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Meditation – one of the shades of yoga

There is an increasing demand for training in meditation and mental wellness, especially across the corporate sector. In response to this demand, several Yoga training centers have interspersed their training with meditation and other mindfulness training regime. According to the recent research by IBISWorld, the corporate sector contributes highly to the boom in the number of Yoga classes which has further fueled the need for Yoga teacher training facilities.

The increasing demand

While Yoga has been increasing in the list of popularity, a segment of yoga, meditation is not to be left behind. One can see more and more people drifting towards the next step in yoga, the mindfulness training or the meditation to keep the mind focused. With many studies emerging, that describes the science behind the meditation and how it can tune the brain for the better everyone wants to try their hand at it. This is why every Yoga teacher training facility is coming up with programs that instill the values of meditation along with teaching yoga to their students.

The teaching program

The teaching program at the Yoga teacher training at Kaia Yoga encompasses multiple elements, more being on the art of meditation. The aim is to empower the students not just to learn the techniques but master them so they can start their own practice. The mindfulness training is an important part of the yoga teacher training along with the other components which one has already learned as part of yoga training.

The new program will include a meditation program for 100 hours and is more inclined to the students and other professionals who can make use of it effectively in their workplaces like the therapists, the teachers, and the social workers.

How long is the program?

The program is a rigorous one stretched to four weekends and will be full day training from 9 am to 5 pm on a Friday and a Saturday. There will also be papers to read, write and submit along with participation in study groups. If you try to fit it into the schedules of a person, the yoga teacher training with mindfulness training can take nearly 6-7 months to complete.

There is, of course, an examination to complete, both oral and written, to obtain the certification. For those students who are not interested in taking up meditation, there is an option to choose Buddhist studies as a second option in their program.

With the growing interest in meditation, it is imperative to have a yoga teaching program that includes this component as well. It is necessary to expand the knowledge base of people on yoga and meditation. Also, meditation is not just about closing your eyes and reaching inner peace; there are many kinds to it which can help you in many different ways for a healthy life. The program is also designed to alleviate any misconception regarding yoga and meditation and help people learn the difference between being present and being lost in thoughts.

5 Tips for Beginners to Yoga Practice

The number one question yoga teachers and practitioners get asked is “How to start yoga practice?” There are many people who wish to get into yoga teacher training but are intimidated by studios or overwhelmed the many options for classes.

The problem is compounded with many studios nowadays conducting ‘all level’ classes when they are not suited for yoga beginners. This results in new students getting lost and end up not being able to keep up in class. However, with a little bit of detailed instruction and self-appraisal, getting started on your yoga journey can be easy and fun!

Here are the top five tips for yoga beginners.

Enroll in a Beginners’ Class

The most important tip for those just starting out on yoga practice and are confused about the right classes. Most studios offer either standard beginners’ yoga training or recurring beginners’ workshops. Taking a few of these classes before you take the leap can be immensely helpful. These sessions are designed to help one properly align their body for commonly used poses and can also help you get comfortable with the terminology before you head to advanced classes. Moreover, you’ll be comfortable and less prone to injury!

Get a Trial Pass.

A recent trend for most studios is the ‘Beginners’ Trial’ pass. These passes are usually unlimited for one or two-weeks that give you time to try out the studio, the different teachers, different streams and see whether it is the right place. These passes offer significant savings (at a much lower rate than standard classes) and allow you to ‘date’ the studio.

Join a ‘Yogi’ friend.

Ask one of your practicing friends to take you along to classes. This can help you in narrowing down your search for a studio or instructor. Doing this will also help to make the whole experience more comfortable and less overwhelming. Plus everything is more fun with friends!

Doing away with constant self appraisal

Apart from starting off, the other common worry for those who are new to yoga is progress and comparison. A mentality that is a total mood killer. Keep in mind that yoga is a personal practice. The person standing next to you can be a advanced learner with a totally different life and history, a different body, a different mind and a different journey! Yoga is not about your physical ability to perform asanas. The point is about you being there, practicing and showing up for yourself. So you have nowhere to go, drop all the comparison and enjoy the trip.

Have fun!

Avoid taking yoga too seriously. The postures can be really intense and make you want to quit. There can be times when yoga stirs up your emotional baggage and cause you to feel off-kilter. However, yoga can be a sanctuary for you to reconnect with your life and your body.

There are a million different styles of yoga out there, along with a million different teachers! Seek until you find the perfect yoga teacher training practice for you.

5 Tips for Yoga Students

Has the thought of yoga teacher training ever crossed your mind? You might well be aware that it’s a worthwhile practice, but beyond that? If you wish to know more, how do you find a studio or a style that’s right for you?

Don’t worry, everyone starts off the same way. It can be intimidating at first, but with time you will turn comfortable. Here are a few to help you start your practice.

How To Start Practicing Yoga?

Wherever you decide to start off—whether the YMCA, a local gym or studio, start at the entry level. There are a variety of yoga streams and some can be quite intense and fast paced for beginners.

It doesn’t matter if you are already in shape or even an athlete, when it comes to yoga, form and practice is everything. Alignment is supreme in yoga. It’s important to practice correct posture correctly and understand the feeling.

A few studios describe their classes as “All Levels” which means everyone is welcome. But you’d do well to learn the poses in a beginners class first that will help you feel more at ease than attending such a class.

Even when you are a seasoned yogi, you should retain a beginner’s mindset. Though it may appear to be just stretching and bending, but it’s so much more. Years down the road, you will find yourself discover something new everyday.

The Equipment

Most studios and gyms provide mats for students. Before getting one for yourself, try out these and ask an instructor for their opinion to guide you in making the right purchase.

Mats come at various price points, with some extremely light and some quite thick. Some have markings to help you stay aligned during your practice. Other mats are more suitable for hot yoga sessions. Go online and read reviews about yoga mats to determine what’s right for you.

Understanding Postures

Yoga streams may be labeled Bikram, Power, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Classical, Kripalu or Forrest (to name just a few). However these vastly different styles are all branches of the same tree, whose roots lie in Hatha Yoga practice. Try to explore a variety of streams and see what they can offer. Start off with a Classical or Hatha class, and move on from there.

Yoga Practice – Combining Mind and Body

In yoga teacher training, one must let everything go and calm the mind. Practice synchronizing movements to your breath, that can help clear your head and focus on your practice. One of the most beneficial techniques to extract the most from a pose.

No matter what level you’re at, breathing will farther you along in your practice than any complicated pose.

Experiment – Trial and Error

If you start off classes with a teacher whose style isn’t your cup of tea, then move on to another teacher or class or studio altogether. You won’t be able to focus on the practice if you are frustrated with the instruction style. Instead seek out a class that you can feel comfortable in to enjoy your practice.

 

The Essence of Yoga Training

The ancient practice of yoga covers a vast spectrum of styles that emerged from centuries-old teachings. In more recent decades they have been more or less refined into the popular Ashtanga yoga system. Ashtanga involves moving in pace with ones breath with the end goal of heating the body from within to expel what ails and limits it, making it more open to meditation thus improving the mind and result in a greater spiritual connection with the universe.

Yoga teacher trainers have a strong emphasis in the alignment and motion of assuming poses to build strength and prevent injury. While moving quickly can build up a lot of heat it can be challenging to explore poses. On the other hand, moving slowly can aid exploring poses in more depth.

Yoga is so much more than fitness, though many in the west take to it for that very purpose. For westerners, it’s easier to understand as a fitness ritual in that they get down to exercise on the mats. But alongside they learn how to control their breathe and through the breathing access other limbs and other aspects of yoga.

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Yoga can be even a one-minute affair for corporate executives but with time and practice, they eventually resort to a gentle, longer restorative yoga class. Most feel overweight and lethargic in the midst of their hectic daily life. The see it as taking a break from the stressful job, while trying to get their health and body back in shape. Eventually they learn to be still and teach others to do the same.

Nowadays yoga classes borrow from several yoga stylings, with poses that range from gentle and vigorous to swift and lasting. Participants show up and try to breathe mindfully, and could really care less whether or not you can do the advanced poses. But eventually they do.

Most classes – all over the world – attract practitioners of every age and ability, from school-age students to those in their 70s and 80s; pregnant women and male laborers. With practice, they start to enjoy sweating during practice. It’s essentially cleansing and in a warmer environment, the poses are made a little more accessible.

Yoga is transforming, bolstering the nervous, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. It provides peace of mind, relaxation, clarity. The body has the power to heal itself. Yoga gives you control of that power.

Throughout a yoga teacher training course, participants get to learn postures, meditation, breathing techniques, mindfulness, yoga philosophy, yoga types and styles as well as anatomy and physiology.

The benefits of yoga teacher training go far beyond learning a new skill, but also give you the resources to greatly improve your quality of life & health. Not only will you gain an invaluable deeper mental, physical, emotional and spiritual awareness but eventually master the development of yourself.

A quality program will have you learn how to set up and manage your own practice. You will also learn how to work with others for health and fitness goals. It will help you learn the anatomy of yoga – both at the physical and the emotional levels.

3 Important Criteria to Select a Yoga Teacher Training Program

If you have decided to take up yoga teacher training, with so many Yoga Teacher Training programs out there, how do you choose the right program? How do you know if the one you choose is worth the investment (can be a few thousand dollars) and your time (200 hours or more) is going to pay off?

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If you are feeling confused about your options, this post is for you.

  1. Go for a Yoga Alliance-Certified Program

The international governing body for yoga, the Yoga Alliance has set the standards for a properly constructed teacher training program. There are several perfectly fine non-accredited programs out there—but your chances of teaching may be diminished if you disregard this vital credential in your decision.

  1. Timings that work for you

For some, training in their hometown on evenings and weekends works best. For others, checking out fully from their everyday life and going on a retreat is far more effective for learning. So take into account how much your life is going to accommodate your learning and thus decide how you learn.

  1. Verify the history of the program

Conduct some research into the history of the training program you are planning to take up. Some might have been around for years, and thus have extensive experience delivering very strong programs. It’ll be wise to do a thorough background check on the company. Read reviews, talk to alumni and become very familiar with your program of choice.

It’s Time for Yoga Teacher Training

Many people who undergo teacher training gain an enhanced spiritual standing. Yoga serves to help quiet the mind and attune to our true selves. If you have long thought about taking up yoga teacher training, here are a few reasons to take the leap.

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Delving into the practice – Yoga training programs bring together a variety of students to learn from each others’ body types, flexibility levels, strengths and injuries. Finding yourself learning to love those poses you always dreaded and hope the instructor skips over comes with practice.

Find your tribe – One vastly underrated benefit of YTT programs, is the yoga family that you stay connected to years after your program ends. As you delve deep into your own practice, you are also supporting the journey of others around you and thus being part of a supportive network of warriors. Once you complete your yoga training, your family will expand further as you embrace your students, other teachers and the yoga community.

Learn a few skills – Earning your RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) is just another addition to the long list of things you are skilled at. Upon completion of your training, you can officially register with the Yoga Alliance as a RYT and gain access to a lot of resources. These include how to start your own practice, finding new students and earning additional training hours.

Becoming a yoga teacher offers you the choice of self employment as also the flexibility of teaching either locally or internationally.  The encompassing nature of yoga means the world is your oyster.

How to Prepare for Yoga Teacher Training

Here are a few tips for you to start out on the wonderful journey of Yoga teacher training. The following tips will help you to set up the basis for your entire yoga journey.

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Get hold of and read through some Yoga literature to be familiar with the key concepts. Check with your school/studio if there is a reading list recommended by the trainers. Once you start the course, you would be tied up with the practice and studying the textbooks that there will be no time to spare for reading up.

Contact recent graduates to learn what your Yoga school is like: what to expect from the course, what you should bring, the daily schedule, structure and methods of training, off days, the kind of meals served and so on. Such alumni insights would be a valuable insightful support in preparation and setting up expectations for training course. Furthermore, this will also boost your motivation and inspire you to get the best out of the course.

Ease into the learning process. Teaching is absorbed at a different pace by each of us. Spend some time working on your regular asanas. This can only be achieved through regular daily practice. Regular practice with total mind/body awareness will never never force your body and wont tire you out.

Last of all, get a notebook and a few pencils for the sessions. Take notes during classes, keep a journal. Reflecting on your learning process would help enhance your learning based on what you know about yourself.

How to Get Yourself Ready for Yoga Teacher Training

Organize yourself.

Once you get started with training, carrying out routine duties will not be as easy as it seems. Sort out your clothing and make sure you have enough clean underwear, socks and maybe a few extra pieces of yoga clothing. Clear the garden and also clean out your closets.

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Address larger duties at work, and complete as much as possible before the training begins. Automate stuff so that things operate smoothly, with as little intervention as possible. If possible, pay some bills in advance.

Other similar stuff include taxes to be done early, getting any shopping taken care ahead of time, taking the car in for a tune up, and generally ensuring that all is in working order once training gets underway.

Food and drink – within reason.

During training, it will be wise to follow a clean diet to help you sustain the amount of energy needed to keep up. Cooking can be tough, so stock up on healthy options and freeze some stuff to make things easy. And do enjoy an ice cream or beer on Sunday!

Have a Life.

Once training starts you really won’t have much time to spare. But it’s not like you’re in boot camp. Get out there, connect and socialize. Do things with others that are meant to be done together. Have fun.

Sleeping in.

Try and get a picture of yourself sleeping in, to remind yourself of the experience, one you will likely experience again in the future.

Are You Ready to Be a Yoga Teacher?

When the summer holidays draw to a close, kids reluctantly get ready for their first day of school. This first day of school is a moment of great importance and requires careful preparation, not only for the little ones, but also for the teachers.

So is it for those starting out on their first Yoga teacher training in a Yoga school. How do you know if you are even ready?

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We all know that kids start school when they turn 5 or 6. However, age is not a criterion at all if you decide you are ready for Yoga teacher training. Not even the “history” of your yoga experience matters. Beginner or super-advanced, young or veteran, once you feel you are prepared for such a course, you will be able to find a Yoga teacher training course that is perfect for you.

Seasoned Yoga trainers believe that a student is ready for Yoga Teacher training by appraising his/her burning desire to dive into the eight limbs of yoga. A student needs to possess a burning passion (rajas) and the true desire to embrace all the eight limbs of yoga, not just the practice of asanas which is merely one of these.

It is of utmost importance that one regularly practices yoga rather than the ability to do advanced asanas. A certain level of proficiency is desirable, at least of a level two in classes. Moreover the ability to have an open mind, strong body and good knowledge of how your body feels when practicing asana is a great starting point too.

Why You Need to Relax Before Yoga Teacher Training

Congratulations! You’ve arrived at the big decision to take up yoga teacher training and the starting date is fast approaching. Lots of students wonder what to do before the training starts. No need to undergo a gazillion yoga sessions or write amazing book reports.

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In yoga practice, there are essentially three qualities(or Gunas in Sanskrit), that explain how the mind moves naturally. These movements translate into the qualities of experiencing others/objects, emotions/feelings and life events. Sattva is the Guna that represents balance and is something tranquil, clear, effortless, translucent, non-attached – basically the essence of all perfect yogis. Where we go wrong is when we aspire to be Sattvic all the time.

Nothing in nature ever stays still all the time. A tree sheds its leaves in the fall season, at the end of the day the sun goes down, – similarly our energy and other aspects will continue to change over and over.

The time before starting yoga teacher training can be defined as Sattvic time, time before the transformation that inevitably results from learning more about yourself. Enjoy this time to the fullest. But don’t cling onto it. When everything is over, you will attain Sattva naturally. Once you achieve that, your experience in will be even more heightened from all that you have learned and gained.

For now, a short while – enjoy yourself. Do as little as possible and enjoy your opportunities to relax. That is the best preparation for the transformation of a lifetime — yoga teacher training.