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Thursday, September 11, 2014
Learning How To Teach Yoga Students
By Faye Martins
Over the past decade, yoga has emerged as one of the most popular forms of exercise. Going beyond a regular exercise program, yoga is a great way to learn meditation, relaxation and peace of mind. With so many yoga programs available, it can be difficult to make sure that your yoga studio stands out from the competition. The following guide provides effective tips on how to teach yoga students.
When teaching yoga students, it's important to create a calm, relaxing environment. Excessive noise and distractions should be minimized. If a yoga studio is located next to a noisy road, coffee shop or other location, it may be necessary to put up noise-blocking materials. Many online stores offer special soundproofing materials for walls. These materials can help mask the noises of the outside world.
Instead of outside noises, a yoga session should be accompanied by natural, healing sounds. Gentle, relaxing music is a great way to get students to let go completely.
Scents can also be a great way to create a gentle, warm ambiance for a yoga session. Scents of lilac, rosewood and peppermint can help ensure a welcoming environment for all yoga students in your classroom.
When guiding students through each yoga pose, it's important to make sure that everyone feels welcome. Since most yoga classes comprise people of different skill levels, it's essential to offer poses that work for both beginners and advanced practitioners. For example, a basic downward dog pose will work well for people just learning about yoga. For advanced practitioners, a raised leg downward dog is a good choice. By providing different options for your students, everyone can work at his or her skill level.
Each yoga class should start with at least three minutes of meditation. Starting in mountain pose, everyone should close their eyes and place their hands in prayer position. Once everyone is in position, some gentle music can be added to enhance the experience.
Once this meditation is over, lead your class through several rounds of sun salutations. These can help loosen tight muscles and are a great way to reduce the risk of serious injuries as a class progresses.
It's important to make sure the entire body is adequately supple before starting any strength poses. While warrior poses are a pivotal part of a yoga practice, they can often cause strains in the legs if muscles aren't ready for them. Likewise, a raised leg downward dog can cause high levels of tension in the back and neck. By stretching these areas before going into an advanced pose, yoga teachers can reduce the risk of injuries to their students.
During the practice, it's important to make sure that each part of the body receives the same level of attention. If you're doing warrior poses or pigeon poses, it's essential to ensure that these exercises are completed on both sides of the body.
As the class progresses, you can increase the number of poses you do each minute. This provides a great cardiovascular workout for students. At the end of each session, students should remain in corpse pose for at least five minutes. This gives the body time to regenerate and allows students to reflect on the yoga session.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.
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