Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The New Teacher's Guide To Designing A Yoga Lesson Plan

By Faye Martins
Teaching yoga can be a rewarding career path or a great way to make extra money on the side. Planning your first few sessions can be nerve-wracking, but it does not have to be difficult. These simple steps make designing a yoga lesson plan easy and fun.
Choose Your Style

Before you jump into the details, decide on the type of class you want to provide. Choose your yoga style first followed by the students you want to cater to. A beginner's class, prenatal course or weight loss program will each have their own needs. Make a list of class-based considerations to keep in mind while you plan.

Ambiance is dependent on your personal energy, music, your tone of voice and the pacing you choose. It is often easiest to match the class energy and activities to your personal energy. For instance, if you are an upbeat person, high-energy classes could be your key to success, while a calmer tone goes hand-in-hand with guided meditation.

Tailoring to Skill Level

Skill level plays a major role in the pacing, mood and planning of any lesson plan. A beginner's lesson will demand a slower pace and more time spent on explanation. Less demanding or simplified poses are necessary, and you may have to spend a few lessons helping your students master the basics.

Advanced classes will flow more easily from pose-to-pose. You can expand your options by making simple poses more demanding. Beginning and ending each class on the same few poses can impart a sense of consistency to your lessons.

Beginnings and Ends

Most classes should begin with a brief overview of the day's goals and a gentle warm-up. Warm-ups range from 5 to 10 minutes and should be tailored to your style. They help ground your students and put them in the right mindset. This is the perfect time to teach a breathing technique or a mantra.

Regardless of your teaching style, the last 10 to 15 minutes should be devoted to a "cool down" period. Choose gentle poses, lead a guided meditation or teach a gentle stretch. Closing the lesson with the Savasana pose will give your students time to ground themselves and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

Planning the Middle

Many instructors find designing a yoga lesson plan easier when they plan around music. It helps with pacing as well as setting the scene for your students. Warm-ups and cool-downs beg unobtrusive music. You can continue the gentle music or pick up the pace for a high-intensity class. Make the transition between tempos as gentle as possible.

A good rule of thumb is to begin with gentle poses, lead into standing poses and end on deep stretches and floor poses. The rule is not absolute, and varying it can make things interesting. You can also build a whole lesson up to learning a difficult pose. Do not forget to practice your own lesson plan to make sure it flows.

Planning is vital for a successful yoga class, and the more thought you put into it, the more successful you will be. Do not be afraid to browse books, DVDs or online videos for inspiration or take a variety of classes with different teachers to see what you could be doing.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Advantages Of Online Continuing Education For Yoga Teachers

become a yoga teacher online
By Faye Martins

These days, many wellness experts are acknowledging the fact that continuing education for yoga teachers empowers both the instructors and students to get the most out of exercise classes. Moreover, instructors that opt to enroll in ongoing educational classes afford themselves the opportunity to gain a plethora of great benefits such as raises, bonuses, and promotions. As a result of technological advances, continuing education courses are now available online. Teachers who are interested in taking ongoing courses should know that the online format can bring them many advantages. Some of them include:

1. Scheduling Flexibility.

Now as always, peoples' schedules are oftentimes full as they attempt to juggle a job, school, and/or domestic responsibilities such as child-rearing. With that idea in mind, many yoga instructors find the idea of enrolling in continuing education courses advantageous yet impossible to accomplish because of their full schedules. Yet by enrolling in online courses, teachers gain access to flexible study schedules and are oftentimes not required to be in a physical classroom at specific periods of time. In many cases, this scheduling flexibility enables teachers to take and excel in their yoga courses while maintaining a full-time job and/or taking care of their responsibilities within the home setting.

2. Acquisition Of Transferable Skills.

In a world where people are increasingly reliant on information technology and the online realm, individuals who are skilled in using either or both of these modalities acquire a valuable skill set that employers view favorably. And as many online education experts know, individuals who opt to participate in online educational courses typically gain substantive transferable skills such as the effective and expedient use of e-mail, Microsoft Office, internet research, and more. Each of these skills is of great value and is often integral to the effective functioning of gyms, recreational centers, and other facilities where yoga teachers offer classes to students. 

3. Ability To Save Money.

Oftentimes, online courses are offered at cheaper prices than those that take place in the traditional learning format. Additionally, many students find that they are able to save money through online learning because they don't have to spend money fueling their vehicle and driving it to a physical campus. 

Getting Started

Once a yoga teacher recognizes the great value of pursuing online continuing education courses, she or he may be ready to get the process started. To ensure that one has great success in this endeavor, it's important to keep a few key things in mind. First, it's important that the online courses taken are offered by a reputable institution. If the institution is a university, it should have regional accreditation and an established brand. In addition to ensuring that the online learning courses are being offered from a reputable institution, teachers should take time to learn what type of value the course will bring to the classes they teach. Finally, teachers should look into whether the type of online course they want to take will be perceived as value-adding to their employer. Once these assessments are made, teachers will be ready to select the ideal ongoing learning courses. 

Summing It All Up 

Yoga teachers who are interested in expanding their knowledge and building their career should know that investing in online continuing education courses can help them realize their goal. In taking online courses, teachers will likely find that they enhance the value of the classes they teach and also give their careers a substantive boost.

Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Yoga for Sleep: Supported Upavistha Konasana

By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

Although many Yoga students and teachers may feel that summer is the high season for a variety of outdoor activities, frequently the fall season is just as busy, if not more so. This seems to be especially true in temperate areas, such as the Northeastern United States, where there are four seasons. In areas such as New York and New England, many of us are aware that all too quickly the warmth of the summer will begin to fade as we approach the Autumn Equinox later this month.

As the nights become cooler and the heat and humidity of the summer weather begins to dissipate with each successive day, many Yoga practitioners find that they are racing to fit in all of the outdoor activities they were planning on doing before the weather turns crisp and cool. If this is the case for you, you may find that your schedule is over booked as the fall season gets into full swing. This may be particularly true if you are starting a new school year, commencing a professional training program or are working on a new project at work. 

As the days begin to shorten, you may also find yourself rushing to fit in that final week at the beach or climb a mountain peak that has been calling to you all summer. With all of this activity, many Yoga students find that their level of anxiety and sense of being rushed is much higher. You may also find that you are pressed at the end of the day to check your email or return text messages late into the evening that you were unable to get to earlier in the day. All of these circumstances can lead to problems falling and staying asleep.

* Upavishta Konasana or Wide Angle Seated Forward Fold

Upavishta Konasana, or Wide Angle Seated Forward Fold, is a wonderfully relaxing Yoga pose that helps to quell an overactive mind and release deep-seated tension in the groins, back of the legs and lower back area. This Yoga pose also relieves arthritis, detoxifies the kidneys, eases sciatica, stimulates the abdominal organs, and calms the mind. Practicing Upavishta Konasana in a supported fashion is even more relaxing and therapeutically effective if you are having difficulty sleeping. To practice Wide Angle Seated Forward Fold in a supported fashion you will need a Yoga bolster or a rolled blanket. 

Wide Angle Seated Forward Fold is generally practiced toward the end of a Yoga class or session. This posture can also be practiced as a “stand alone” Yoga pose as part of a warm up or cool down session after a workout if you are cross training. It is also a nice posture to practice just prior to going to bed. When you are ready to practice Upavishta Konasana, come to a wide-angle seated position on your Yoga mat. If you are practicing this posture in a supported fashion, place a Yoga bolster or rolled blanket in between your legs and perpendicular to your torso. If you are using a rolled blanket, please roll the blanket up lengthwise so that is long enough to support your entire torso. 

With an inhale raise your arms over head. With your next exhale, extend your arms forward, and then place your palms down on your Yoga mat between your legs. If you are using a Yoga bolster or a rolled blanket, extend your arms forward and place your palms on either side of the prop as you drape your torso over the prop. If your hamstrings are tight today, you may bend your knees slightly or use a small rolled towel or blanket underneath each knee to support your legs and rest more comfortably in the posture. Hold Wide Angle Seated Forward Fold for three to five minutes. 

While you are in Upavishta Konasana, remember to breath deeply by expanding your lungs fully on the inhale and releasing your breath completely on the exhale. I often find that when I am stressed, anxious or over scheduled that I tend to breath in a shallow manner. By remembering to expand my lungs completely on the inhale and release my breath completely on the exhale, my mind quiets down naturally. When you have completed your practice of Upavishta Konasana, remove any props that you are using and come back to Easy Seat on your Yoga mat before proceeding on to the next pose in your Yoga practice or resting in Shavasana. 

© Copyright 2014 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Should Beginners Practice Hot Yoga?

hot yoga class
By Eleanor Bartel

Whether it's power, vinyasa, hatha, Bikram, or Baptiste, yoga performed in a heated studio has become a popular new trend. Hot yoga can be a taught in a variety of styles, but the yoga itself is always performed in a studio that is most typically heated between 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea is that the heat will help students deepen their practice by allowing the muscles and ligaments to relax and stretch in the warm environment. Many practitioners also believe that by sweating in the heated studio, students can detox their body. Hot yoga is an intense experience, but it can be suitable for yoga beginners. Even novices can benefit from a hot yoga class, as long as they have an experienced teacher to prepare them.

Hot Yoga Introduction

If you have a new student coming into your hot yoga class, make an effort to give them a tour of the studio before their first class. Be sure to go into the heated room with them so that they will know what to expect. Show the student where you keep your mats, if you have any available for rent, and where they can get water. Make sure you discuss what they will need to bring, such as a mat, towel, and water, and what is appropriate for them to wear to class. You can show them where they can keep their things and where they can shower. Be sure to go over what they should not bring into the actual class (like cell phones!). Before their first class, it can be helpful to give out information about proper nutrition and hydration as well. Students should be well-hydrated before they arrive to a hot yoga class in order to avoid fatigue and nausea. It is also best to perform hot yoga on a mostly empty stomach, so advise eating a light meal no later than 1 and a half hours before class. This may seem like a lot of information, but it will help the student be prepared for their first class.

Listening to the Body

Encourage each student, whether they are a total beginner or a more experienced practitioner, to listen to their body during class. Sometimes, the heat can be overwhelming, and a student may feel nauseous or faint. This can happen even if someone has taken classes more months – perhaps they didn't get enough water that day, or they are feeling run down. Encourage students to stay in the room if possible, resting in a restorative pose such as Shavasana or child's pose if they need to. Make sure students are drinking enough water and replenishing electrolytes if they have dizziness or lightheadedness during class. Don't pressure your students into remaining in the heated room at all times. Let them to listen to their bodies and leave if they need to. This is especially true for beginners, who are not yet accustomed to the heat.

Discuss Health Conditions

While most people can benefit from hot yoga, even if they are a yoga novice, some people with certain medical conditions should not try to do this practice. Before a new student signs up for your hot yoga class, encourage them to consult their physician to ensure they are healthy enough to participate. Some contraindications may include pregnancy, cardiovascular conditions, and chronic diseases. People taking certain prescription medications may also need to consult their doctor for more information before they can safely participate.

Hot yoga is a wonderful type of practice that is very unique and rewarding. Many people find themselves returning to hot yoga again and again because of the amazing feeling it gives the body, both during the practice and after. Both beginner practitioners and experienced students can participate in hot yoga classes of various levels in order to get all the benefits from practicing yoga in these special heated studios.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Using Classical Yoga For Healing

yoga for healing
By Faye Martins

The practice of Yoga dates back more than 5,000 years. The desire for personal freedom, health and longevity gave birth to this form of physical and mental exercise. Yoga brings the mind and body together in a harmonious encounter which is why many use Yoga for healing.

The System of Yoga 

Yoga, built on the three compositions of exercise, breathing, and meditation strengthens the glandular systems, ultimately increasing a person's total health. The body is the means that allows us to act and evolve in the world. Therefore those practicing Yoga treat the body with respect and care.

Breath work is as much a part of Yoga as breath is the body's source of life. Increasing breath control is essential in improving the health of both the body and mind. Using exercise and breathing together help prepare the mind for meditation which allows for quiet and healing from everyday stress. Daily practice of Yoga with exercise, breath control and meditation help produce a clear mind and strong body.

Therapeutic benefits of Yoga are not always quantifiable but today many medical practitioners and surgeons are recommending Yoga for a wide range of symptoms and illnesses. Among some of the most commonly treated are back and knee pain, sciatica, tendonitis, carpal tunnel and many others.

Benefits of Yoga 

Physical benefits of Yoga include the following.

- Strengthens and tones every part of the body.

- Increases endurance and the capacity to do work.

- Creates more flexibility through correct stretching.

- Establishes a straight and effortless posture.

- Improves glandular function and relaxation for increased energy.

- Creating a healthy state of well-being and a balanced body and mind.

Mental and spiritual benefits may include these advantages.

- An improved ability to concentrate on daily issues.

- Better mental balance resulting in increased emotional stability.

- Inner peace and a sense of being calm even during times of stress.

- Increased intellect and wisdom.

- A sense of lightness and freedom that is as deep as the soul.

- Unity of body, soul and spirit.

Types of Yoga

There are several different types of Yoga. Hatha Yoga is probably the most recognized name. Hatha Yoga incorporates the physical movements and postures with breathing techniques. Postures serve a dual purpose of spiritual development and physical health. Executing postures correctly and consistently can help to give physical health in all areas.

Raja Yoga incorporates exercise, breathing, meditation and study producing a well-rounded person. Jnana Yoga includes learning the nature of self. Jnana Yoga, termed the yoga of wisdom, is considered the most difficult path.

Bhatki Yoga and Karma Yoga are both more spiritual with a concentration on one's concept of God. The difference between the two is that Bhatki focuses on emotion while Karma focuses on action.

There are several other forms of Yoga and choosing one is a completely personal choice. Just as we are all unique people, so are the different forms of Yoga. Each bring with it healing and calming qualities. Yoga is notable for helping the body deal with changes in life, seasonal changes, stress and much more.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

5 Reasons Why Yoga For Biking Is A Good Idea

preparation for hand to extended toe posture
By Faye Martins

Biking and yoga are both excellent forms of exercise. They are also both very popular right now. There are people who will swear that one or the other is the best fitness activity you can do, but there's no need to choose sides. Doing both of them is best of all, as they complement one another in several important ways. Yoga for biking can help you stay in great shape and reduce the chances of injuries. Let's look at the top five reasons why you should practice yoga if you ride a bike.

1. Promotes Good Posture and Spinal Alignment

Many yoga poses lengthen the spine and teach you to keep your back and neck in alignment. This is important to keep in mind while you're cycling. The looser your spine is, the more relaxed you'll be on your bike and the less likely you'll feel fatigued from riding.
2. Keeps Your Legs Strong and Limber

Your legs bear the brunt of the work when you cycle. Pedaling is a repetitive motion that takes its toll on the legs. Yoga involves many stretches involving the knees, hips and legs. Over time, cycling can put a strain on your knees, quads and hamstrings. Regular yoga practice can help keep your leg muscles limber and strong. This reduces the chances of injuries to these areas and helps prevent soreness.
3. Makes Your Bike Riding More Meditative

The lessons you learn in yoga can be transferred to riding a bicycle. Yoga teaches you to breathe deeply, relax and enter a meditative state that unified body and mind. These principles work well when riding a bike. They can help you enjoy riding even more. It can also help you stay calm and breathe into pedaling when you experience challenges such as steep hills.

4. Strengthens Your Core

One of the benefits of regular yoga practice is that it strengthens your entire core. Poses such as planks work your abdomen, legs and back muscles. This will make you a stronger cyclist. It also makes it less likely that you will experience back and other types of injuries from riding.

5. Shortens Recovery Time

For cyclists who go on challenging rides, yoga can help reduce recovery time. Yoga provides the perfect counterbalance to the rigors of cycling. You stretch and lengthen your muscles, which helps them recover from the many hours of pedaling you've done.

Yoga and Biking Are the Perfect Combination

Just as there are many benefits to doing yoga for biking, the reverse is true as well. Biking is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise. This promotes aerobic fitness, which is not always prioritized in all forms of yoga. While yoga is appropriate for people of all levels of fitness, it can be very helpful to start off with the kind of fitness promoted by cycling. Both yoga and biking are highly beneficial, and they are even better together.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Bone Up With Yoga Therapy For Osteoporosis

By Faye Martins

There are many risk factors for Osteoporosis that cannot be controlled. However, what can help limit the chances of acquiring the ailment is a lifestyle that utilizes preventive care for your bones. These choices should occur during your 20's and 30's to help maintain strong bones throughout your life. However, if you miss this window, it is never too late to start. The weight-bearing poses utilized in yoga therapy for osteoporosis can help lower the risk of Osteoporosis in the future or ease the ailment if you already have it.
Maintaining Good Posture

In order to maintain healthy bones you must keep good posture. Standing and seated yoga poses significantly help with good posture. When an individual has Osteoporosis, their vertebrae weaken and they become more vulnerable to a collapse. If poor posture is added to the already-weakened spine, the chance of a vertebral fracture rises. However, by practicing standing, sitting, walking and adding forward and backward bends into a daily yoga practice, you can strengthen the front and back sections of the vertebral column to increase flexibility.

Best Yoga Poses for Osteoporosis

When starting yoga therapy for Osteoporosis, there are several poses that will maximize the effect of the exercise. The six best poses for Osteoporosis include:

Bridge Pose

The Bridge Pose is extremely therapeutic for osteoporosis and provides a stretch of the back, chest and neck. Simply lay down with your feet flat on the ground. Then, lift up your back while keeping your head against the ground and hold for 30-60 seconds.

Seated Twisting Pose

The Seated Twisting Pose adds pressure to the spine and the bones respond by strengthening. Start by sitting Indian style and tuck one leg under the other. Then move the right arm to the other side of the left leg and do the reverse.

Twisted Triangle Pose

For weak bones or joints, the Twisted Triangle Pose is one of the best exercises. This pose helps to support the bones and avoid any fractures. The added spine twist can help build up the back bones. To begin, spread your legs while standing. Then, gently twist the body so your right arm touches your left foot and then reverse to the other side. Make sure to keep your left arm in the air for maximum effectiveness.

Extended Side Angle Pose

The extended side angle pose offers easy stretching while strengthening the bones. The pose is most commonly practiced with the lower forearm on the knee or the hand on the floor. Simply stand in a wide pose with the right one leg straight and the other bent. Lean toward the bent leg and rest your forearm on your knee. With the other arm, extend it over your head.

Locust Pose

Although the Locust Pose may appear to be simple, it can be challenging. Regardless, it is an effective method of stretching and strengthening the back and spine. It can also assist with easing lower back pain. To perform, raise the legs and upper torso simultaneously and hold the pose three times for 10 seconds each.

Tree Pose

The Tree Pose helps to work all areas of the body. Start by standing on one leg with your other leg tucked against your inner thigh. Then, hold the tree post pose for 30-60 seconds on each side with your hands in prayer position. Finally, extend your hands above the head and hold.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

About Teaching Yoga Sessions - Popular Yoga Types

popular yoga types
By Faye Martins
The best advantages about teaching yoga sessions are that they bring physical and mental health advantages to your body. Yoga has many health advantages including reducing blood pressure, increasing flexibility and improving endurance and flow of blood. Yoga also helps many people with stress, depression and anxiety. Regular sessions of yoga also help to improve concentration and focus. There are several types of yoga; some focus on balance, strength and toning while others focus on meditation and increasing focus.

Bikram Yoga

This type of yoga was created by an Olympic weight lifter. It focuses on flexibility, weight loss, toning and muscle strengthening. One of the unique features about this type of yoga is the temperature. During a bikram yoga session, the room is heated to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most sessions last up to 90 minutes and cover 26 yoga positions.

Performing Bikram yoga may be slightly uncomfortable at first but once you finish, you feel relaxed, well worked and flexible. There are many health benefits of Bikram yoga including improving flow of blood, helping the body rid itself of toxins and improving hormonal balance in the body. Bikram yoga helps to improve flow of blood even when the body changes positions. The heat and body positioning makes the body produce significant amounts of sweat, which helps to strengthen body systems.

Hatha Yoga

This type of yoga focuses on meditation, posturing and breathing exercises. Hatha yoga involves keeping the body in certain positions for fixed periods. Remaining in one position for a certain period helps you to regulate the flow of energy through your body.

Hatha yoga is ideal for stress management and reduction. This type of yoga has more than 200 positions that people can try during sessions. Some of the Hatha yoga positions include sitting, reclining and bending. The objective is to stay in one position for a certain period before switching to another. This aids in improving balance.

For the best results, begin your Hatha yoga sessions in a relaxed state of mind. Sitting still in one position for a certain period calms your body. Hatha yoga is not meant to be strenuous. It increases strength, flexibility and helps participants to focus.

Jivamukuti Yoga

Jivamukuti yoga goes beyond what many people know about teaching yoga sessions. Apart from the typical yoga moves and positioning exercises, Jivamukuti yoga also emphasizes a peaceful lifestyle, vegetarianism and prayer. The sessions can be physically strenuous to participants.

Jivamukuti yoga associates physical problems with a person's state of mind. For example, tightness is associated with negative thoughts and emotions. Common practices performed during Jivamukuti yoga sessions include chanting Sanskrit as calming music plays in the background as well as performing positions that bring participants to face their emotions.

Ashtanga Yoga

This type of yoga class is not recommended for beginners. Ashtanga yoga is a form of athletic yoga that involves coordinating breathing techniques with continual posture series. This type of yoga makes participants perspire intensely due to internal heat. Ashtanga yoga is physically demanding and helps to improve flexibility, vigor and circulation.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Simple Steps For Yoga Student Safety

yoga student safety
By Faye Martins

Few physical activities are as beneficial as yoga. The practice of yoga cultivates physical strength, stamina, flexibility and proper breathing. The benefits don't end there, as yoga helps participants develop mental clarity, concentration and peace of mind. Yoga is a high performance tool that develops both physical and psychological well-being. Like any good tool, however, yoga can do harm if not used properly. Before including this valuable practice in your wellness regimen, consider the following steps that promote yoga student safety.

Consult Your Physician

As with any exercise activity, it's a good idea to speak with your physician before beginning yoga. Practiced properly, yoga stretches and strengthens muscles and develops flexibility in joints, ligaments and tendons throughout the body. Yoga also requires an increasing level of cardiovascular fitness as the practice progresses to longer sessions and more challenging poses. For all of these reasons, it's wise to seek the advice of your doctor to before you launch a yoga practice.

Find a Qualified Teacher

Whether you plan to attend yoga classes or pursue yoga independently through books or videos, it makes sense to do your homework and find a teacher or other resource that provides expert knowledge of yoga in a safe and positive way. Today's Internet enabled world makes this job easy. Most any yoga teacher, book or video series that's been used by a large number of people has been reviewed by users, and it's easy to find these reviews online. Take the time to research the resources you plan to use and read the reviews. Find resources with lots of positive user reviews that express satisfaction and praise for the physical benefits received.

View a Class

Most yoga instructors will allow you to view one of their classes before you participate actively. This gives you the chance to observe their teaching technique and the level of difficulty of the poses and postures they teach. Depending on your fitness and prior experience with yoga, certain levels of difficulty may prove dangerous and increase your likelihood of injury. This is particularly true if the teacher is not observant and attentive to students, or if they push students to perform difficult poses. Fortunately, most yoga teachers do a good job and promote safe practice that's tailored to each individual's capabilities, but it still makes sense to observe a class before you begin. If you choose to pursue yoga independently using one of the many videos that are available, it's wise to view the video all the way through without performing the poses to make sure the level of difficulty is appropriate for your circumstances.

Get the Right Gear

Yoga clothing and equipment such as a mat, blocks and bands are about more than just style. Properly fitted clothing promotes easy movement that can help you avoid pulled muscles and strained joints, and good quality accessories help you perform postures properly to maximize their benefits and reduce the chance for injury. If you are unsure what to buy, consult your teacher or read online or other resources.

Yoga is a wonderful practice that provides physical and mental benefits for a lifetime. Make the most of your practice and follow these steps to promote safety and well-being as you begin your journey with yoga. Namaste!
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Enthusiastically Teaching Yoga Classes

Enthusiastically Teaching Yoga Classes

Considerations Regarding Online Yoga Certification Programs

certification programs
By Faye Martins
Once a little known eastern tradition, yoga has been steadily gaining in popularity over the past several years. As interest grows, so does the need for qualified yoga instructors. This interest has generated a number of online yoga certification programs.

Individual programs will each have their own prospectus with no one school being the same as another. So, how does one choose the best school or program for their needs? While there is no set formula for choosing one program over another, there are some things to consider that might make the choice easier.

Take the Time to Research

It is important to not enroll in the first program you look at. Do a little research and learn what the curriculum consists of and how much the program costs. Costs will vary dramatically depending on the curriculum and other factors.

Another aspect you'll want to consider is the delivery method for teaching the course. You'll want to make sure your system is compatible with the method used. Also, be sure the course will fit with your lifestyle. For instance, some programs need you online at certain times while others will be more flexible.

It is also a good idea to search reviews of the school you are thinking of enrolling in. Previous or current students often post reviews of their experience with a school or instructor. The Better Business Bureau is another place to check. You'll want to know if the school has a good or bad reputation before committing to it.

Yoga Training Takes Time

Whether you attend in person or online, yoga training will take a fair amount of time to complete. Be sure you're ready to commit to this requisite. If not, maybe you should wait until you have adequate time before looking into online yoga certification programs.

That said-online training is more flexible than a traditional on site course. You can typically schedule your online coursework to work around other obligations and better fit your lifestyle. Again, some facilities will have a more rigorous schedule than others. This is another area where your research can help with your decision.

Consider the Elements Being Taught

Each school has unique training methods and curriculum. Some will largely focus on different poses while others will offer a more practical teaching perspective. Then again, there will be schools which will spotlight the holistic aspects of yoga more intensely.

It is very important to know exactly what outcome you are seeking. If learning or brushing up on the more difficult poses is your aim, you'll want to choose a program that concentrates on that aspect. On the other hand, if your goal is teaching, you'll want a program that focuses on that application.

As you can see, there is more to choosing a yoga training program than just picking a program and going with it. Your best recourse is to take time to consider what you want out of the program. Then do a lot of researching on various online schools and programs. Reputable schools want you to succeed and will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Considerations Of Online Yoga Certification Programs And Local Programs

teaching yoga students
By Faye Martins
It is important to consider a couple of key ideas when looking at online yoga certification programs. Many of these ideas are described below and act as a guide to people thinking of becoming a yoga instructor.

Time Management

Some people find an online class is something that is easier to fit into a schedule over a class at a local school. This could be due to other commitments including children, another job with a strict schedule or even a lack of transportation. Others find there aren't any teacher training classes available in their area and don't have the resources to travel to a class farther away.

Personal Drive

However, other people may need the structure of a class they have to physically attend. It could be that a person has difficulty keeping commitments with themselves and needs a peer group or a teacher to count on them. Of course, it is important to be able to keep a schedule and commitments as an instructor - yoga or otherwise. Instructors serve as role models and mentors to many of their students and this is important in the next point as well.

Instructor Influence

A local instructor could be a mentor, but that is not a guarantee. An additional consideration should be about the instructors. For one, what kind of relationship can students have with their instructors? Is there any bonding at all? Some students rely on support from and a connection with their instructors and others don't need as much guidance. As was stated above, instructors everywhere are - at the most basic level - role models and guides. It is important to investigate the instructors in online and local certification programs to ensure they match what prospective students are searching for.

Enrichment Value

Another important point to consider is the amount of information the online yoga certification programs offer compared to a local class. Some online training facilities have libraries of information in their blogs and forums. Some local facilities cut ties with you on the day you graduate. Many students find out their journey has only begun after they complete their teacher certification. There is still so much learning and growing to do in teaching yoga without any consideration of the logistics of teaching coming into play. For example, many people find it difficult to market themselves - yoga isn't about money and many new instructors only intended to deepen their understanding of yoga with their certification. Because of this, it's important to investigate the additional learning that can be gained from both local and online programs.


Networking in any field is an important factor. It can include getting to know others in the field and the guidance they offer on business practices. This can help new yoga instructors make rent with their new jobs when many would otherwise find it quite difficult. It can also aid in dispelling fears about starting to teach yoga that many new instructors have. For example, some instructors are worried about how their students will receive their teaching style. Another worry is a lack of student interest at all. It is important to investigate the networking and guidance the online yoga certification programs offer as compared to local programs.

When considering a future as a yoga instructor, the first step is gaining an education. Whether it's through an online program or a local program, it's important to find a program that fits each student individually so he or she can find the personal growth and development teaching yoga offers many individuals.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.