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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.