Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga for Peace of Mind

500 hour yoga certification course
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


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