By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed.
One of the hallmarks of a great Yoga teacher is the ability to generate enthusiasm in your classes. Let’s face it; many classes follow a fairly predictable set of postures. The classical sequence of Sun Salutations, standing postures and so on is fairly consist among many different Yoga styles. In order to keep your students’ enthusiasm level high, it is important to connect and integrate the practice of Yoga into their lives “off the mat.” By connecting the internal and external experiences of Yoga into your students’ lives, you will help them to fully experience, integrate and appreciate the transformational fire of the practice.
As most Yoga teachers know, the term “Yoga” means to yoke to the divine, or to bring into union with the underlying divine energy that permeates the very fabric of the universe. In order to do this, the obstacles to the flow of divine energy in your own heart and mind, and in the hearts and minds of your students, of course, must be removed. When these obstacles, such as fear, anger and addictive craving, are lessened and removed, the heart and body are able to sustain a higher vibration, which translates into more energy, peace and joy.
By integrating the practice of asanas, pranayama exercises, meditation techniques, and scriptural study into your students’ lives “off the mat,” you will give their practice of Yoga a whole new context and in doing so, you will facilitate their appreciation of the alchemical potential of their Yoga practice. This, in turn, will generate enthusiasm for mindfully and skillfully doing postures that are very familiar to them. In addition, by incorporating a period of time into your classes for your students to practice breathing exercises and meditation, you will engender an awareness of their internal thinking patterns, which will offer them the opportunity to release negative and dimming thoughts.
A simple and easy way to incorporate an appreciation for the far reaching potential of Yoga to transform your students’ lives, is to offer them a passage or two of inspirational reading at an appropriate time during your class. For example, you may wish to read a poem or brief passage from a classical text on Yoga. Or you may find it to be timelier to read a seasonal passage. On the other hand, if you find that a number of your students are struggling with similar personal issues in their lives, you may find an inspirational passage that addresses those issues and offers them wisdom and insight on how to gracefully navigate the challenges they are facing.
Another wonderful way to integrate the experience of the practice of Yoga “on the mat” with your students’ lives “off the mat” is to offer a brief reading about another practitioner’s struggle with a certain aspect of their practice or life. For instance, if you have some students in class who are recovering from an injury or surgical procedure, you may wish to read a brief passage about another individual who surmounted similar conditions in their own lives. If that individual is also a Yoga practitioner, the biography that you are reading will have even more of an impact on your students. For example, some months ago I was reading about a well-known Yoga teacher who was diagnosed with brain cancer.
He underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and during his recovery period all he could do was practice 15 minutes of pranayama exercises. For many weeks he could not get out of bed, much less practice Trikonasana or Half Moon Pose! None-the-less, he maintained his daily Yoga practice by setting aside 15 minutes a day to practice pranayama. This daily ritual of self-care helped him to recover his full health over time. By appropriately sharing a biographical story such as this with your students, you will generate more enthusiasm for the practice, as you help your students to integrate the timeless lessons of Yoga more fully into their own lives.
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 specializes in writing customized, search engine-optimized articles that are 100% unique. She is currently accepting yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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