Monday, September 10, 2012

Yoga Teacher Training: Shallow Breathers


yoga certification
By Kimaya Singh

During a Yoga instructor training course you practice with interns and teachers.  Yet, most of the students you teach will have difficulty with breathing. No yoga certification course will prepare you for the student who doesn’t know how to breathe.

Shallow breathers tend to take in small breaths without filling up the diaphragm or lower lungs with air. Most shallow breathers might be unaware of their habit until they realize how good they feel when they give deeper breathing a try. The chakra associated with breath and air is the heart chakra, or the Anahata chakra. There are many asanas, or yoga poses, that will help to open the heart chakra and allow it to fill with ample air. This will bring vitality and warmth into your life.




Heart Opening Asanas for Shallow Breathers

In general, heart-opening poses expose the chest and allow positive energy to flow in towards the heart. Any postures that pull the shoulders back, stretch the arms or include arching the back will help to open the heart chakra and improve airflow to the heart. It is easier to be conscious of shallow breathing when you are exposing your heart in this manner. Shallow breathers can then work to intensify each breath.

Heart Opening Wall Stretch

Kneel next to a wall, placing one palm and forearm flat against the wall. Twist slightly by pushing the outside shoulder back and slightly arching the spine. This will open the chest and provide a stretch to the heart. Hold this pose as you breathe deeply for one minute or longer. Repeat on the other side.




Side Stretch

Begin in a seated position, tucking one leg in towards the pelvis and extending the other leg out with the foot flexed. Reach to the extended leg side with that same arm, placing the forearm on the floor next to the knee or calf. Reach up and back slightly with the opposite arm, opening the chest fully. Bring your gaze upward and breathe. Hold the pose for a minute or more and repeat on the other side.

Proud Pigeon

Begin in the same leg position as the side stretch but turn your upper body forward over the bent knee. Allow the back leg to stretch long behind you. Support your upper body by bringing the opposite arm of the bent knee to rest in front of the knee on the forearm. Twist the upper body to the side of the bent knee to open the chest. Reach back with the opposite arm while you bend the back leg from the knee. Grab that back ankle with your arm, using a strap if necessary. Hold and breathe for a minute or more before switching sides.




© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

If you are a Yoga Teacher, 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, including the resource box above. Namaste!



Sunday, September 09, 2012

Yoga Teacher Training: Anxiety Relief


yoga training
By Kimaya Singh
Once in a while, you meet a person who refuses to see the value of pranayama. When you finish yoga teacher training, you have an arsenal of stress reducing techniques, but the public has a right to choose to do them, or not. Doctors, nurses and therapists are also amazed at the mindset of their patients. The point I’m diving at is nothing works, if a person refuses to put the effort into it.
“Just Breathe.” How many times have you heard someone say this when you are anxious or stressed to your maximum capacity? Isn’t it funny that at the base of yoga, which has been around for centuries, is pranayama? It should not come as any surprise that using yoga techniques for anxiety relief is one of the top methods. I find it incredibly sad that people today tend to turn to prescription medication to calm down. I have countless friends and family members that take something for stress, and as you can guess I am constantly dragging them to yoga with me. No one should have to depend on medication to live a full life, if they have a choice.



How Yoga Kicks Anxiety
Studies over the years have concluded that yoga practice, which involves, of course, meditation and pranayama technique modulates stress response systems. Not only that, it increases the heart rate variable which allows the body to respond to stress in a positive way. Also, because stress has been proven to cause pain, and vice versa, the slow and effective stretches that yoga is made up of relieves pain and in turn, reduces stress. All of the elements of our lives are intertwined so when one is aided and soothed, it tends to relieve the others. Amazing, isn’t it? When you become “in tune” with your body through yoga training and then you can recognize when your anxiety is rising in order to tackle it before it begins.
The following is a sample yoga training routine that can help students suffering from stress and anxiety. As always be sure to guide them into focus on breathing and finding their center. Meditation is key for this ailment and many new students are not skilled in this area yet.



• First take a few moments to breathe and focus on the anxiety they are trying to relieve. Guide them into letting go of whatever it is that they are holding onto.
• Slow Sun Salutation – This is always a nice, slow asana sequence to stretch the entire body and come to a place of complete focus.
• Downward Dog – Give time in this pose to relax, stretch the spine, and release tension.
• Half Moon – A perfect pose to find balance and demand focus on something other than the stress.
• Seated Forward Bend – Guide the student farther and farther down through breaths to relieve tension in the neck.
Camel Pose – This asana is perfect for releasing tension in the front of the body.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
If you are a Yoga Teacher, 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, including the resource box above. Namaste!