If you are looking for new and innovative ways to have an impact in the lives that you serve, you likely have considered various certifications, especially Yoga.
But did you know that not all Yoga certification programs prepare you to become the best teacher you can be? I’ve met many yoga teachers who lack the confidence to teach because they didn’t feel the program provided enough. Also, they didn’t have in-depth training knowledge of the human body to lead a class.
Level Up Your Yoga Practice
All forms of practice in yoga are great. At the end of the day, you really have to teach your students how to move in their own bodies. Teach them to understand their physiological and anatomical limitations, as well as their potential. However, it has to be done with their awareness of how their joints are meant to move. That is because no one can do that without proper anatomical knowledge.
In our modern world today, there are many presumably “healthy” individuals who are flocking to Yoga classes to feel healthier. However, they find themselves getting injured in classes over time. They start to get intimidated by the flexibility that is required, where in fact, nothing is required of you.
If a yoga class is being led by an expert, then the levels of the practice should be built into the class that they teach. If not, you can opt to teach them how to focus, prepare and prime their body so they can have a safe experience of Yoga. The experience of Yoga should bring:
O- Opportunity for
G- Growth and
Maintaining a Safe and Healing Yoga Practice
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 34,000 yoga-related injuries treated in 2019. Common yoga injuries include repetitive strain to and overstretching of the neck, shoulders, spine, legs, and knees. (Mulcahey, 2020)
The micro injuries that happen in Yoga class occur due to compensatory movement. Patterns, poor posture and alignment, and strain and sprains that can lead to serious injuries are real risks in such classes.
I believe the teachers’ role in such classes is to safely challenge students through the experience of Yoga, while also teaching them to protect their bodies.
Yoga is Not Just About the Poses
Remember, Yoga is a practice for individuals and it’s not to look a certain way.
To have goals is a great thing but what’s more important is to understand what your body is telling you. It is also important to receptively read into the physiological signals that your body is giving you. There’s always the chain of commands and certain arthrokinematics that you have to respect. On the other hand, some yogis, especially expert yoga teachers that have advanced practices themselves, are really contouring their body in ways they should not. You want the physics to apply to where it’s advantageous for your body in order to absorb the shock and the weight.
Honor Your Body
Yoga is also a practice about honoring the human body and its capabilities. Challenging yourself through different poses is a good way to explore the possibilities, but you have to understand your body’s limitations.
Growth can only happen when you have awareness and are able to grow from that place of awareness.
The focus is not about other people in the class. It’s about the third eye which is focus in you and your body. Acknowledging the amazing practice and experience that it’s bringing and having that healing effect means that you really are the center of yourself. So it is very important to know the practices that are only meant for you.
Energy Lock and Muscle Activation
We talk a lot about the bandhas and the energy locks in Yoga. Those are nothing other than muscle contractions in different areas of the body that provide for the stability and balance at the moment you are in.
Staying focused and locked in to the benefit of the pose goes right into muscle activation. You cannot use flexibility to compensate for strength and stability because all those components are all required to build resilience, endurance, proprioception and balance in the neurological system to have muscle memory.
This helps to avoid faulty postures and patterns that sooner or later will become a habit to prime your body for injury.
Importance of Alignment and Core
How are you supposed to be aligned? You have to sit up tall wherein the spine should be nice and erect. The shoulders are pulled down and back aligning with your ears and hips, while your hips should line up with your ankles.
Core engagement is another piece of the puzzle. Also, finding your breath in the moment. Finally, appreciating your presence in the moment, understanding that those experiences are what we are actually after when we practice Yoga.
If you are interested in doing Yoga classes with us, I am inviting you to an Online Membership Program. Wherein, I provide safe Yoga and my version of Yoga online in different forms utilizing my physical therapy, musculoskeletal and functional medical, yoga and pilates background. CLICK HERE to join us now!
We also have a physical office Alkaline Wellness in Suwanee, Georgia. So if you are local to us, you can come and join our classes there to experience the DIFFERENCE.
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