find it appropriate to get up and leave before meditation starts. In the area, where he is located, no Yoga studios have meditation, as part of the curriculum.


Apparently, there is a lack of interest and this would leave most Yoga teachers discouraged. However, these same students love asana practice. They state that meditation is boring, and they could be doing something useful, instead.



What can Yoga instructors do to explain the mental benefits of meditation? At this point, mentioning spiritual health benefits would fall on deaf ears. When students cannot appreciate anything beyond physical stimulation, it is doubtful they would appreciate anything that cannot be physically measured.

If we teach Yoga without mediation, is it really Yoga anymore? Is this how the Pilates Method was born? Should we “fold in” to popular demand, in order to keep our Yoga schools open? Should we create a new Yoga hybrid, without a soul?

There are many new and interesting ideas to develop the mind and body connection, but Yoga teachers should not be discouraged. When most of our students get a mind and body connection through asana practice, this is a small start for the evolution of Hatha Yoga in western culture.



We live in a culture of “Attention Deficit Disorder,” and it is difficult for people to focus and "unplug" from distractions. Most of our Yoga students are totally addicted to multi-tasking.

Some students quietly refuse to shut their cell phones off in class. No matter how many signs you post, there will be a Yoga student, who will leave his or her cell phone on, and it will eventually ring off.

No wonder, Bhakti, Jnana, and Karma Yoga, never got a serious "foot hold" here. Although Yoga teachers spend time on daily meditation; a deep meditation session may not be "popular" with your students, if there is a lot of nervous energy is in the room.

In this case, you could expose your students to a five minute session of mindfulness or Breath Awareness meditation. It is a start, and a brief tour toward their inner being. A brief five, or ten, minute relaxation sequence is also an option.

Very few of our students want to experience more than the 15 minute meditation segment, at the end of a Yoga class. Being distracted and multi-tasking is a normal state of mind to children. Unfortunately, many parents are in the “same boat.”



Therefore, teachers should not their waste time, lecturing students about the benefits of meditation. You would be better off creating a student handout about meditation for stress management and mental health. Reliable Information about the benefits of meditation will create interest among your students.

It is reasonable to say, that everyone should give their mind a rest. The ancient Yogis knew this and it is up to Yoga teachers to let the public be aware of the benefits of meditation, while you have their attention.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see find out more about yoga or see our selection of online yoga teacher training programs, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!




Saturday, November 25, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga: Prana and Pranayama

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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Prana, which is also known as vital energy, is in the air, our bodies, and objects around us. One of my students remarked that Prana could not be in his Yoga mat, since it was an inanimate object.

After all, his Yoga mat was not a living being, so how could it contain Prana? How could ancient Yogis know of the existence of Prana about 5,000 years ago?

We cannot visibly see vital energy? None of us can see the mind create ideas either. Yet, the mind creates ideas, and we put them into action, with our voice and hands. So, Prana is not an object.

We cannot see a Yoga mat move, but it is moving all the time - at the atomic level. In fact, your Yoga mat is full of open space at the atomic level. Electrons are flying around in many open spaces within your Yoga mat.

On the other hand, we are born, live, and die, on planet Earth, a moving object, which does not appear to be moving at all. The universe is infinitely vast and infinitely small, at the same time. Prana is the power behind the perpetual movement of the universe. We now know that the universe is moving at every level.

Within Prasna Upinshad, Chapter 2, Verse 5, Prana is described in this way: “It burns as fire. It is the sun, rain, Indra, wind, earth, and it is food. It is the luminous god. It is being and non-being. It is immortality.” To go a bit further on this point, you can see Prana is a power that is everywhere, is not an object, and apparently is difficult for the human mind to define.

We are smug and take our ability to learn for granted. At the touch of our finger tips, the Internet gives us much more access to knowledge than ancient Yogis had in all of their scriptures, and in any other scriptures that existed, on earth, at that time.

However, the ancient Yogis took the time to observe nature and the cosmos. They were in tune with their surroundings and the natural laws of the universe. The ancient Yogis did not have to waste their time with spam and waves of disinformation. Achievements and mistakes are always made, but they documented them, so we could learn from them.

Without tools, computers, or machines, Pranayama is a method to alter Prana at a level, in which the human mind can easily comprehend. Pranayama is Yoga’s answer to regulating Prana, with the breath.

In Yoga, Pranayama can be used to heal in times of need. Pranayama is useful for stress, grief, anxiety, nervousness, and many more ailments, which plague mankind, but Pranayama should be learned with the guidance of a competent Yoga teacher.

For physical health, Pranayama is the most important of Hatha Yoga’s many methods.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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If you are a teacher, yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) – Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste, Paul
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Monday, November 20, 2006

Hatha Yoga Certification Home Study Courses


By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Let’s say, you have decided to become a Yoga instructor, but you do not have weeks or months, of free time, to spend away from your family, friends, and obligations. You have researched Yoga certification classes around the world. The typical training course for Yoga instructors will also require you to pay fairly large sums of money, which creates another hardship.

Are there any other instructor training options for the working person, with family obligations, and a budget? Yes, there are, and a Hatha Yoga certification home study program meets the needs of many practitioners who aspire to teach Yoga. With Internet technology, we also have online Yoga instructor training study programs.




Hatha Yoga Certification home study courses, correspondence courses, and distance learning courses, have existed for decades. Not everyone has the financial resources, or free time, available to “fly off” to Tahiti or India.

In an ideal world, it would be nice to have the time, and money, to attend a teacher certification class in Honolulu, but maybe it’s just not realistic thinking, at this time. Is a Hatha Yoga certification obtained through home study course starting to sound more realistic?

What should you be looking for in a home study course designed for instructors? What material should a Hatha Yoga home study course contain? Will there be certification videos or DVDs? Should the whole Yoga instructor training course be designed for online learning?

There are many options these days. A basic Yoga instructor’s training course and certification should consume a minimum of 200 study hours. This 200 hour standard has become the generally agreed minimum requirement for most of the world's Yoga teacher certification organizations.




There are some Yoga teacher certifications that require less than 200 hours, but will you learn about modifications, contraindications, anatomy, physiology, the subtle body, chakras, mudras, bandhas, doshas, kriyas, asanas, meditation, and Pranayama in less than 200 hours? Remember that 200 hours is the generally agreed “minimum” number of Yoga teacher training study hours.

Online video has become the most popular international format for learning new information, so certification videos should have the option to be viewed online. DVD should also be an option for interns. If you have previous experience as a student and a Yoga teacher for guidance; your instructor internship will be a smooth process. Experienced practitioners can easily grasp the concepts presented within certification videos.

However, if you have no previous experience, as a student, you can make life easier on yourself by seeking the guidance of a competent Yoga teacher in your local area.

Lastly, the ability to turn in written assignments by Email speeds up the instructor certification process, but it also helps to get tutoring by Email or phone. These are options to consider when choosing a Hatha Yoga certification home study program.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga: How to Influence Students without Criticism

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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When you are teaching Hatha Yoga classes, do you ever want to reach out to a particular student, who does not seem to understand a Yogic technique? Maybe you feel a bit frustrated that you have covered this same point, in the last six Yoga classes, and this student was there each time, but does not comprehend it.

You must first realize this Yoga student is very loyal and should not be taken for granted. Yoga teachers are human, and feel frustration, but this is a person who willingly gives his or her time to learn Yoga from you. The Yoga teacher / student relationship should never be taken for granted.

A loyal Yoga student is valuable, persistent, dedicated, and you should make him or her aware that you notice the effort. If you praise what he or she does right, your cueing, and assisting, will not be perceived as criticism. Self-worth is part of human nature and creates a Yoga student who is anxious to perform better at your next Yoga class.

When you speak to your Yoga students, no effort, on your part, should be wasted. Each word you speak, within your class, should have a high value and purpose. Some Yoga teachers relish every opportunity to criticize their students. Criticizing gives some teachers an opportunity to hear their own voice and feel important.

Be sure that what you have to say to your Yoga students is really helpful. Remember that criticism also makes your students feel unimportant. If a student perceives that a Yoga teacher is bolstering his or her ego, through criticism, the feeling of inspiration to come to more Yoga classes is gone.

Pure criticism tends to make Yoga students, and people in general, defensive, emotionally dejected, and causes a lack of enthusiasm, within the class. Knowing this, every Yoga teacher should use his or her knowledge to influence students. The difference is that a student has a distinct feeling of free will, when a Yoga teacher influences him or her, with compassion and true purpose.

There is a reason why students keep coming back to the same Yoga teacher. The reason will differ between students, and we cannot please everyone, but Yoga teacher ethics tell us to speak, assist, and cue with compassion.

When the ego is involved in teaching, this is the opposite of Yogic philosophy. There is no place for the “drill sergeant mentality” in Yoga. The Hatha Yoga teacher, who lets his or her ego guide the lesson plan, during a class, should be teaching something else.

The point is that all forms of Yoga require teachers who listen empathically, observe with mindfulness, and find solutions for mental, physical, and spiritual health. When a Yoga teacher truly cares about a student’s quality of life, the positive energy can be felt within the classroom. This is the purest form of influence.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To see find out more about yoga or see our selection of affordable online yoga teacher training programs, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga for Peace of Mind

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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Peace of mind seems like a fantasy to most people. Even when they sleep, their dreams do not give them rest. The mind of an optimist can have pessimistic thoughts, which surface during sleep patterns. That said, can Yoga really help you find peace of mind?

When one of us decides to become a Yoga instructor, there are many different reasons why, but peace of mind is usually part of the reason. It is gratifying when we empower our Yoga students to find peace of mind.

Sometimes, a Yoga teacher chooses to “spread the word,” for his, or her, own peace of mind. Within personal Yoga practice, and teaching Yoga classes, most of us find a “retreat from the rat race.” Yoga class becomes more than a temporary rest for the mind.

Once you have found the tools to inner peace and quiet - you want to tell everyone about it, but many people do not really hear your message, even if their physical health is in jeopardy.

Physical health should be obvious; all we have to do is look in a mirror or mentally connect with our body. Benefits for the mind cannot easily be seen, but they can be felt. The problem is most people have disconnected from their physical body, and some people have actually disconnected from their minds.

Look at commuter traffic outside of any city and you will see people running from place to place on “auto-pilot.” Although there are more people attending Yoga classes than ever; the vast majority of people still have no time for Yoga, meditation, Pranayama, or anything related to good health. Imagine thinking you have no time to breathe or take care of yourself properly.

Many people work two jobs and fall asleep due to exhaustion. Peace of mind will have to wait, until the following day, but that day never seems to arrive. This is a cycle that can lead to a “disturbed mind.” The daily grind, without relief, can cause irreversible damage to the mind and body.

When or if, such a person takes a Yoga class, and briefly finds peace of mind - you will see an expression of awe on his or her face. I remember a student, who sat in the waiting room, after one of my Yoga classes. She looked like she was about to fall asleep and I asked her if she needed anything.

She replied, “No, I’m doing great. I haven’t felt like this, since I was seven.” She was just learning to enjoy the moment and this student was well over 70 years of age. Two decades later, I often hear similar stories from Yoga students on a regular basis. Physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, and other medical specialists are advising their patients to practice Yoga for a variety of ailments.

I have never regretted my decision to become a Yoga teacher, and the future looks very promising for Yoga instructors, in general. If you spread peace of mind far enough, it just might have an impact on world peace. On the local front, your Yoga students, who have peace of mind, will make a positive contribution to your community.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To see find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our online yoga teacher training intensives, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Who would take an Online Yoga Instructor’s Course and Certification Program?

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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Experienced Yoga practitioners make up the largest number of graduates, who pursue Yoga instructor certification online. Some of these teacher interns have decades of experience. Some established teachers take distance learning course for continuing education credits instead of shutting their Yoga schools down for a month for an onsite specialist course.

This is followed by instructors who have been teaching classes for years, but who do not have a Yoga instructor certification.

How is it possible for someone not to have certification, and still be a teacher, training his, or her, students in Yoga? Until recently, many traditional Yoga teachers did not have a formal certification, or diploma, to "hang on the wall.”

Independent study requires a lot of discipline to follow assignments through. A Hatha Yoga certification home study course is not something a novice would pick up and easily grasp. The many aspects of mantras, chakras, mudras, bandhas, doshas, Yamas, and Niyamas, without a foundation of Yoga practice, would be difficult for a beginner to understand without guidance.

Therefore, aspiring instructors, who choose an online Yoga instructor’s course and certification program, are, most often, self starters. Many people who take courses for Yoga certification online are working moms and dads with families, jobs, and responsibilities.

On-site certification programs, which enable a person to start teaching Yoga, may require that person to be away from their family for weeks, months, or years. Some countries have very little Yoga instruction at all. Certification, through online Yoga teacher training courses, can also be a very attractive option for International students or students who live in rural areas.

Recently, I was talking with a teacher, who explained to me that the nearest Yoga teaching certification program, in Ontario, is more than four hours away. Her round trip would be more than eight hours of driving. This commute made a Yoga certification home study course the best option for her. Some aspiring Yoga students have the goal of certification as an instructor of Yoga - but at what price? Keeping a family together and raising children responsibly are priorities in life.

Many companies will not understand, if an employee announced to management, that he or she was leaving for an extended period of time to pursue Yoga teacher training certification programs in San Francisco. Unless you already live in the Bay area, holding down a job, and participating in teacher training certification programs, in San Francisco, may not be an option.

There are many options for instructor’s training courses and certification programs, but the best Yoga certification program is the one that fits your lifestyle. Teaching Yoga is a rewarding past time, but sacrificing your marriage, family, and career, is not good for your well being.

Yoga teachers are like everyone else; they do not live a one dimensional life. You do not have to give up your identity in order to become a certified Yoga instructor.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To see find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our online 500 hour yoga teacher certification program, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

Monday, October 16, 2006

What is the Best Yoga Instructor Certification for You?


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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

There are so many styles of Hatha Yoga and many instructor certifications to choose from, but how do you decide which Yoga course is the best for you? We often refer to all of these styles of Hatha Yoga as Yoga sub-styles because they are divisions of Hatha Yoga, which is just one of many Yoga styles.

You might think it is hard to find the right Yoga teacher training, but there are many options for aspiring Yoga instructors. Below are some of the many choices you should consider, when you are deciding to become a Yoga instructor.

Moderate Hatha Yoga: There are many styles to choose from, but earning a Yoga instructor certification in one these styles will enable you to teach a wide variety of students.

The age and condition of you’re your Yoga students should be taken into consideration, when deciding about which Yoga certification course to join.Traditional Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga are some examples of this classification.

Chair Yoga: This is a specialized Yoga instructor certification, but the global population is aging. When you consider how many people turn 50 every day; this Yoga specialist certification may be more mainstream 10 years from now.

Hot Yoga: There is a wide variety of student ages involved in this style, but Hot Yoga does attract a younger crowd. The 105 degree room temperature is not to be taken lightly, if your native climate is much lower. You must feel real passion for this classification of Yoga. Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga are examples of this type of Hatha Yoga.

Vigorous: Flowing, or powerful, movements and asanas can reach a wide rage of student ages, but most of your Yoga students will be less than 40 years of age. Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and Power Yoga are examples of this classification.

There are other options for Yoga instructor training, as well. The number of study hours, for Yoga instructors, should be at least 200 hours. There is also the decision of whether you can attend Yoga training in person or take a Yoga instructor distance learning course.

On-site Yoga instructor training might be over the course of many weekends throughout five months, a year long Yoga training course, or the Yoga certification course may last years.
Obviously, time is a factor in your decision, but cost and the quality of the Yoga instructor training should be “weighed in the balance.” Yoga instructor intensive training should be in the range of 200 minimum hours of training.

Home study Yoga certification courses are for interns who cannot attend Yoga instructor intensives. The graduates of these programs have previous Yoga experience and must be self-starters. The type of person who takes “night school courses,” or home study courses, in any subject is self-motivated.

However, a minimum of 200 Yoga study hours is suggested for Yoga instructor interns.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our online yoga teacher training intensives, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

When Does One Become a Yoga Teacher?

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By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When you teach a friend, co-worker, or family member one Yoga technique, you have taken the first step toward becoming a Yoga teacher. This is the traditional way Yoga was initially taught before Hatha Yoga classes became such a “magnet” to the public. Large Yoga classes are not a bad thing, but it is easy to forget the way Yoga was taught for centuries.

Now, let’s fast forward into the 21st century. Today we have access to instant information. You can learn Yoga from television, the Internet, books, DVDs, MP3s, CDs and e-Books. It would seem anyone who wants to become a Yoga teacher has all the tools, at hand, to pursue his or her dream of teaching Yoga.

Should you read Yoga books to become a Yoga teacher? Yes, you will have to read and much more. Yoga books, DVDs, and CDs set a foundation of Yoga teaching knowledge, but there is much more to this, in order to become a Yoga teacher. It is daily experience gained through teaching Yoga students, which causes a Yoga teacher to further evolve beyond the initial teacher certification process. Practical knowledge and experience becomes a “treasure chest” for any Yoga teacher.

Teaching Yoga is a journey. If Yoga teachers sit still, without expanding their knowledge, they will become stagnant. Yoga books are great references, but Yoga teachers are works in progress. In fact, Yoga is a work in progress. Yoga changes as teachers make new and innovative discoveries along the way.

Hopefully, innovative Yoga teachers will record their discoveries for future generations. None of us has a life long enough to learn all that has been written over 5,000 years, but we learn everything that will help our students live a better quality life and more. Every student ailment is researched again and again.

Yoga teachers may eventually run into a situation where the right Yoga book is not available or maybe it was never written. Always remember that Yoga books are very valuable, but they are learning tools for the beginning of the journey, and good references, to come back to, when you put Yogic principles into practice.

So, when do you know if you are ready to become a Yoga instructor? If you have been practicing Yoga for years, reading Yoga information, and showing your friends Yoga techniques you have already taken the first step.

There is no promise that the journey to become a Yoga teacher will be easy, but it is rewarding. Yoga has much history behind it, but many new chapters are being written at this moment, and many more will be written in the future. The public is always in need of competent and innovative Yoga teachers.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

To see find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our online hatha yoga teacher training intensive courses, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

Friday, August 25, 2006

How Could a Shy Person Become a Yoga Teacher?



By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

The calling to teach Yoga classes can reach into any of us, but what about obstacles which hold each of us back. A shy person may want to become a Yoga teacher, but how can he or she develop the voice of a Yoga teacher?

For an aspiring Yoga teacher, shyness is like a prison which stops him or her from life’s rewards. This person knows what to do, but feels serious anxiety when having to address a person or when having to speak in front of a group.

So what is a shy, but aspiring Yoga teacher to do, when confronted with this impasse? Should he or she give up the dream of becoming a certified Yoga teacher? Some trainers of Yoga teachers would agree, but the truth is there is a solution for the shy, but aspiring Yoga teacher.

Luckily, we are surrounded by recording devices. You can record your voice or film a mock class to develop your Yoga teaching skills. Watch the recording of yourself teaching Yoga, and later, practice along with the film or the audio recording. Then you can make corrections as you deal with the learning curve involved in becoming a Yoga teacher.

If you have some areas in your video or audio recording that need work; you will find a solution, but you must be patient with yourself. We are our own worst critics. This is just a part of the learning process in becoming a Yoga teacher. It is guaranteed that if you try, you will succeed, and you will not be let down.

Many of my best Yoga teacher training graduates spent their lives under estimating themselves, but found independence and a better quality life, teaching Yoga. The harshest judge many of us face on a daily basis is ourselves.

This is not an exercise in self-criticism, but a proven method for developing your Yoga teaching skills. Do not “beat yourself up,” but do take a constructive look at ways you can improve the range of your voice, cueing skills, and your Yoga lesson plan.

You should also seek out a trusted friend or an experienced Yoga teacher for constructive advice. Some Yoga teacher mentors will tutor you through any part of learning process.
Later, you may need at least one student and you can film your lesson plan in any open room. Some Yoga teacher interns have filmed a class outside, depending upon the season. Teaching Yoga in different settings will also build new found confidence.

You will learn to develop your own lesson plan. This is not acting, but a way to see your personality evolve into a Yoga teacher. This evolution of personality knows no boundaries. Most Yoga teachers are very confident and make the most out of enjoying life to its fullest potential every day.

To be honest, I was nervous when I taught my first Yoga class. I never thought I would be a public speaker, and I never considered that I would some day train Yoga teachers from every part of the earth. The raw skills are within all of us, but your dreams will not be realized without positive action by you.

Life happens, and hopefully, most of us change for the best. As a result, you will help others and have a tremendous feeling of satisfaction, when you become a Yoga teacher.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To see find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our online hatha yoga teacher training programs, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What Else Should a Hatha Yoga Teacher Know About Teaching Yoga Classes?

500 hour yoga certification course
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Yoga teacher ethics should be thoroughly covered in all accredited Yoga certification programs. With the current laws about harassment, all Yoga teachers, and anyone who works with the public, should beware. The less said, in your Yoga class about trivial matters, the better.

Just like Yoga teachers often say to their students, “Stay in the moment.” Within your class, “it’s all about Yoga” and anything else beyond that can be open to misinterpretation. Walk the middle path, avoid extremes, show loving kindness, and maintain a standard of professionalism within all of your Yoga classes.

Communication should be clear at all times. You must demonstrate, communicate verbally, and assist, if you have permission to do so. Always ask permission before making a physical assist during Asana practice.

Chakras are the energy centers of the physical and astral body. Yoga teachers know about balancing and cleansing them. Most Yoga teachers are familiar with the seven main Chakras, but there are many more. No one should play with “Chakra Awakenings,” without proper guidance from a Guru.

Bandhas are the many locks, but Hatha Yoga teachers should know Mulha Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha very well. These are the three main Bandhas.

Mudras are gestures and they are often integrated with specific Pranayama techniques for healing. Not all Mudras are performed with the hands. In Sanskrit Mudra means “seal.” There are many Mudras and learning this is part of a Hatha Yoga teacher’s continuing education.

The Six Kriyas or Shatkarmas are the six hygienic “deeds” or “actions.” A Yoga teacher should be clean in mind, body, and spirit. Every Hatha Yoga teacher is familiar with these six Kriyas.

Meditation is a part of each form of Yoga. It is a tool for clearing, calming, and focusing your mind, but there are also many methods of meditation. Each path of meditation leads to tranquility.

All Yoga teachers should practice meditation twice per day. Guiding Yoga students is one thing, but a Yoga teacher’s meditation practice should be regimented.

A Yoga teacher should also be familiar with relaxation methods, specially, stage-by-stage relaxation. This relaxation method should be practiced privately, and Yoga teachers should make their students familiar with this technique.

With all of the above points mentioned, you can now see why the jump from Yoga student to Yoga teacher will take some time and serious practice.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To see find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our online hatha yoga teacher training programs, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

Friday, July 21, 2006

What Should a Hatha Yoga Teacher Know? – Part 5


By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Competent Yoga teachers should have enough knowledge to work with special populations. This includes students with disabilities, seniors, and many more specialized groups with physical limitations. The reason is that Hatha Yoga is a health maintenance system, but some people only look at the superficial aspects.

If a Yoga teacher is only capable of instructing elite athletes who are 16 to 25 years of age, that’s wonderful. However, such a Yoga teacher should accept the title of “Yoga fitness coach,” as this is a limited method for teaching Yoga students.

As Yoga teachers, we always remember the students who can turn their bodies into pretzels, but that is not all there is to Hatha Yoga. If Yoga were a physical competition, we could invite some top gymnasts to teach classes and retire from teaching Yoga because we were too old to perform feats that impress a crowd.

This is not meant to imply disrespect to young gymnasts, martial artists, dancers, or any other highly trained athlete. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge, effort, work, and time that is involved in their specific training. Therefore, the same can be said for Yoga; since teaching Yoga requires in-depth knowledge and training.

Some of the children, I have trained, around 10 years of age are capable of performing amazing asanas with fantastic form. Should they be teaching Hatha Yoga to the rest of us? By now, I hope you understand my point.

Many Yoga teachers work with special populations because it challenges the mind. You have to research ailments, consult with other Yoga teachers, and find solutions to problems. This might be frustrating to a Yoga teacher who wants to show what he or she can physically do.

Therefore, a Yoga teacher who has not matured much past “showing off” should not be teaching Yoga to special populations. As long as he or she doesn’t hurt any elite athletes, everything should be fine. Some Yoga teachers are capable of working with the young and the old Yoga students, within the course of a week, but this is not usually the case.

The key ingredients for teaching Yoga to special populations are compassion, patience, understanding, and maturity. When Yoga teachers work with these groups, we always remember the fantastic comebacks Yoga students made from a stroke, heart attack, ailment, disease, trauma, or a special condition.

To be in the presence of a positively charged human spirit is an amazing feeling. This is what usually happens when Yoga students, who the world might have given up on, make a come back from a near death experience. These very special Yoga students will never be forgotten due to their indomitable spirit.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


To see find out more about yoga or to see our selection of affordable courses, including our affordable yoga teacher training online programs, please use the yoga resources on the right side of this page.

If you are a teacher, yoga studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!