Becoming A Yoga Instructor

If you are really interested in yoga and it has somehow changed or touched your life in a way that you might like to share with others as it was with you, than maybe you should become a yoga instructor. This will allow you to not only keep practicing the art that you love and enjoy so much, but also to pass that joy on to others.

There are different ways to become a yoga instructor. How you go about doing so would depend on your personal tastes and choices. Think about the various options at your disposal. The ways are very different from each other so you will have to decide which way you prefer. Choose carefully as the guidelines and requirements may be different than other professions.

DVD

Some sites sell DVDs that claim to teach you how to become a yoga instructor. As far as whether or not yoga studios allow teachers who learned that way, it would have to depend on the studio. If the DVD you purchased did teach you everything you need to know to properly instruct others than some studios may believe that is all that matters while others may be more strict about the qualifications.

yoga instructor training

Different sites have different DVDs available at different prices, and not all are necessarily valid lessons so be careful. If someone wanted to cheat you out of some money they could sell you a few blank DVDs and by the time you get them they are long gone.

Classes

Some yoga studios and sites offer classes from actual yoga teachers to show you how to properly teach others. This is probably the best way to do it because you will know for a fact that they do teach yoga and that they won’t just send you some unknown video in the mail. Classes are available constantly and it takes about 200 to 500 hours of classes total to get certified. Different studios or sites may have different requirements.

Ask Your Instructor

Most people who decide to become a yoga instructor don’t just wake up one day and decide to go for it. Most of them take yoga and get very interested in it. After a while they begin to think maybe if yoga is their passion they should teach it for a living. So for those people, why not just talk to your own yoga instructor after a class and see how they became a certified yoga instructor? You are already there and clearly they already know so asking them would be a great way to go about it.

They will know what way is most accepted, and they might even be able to teach you themselves to teach another class at the same center. Either way it is a win. They would also be the one to know about the specific requirements for the state you are in. Many professions have different requirements for each state. Sometimes the county or specific city you live in has their own rules too so speaking to someone local would be beneficial to you.

Annie Scornavaccais 23 years old, and a professional freelance writer who currently resides in Pennsylvania.

Bikram, Hatha, Anti Gravity – Which Yoga Class Is For You?

What kind of exercise decreases your blood pressure, normalises your weight, improves mood and subjective wellbeing, and even increases Vitamin C concentrations inside your body? Why of course it’s yoga! Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise that has become increasingly embraced as a great way to exercise one’s body and unite it with the mind and spirit.

Indeed, there are now various types of yoga classes that have emerged as a result of yoga’s recent revival. The different types of classes cater for different body types, motivations, and skill levels – for example, Bikram Yoga is great for weight loss while Hatha Yoga is better for de-stressing.

If you don’t know your Hatha from your Bikram, and your Iyengar you’re your Ashtanga, here are three types of yoga that we highly rate:

Hatha: the yoga of postures

Although ‘Hatha’ means forceful in Sanskrit, hatha yoga classes, at least in the beginning, are known for being gentle, basic classes akin to a slow-paced stretching class. In essence, Hatha yoga concentrates on the practice of postures and breath control as a way for the individual to achieve a balance between their body and mind.

Hatha yoga differs from most common forms of yoga in that it is based on six rather than the eight limbs of yoga, with a particular focus on the third (Asana) and fourth (Pranayama) steps. If you want to start off gentle and reap benefits such as toning your internal organs, preventing hypertension, and opening up energy channels, Hatha yoga is a clear choice for you.

Bikram: the yoga with heat

If you want to get even more specialised, you might want to try Bikram yoga. Bikram is a system of yoga derived from Hatha yoga by Indian yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury. Popularised from the 1970s, Bikram yoga essentially consists of a series of twenty-six stretching and strengthening postures with two breathing exercises. Sounds easy, right?

The trick is that all this is done in a room ideally heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%. It’s a worthwhile price to pay though, considering all the benefits. Bikram is scientifically proven to work your whole body, that is, both your regular joints, muscles, and ligaments, and also your internal organs and glands. This is great for anyone looking to lose weight as well, as Bikram Yoga suppresses the appetite.

Anti Gravity: the yoga you’ve never heard of

How can a type of yoga be against gravity? Despite its name, Anti Gravity yoga is actually not as silly as it sounds. Invented by aerial performer and Broadway choreographer Christopher Harrison, Anti Gravity yoga combines with various exercises in Pilates, calisthenics, and aerial acrobatics, all while done in a hammock-like apparatus.

Like normal yoga, Anti Gravity is great for increasing strength and flexibility – and it helps you see the world from a different view. It also has the added bonus of being beneficial for anyone with back issues, as you can hang freely from the hammock, allowing your spine to lengthen. Oh, and it’s lots of fun too! Cirque du Soleil might be calling soon!

Samantha Morris is a university student and freelance writer who is interested in healthy living and taking good care of her body. She’s definitely keen to take a yoga class sometime soon after this festive season to keep in shape!

Yoga: The Most Effective Scoliosis Exercise

Before we understand about scoliosis exercise let us have a brief overview of what scoliosis is. Scoliosis is a back condition in which a person has side-to-side spinal curves in addition to the normal curves through which the lower portion of the human back curves inwards. This condition can result in severe deformity of the back and cause back pain. There are surgical interventions for curing this problem. But at times these surgeries results in several side effects which hinder the normal life of the patient and one has to look for other alternative remedy. The most effective remedy for such a condition is Scoliosis exercises. Although many exercises help in reducing the Scoliosis-related problems, yoga is improving the problem of uneven curves and it is considered the best Scoliosis exercise. Yoga postures are helpful for providing relief from scoliosis because they enable us to stretch our body and help regain the normal shape of the spine.

The most effective yoga exercises for the treatment of Scoliosis-related problems include the Crocodile twist, the Supine knee chest twist, the passive back arch and the one leg up-one leg out posture. These exercises are very helpful in raising one’s lowered shoulder and reducing the back pain.

The Passive back arch scoliosis exercise has been found to be helpful in not only reducing scoliosis-related pain, but also providing relief from the problems related to condition called pectus excavatum (sunken chest). Pectus excavatum is generally caused due to tight muscles across one’s chest and back and soft bones in the rib cage and spine.

The One leg up and one leg out scoliosis exercise have been found to be very effective in reducing muscular tension in legs.

The Seated twist is a good remedy for the treatment of thoracic twist. This exercise also helps to rectify the alignment of the body and is simple to perform.

The Joint freeing series of scoliosis exercises are particularly helpful for people suffering from scoliosis with tight shoulder muscles. The Head to Knee pose helps in maintaining the alignment of the body and straightening of the spine. The spinal and the abdominal twists result in the stretching of muscles in the shoulder.

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Going gaga over yoga

Pop icon Madonna is probably one of the most popular bi-products of commercialized yoga. Since she started to come out with that toned and buffed figure, women all over the world wanted to know what kind of diet she has been doing. When she revealed that she has been on her journey of self-discovery and has found a new source of spirituality, she also revealed her secret in maintaining her almost eternal youth look—practicing yoga that is.
But, aside from staying fit through practicing of yoga there is so much more about the discipline that people should know.

THE TRUTH ABOUT YOGA

Before becoming gaga over yoga, you should familiarize yourself first about what yoga really is, its origin, the many underlying premises behind the discipline and how can you benefit from it. Let’s start first by defining the foreign word that is yoga. Basically, the word “yoga” is rooted from a language of ancient India where it is originated—the Sanskrit. “Yoga,” in Sanskrit, means “union or joining.” It can either be a union that occurs between the mind and the spirit, between the body and the spirit or a joining of the mind, body and spirit as a whole.
But, the term “yoga” can be accurately defined by another Sanskrit word “asana” – the practice of physical poses or postures. Although “asana” is only one of the eight known types of yoga, both terms are now being taken as one because since both of them are concerned with mental and spiritual well being than in purely physical activity.

Since yoga has been packaged for the Western culture, it is now best described as a general term that includes various disciplines. And now, yoga is more popularly known to people as a form of discipline that varies from one concept to another. The term is now also viewed as a discipline that deals with purely physical abstraction to purely spiritual conquest and to just about everything in between. If you are thinking of practicing yoga to improve your life, you must know hoe to convert its underlying possibilities to your own satisfaction.

THE ULTIMATE YOGA BASICS
If you are really interested with yoga, you should be willing to learn almost everything about it. First of all, you should define why you need it.
Some of the many different styles of yoga that being taught and practiced today include “hatha ,” the slow-paced and gentle style; “vinyasa,” the breath-synchronized movement style; “ashtanga,” the fast-paced and intense style of yoga practice; “iyengar,” bodily alignment style, “kundalini,” the breath in conjunction with physical movement style; and “bikram” or “hot yoga” which is practiced in a 95-100 degree room allowing the loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating.

Aside from being an effective stress and anxiety reducer, practicing of yoga is also proven to increase strength, create energy, build and tone muscles, improve focus, concentration, and posture, reduce blood pressure, improve memory, and relieve pain.

Another basic thing you should know about yoga is that it requires an exertion or force through different poses. Done through the performance of poses, most people might think that yoga is just about stretching, utmost concentration and weird poses. True, you see people practicing yoga doing some sort of “acrobatic” stunts, but those stretching are not just simple flexing of muscles: these are creative processes that balance the body to develop agility, flexibility and strength. Since each pose has a specific physical benefit, the poses in yoga can be done in succession to create heat in the body through movement that will build-up an increase in stamina.

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Pranayama and Yogic Breathing

“Prana” means breath and “Ayama” means pause or retention. Hence, Pranayama literally means retention of breath. However, Pranayama should not be equated simply with merely holding one’s breath or failing to breathe, which is debilitating. Pranayama means creating a balance of energies through which our vitality is extended and our breath is deepened. Through Pranayama, one slows down and extends the breath so that one’s inner Prana or higher life-force can manifest. This also aids in slowing down and calming the mind. The practice of Pranayama balances Prana and Apana and normalizes Vata. In this way, it is useful in treating many diseases. The use of Prana for healing, or Pranic healing, is an important aspect of Ayurveda.

While there are many types of Pranayama, they are usually classified in four groups based upon the nature of the retention:

Retention after expiration (rechaka), called outer retention (bahya kumbhaka)

. Retention after inspiration (puraka), called inner retention (abhyantara kumbhaka)

. Retention made at once

. Retention after many inhalations and exhalations

These last two forms of retention are called “kevala kumbhaka”. Thus, the action of Pranayama consists of four phases:

. Inspiration – Puraka

. Inner retention – Abhyantara Kumbhaka

. Expiration – Rechaka

. Outer retention – Bahya Kumbhaka

Proportion

The proportion of inhalation, exhalation and retention is important in determining the strength and nature of Pranayama. A beginner should practice Primayama with a one-to-two ratio of inhalation and exhalation; that is, with exhalation held twice as long as inhalation. After proficiency in this is’ gained, one should practice with a proportion of inhalation one, internal retention two, exhalation two and external retention two.

The ideal proportion is inhalation one, internal retention four, exhalation two, and external retention four, but this takes some time to be able to do with ease and requires the development of much internal strength. In Pranayama there should be no straining to achieve results but a natural deepening of the breath by letting go of strain and tension.

Technique

Pranayama is best learned by direct instruction from a qualified teacher. The following guidelines should not substitute for that. To practice Pranayama, sit in Padmasana (lotus posture), Siddhasana, Svastikasana, or any other comfortable seated pose. The place of practice should be well ventilated but the draft of air should not come directly toward the body. Open air and a calm and quiet place are preferable.

Certain types of Pranayama require closing alternate nostrils. For this, the right palm is first spread out. The index and middle fingers are turned down, lightly resting just above the bridge of the nose. The thumb is placed on the bridge of the nose at the right nostril and the pinky and ring fingers together on the left. Then alternately, the thumb or other two fingers are used to close and open the right or left nostrils for Pranayama.

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