Why I practice yoga and what I learnt during my 200 hour Yoga Teaching course

Why I practice yoga and what I learnt during my 200 hour Yoga Teaching course

In my opinion, practicing yoga is one of the best things one can do in life. Yoga is all encompassing and can be supportive in almost every situation in life. I believe yoga can help prevent physical and psychical problems and can also support the treatment of illnesses. Having worked for twelve years in a western hospital, I am not convinced about how we treat illnesses.  These days, it seems that medication is prescribed for everything. Rather than learning to move one’s body, people are consuming pills.

The number one psychical problem is stress. It has been proven that Yoga reduces perceived stress and anxiety, which in turn reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the level of stress hormones such as cortisol.

The 200 hour yoga teaching course has reminded me of the simple things in life. To live more in the present moment, and to lead a more minimalistic lifestyle. I have travelled the world by bicycle, an experience which had me really living in the present. The only things to care about on a daily basis were what to eat, where to sleep and where to head next. A truly simple and relaxing life.  The experience of surviving for two years with four bags on two wheels was life changing:-)

During the past four weeks of daily yoga practice, I have also observed that my sleep has improved. I’m not sure whether it’s the result of the physical activity and mental relaxation or whether it’s the combination of three kids and an intensive yoga course 😉

Going forward, I would very much like to integrate yoga into my daily work as a physiotherapist. The knowledge I have gained will help me treat a wide variety patients for example those with neurological problems such as strokes, multiple sclerosis etc, as well as patients with back and neck pain or other chronic conditions.

Personally, I would like to strengthen my core muscles, particularly after three pregnancies. I have also cycled for over fifteen years, six of which were as a professional cyclist, so my hip flexors could also do with some lengthening 😉

Finally, I have found that yoga quietens a restless mind, and I would definately like to find more inner calm in this busy world.

Why I like teaching children yoga

Why I like teaching children yoga

Sometimes when practicing yoga at home my two older children like to join in and try out some poses. My five years old son, Timo likes Vrkshasana, Naukasana and Viparita Karni. We find ourselves creating our own yoga practice together, making it up as we go along. Sometimes they even ask me to do “childrens yoga” on YouTube.

I believe practicing Yoga with children provides many opportunities to share fun times together. At the same time, it also enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination and balancing skills. During my 200 hour Yoga teacher training with Tirisula, I noticed that they also offer a Children’s Yoga Certification course. I really like the idea of teaching children. I believe the most important thing is to keep children entertained and to hold their attention long enough to teach them the benefits of yoga: stillness, balance, flexibility, focus, etc. For me personally, it also provides me with the opportunity to improve my creativity whilst telling stories about animals such dogs, cobras, crocodiles, eagles, fish or references to nature like trees and mountains. Many boys also find inspiration from poses such as warriors, kings etc.

Our children live in a busy world with many hobbies, school pressures, competitive sports etc. Usually, we don`t think of these influences as being stressful for our children, but often they are. For this reason, I enjoy having the opportunity to teach children some yoga poses, thereby providing them with a noncompetitive physical activity.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the interesting (or you might like to use the work ‘inspiring’) 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Course. I learnt a lot about myself and my life. I hope we have the pleasure to meet again in the Children’s yoga training course.

s when practicing yoga at home my two older children like to join in and try out some poses. My five years old son, Timo likes Vrkshasana, Naukasana and Viparita Karni. We find ourselves creating our own yoga practice together, making it up as we go along. Sometimes they even ask me to do “childrens yoga” on YouTube.

I believe practicing Yoga with children provides many opportunities to share fun times together. At the same time, it also enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination and balancing skills. During my 200 hour Yoga teacher training with Tirisula, I noticed that they also offer a Children’s Yoga Certification course. I really like the idea of teaching children. I believe the most important thing is to keep children entertained and to hold their attention long enough to teach them the benefits of yoga: stillness, balance, flexibility, focus, etc. For me personally, it also provides me with the opportunity to improve my creativity whilst telling stories about animals such dogs, cobras, crocodiles, eagles, fish or references to nature like trees and mountains. Many boys also find inspiration from poses such as warriors, kings etc.

Our children live in a busy world with many hobbies, school pressures, competitive sports etc. Usually, we don`t think of these influences as being stressful for our children, but often they are. For this reason, I enjoy having the opportunity to teach children some yoga poses, thereby providing them with a noncompetitive physical activity.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the inspiring 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Course. I learnt a lot about myself and my life. I hope we have the pleasure to meet again in the Children’s yoga training course.

The benefits of yoga during my pregnancy

The benefits of yoga during my pregnancy

I believe yoga significantly helped me progress through three pregnancies in five years with minimal discomfort. During the three trimesters I practiced yoga between one to three times per week and only ceased my practice two weeks prior to my due date. I’m convinced that my yoga practice prevented me from experiencing severe back pain, edema or gaining excessive weight. The combination of physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation gave me a balance in body and mind throughout each pregnancy, labor and delivery.

Practicing yoga provided me with the opportunity to focus on myself, my baby and my body. Particularly with the second and third child, it provided me with some time-out from my busy mummy life :-).

I found that there were also many benefits post pregnancy. For example, I did not experience any problems with incontinence or other pelvic floor muscles issues. My only remaining challenge is the 1.5 to 2 finger gap between the two rectus abdominis muscles (commonly known as diastasis recti) which has never completely closed.

I`m hoping that the yoga teacher course will help enhance my own exercise technique as well as providing me with the knowledge to improve my body alignment and the use of important muscles such as the M. transversus abdominis. In turn, I hope to be able to close the gap in my own rectus abdominis muscles J

Pelvic floor muscles and Yoga

Pelvic floor muscles and Yoga

Early in life, we automatically learn to use most of the muscles in our body. We learn to walk and to coordinate the actions of all muscles in our legs and pelvis. There are however some muscle groups that we may never learn to use correctly such as our core muscles, in particular, the M. transversus abdominis, a stabilizer in the abdominal muscles or the pelvic floor muscles.

As a physiotherapist, I have treated many people, especially women over 40, post pregnancy and childbirth or patients with obstipation problems, overweight or those whose professions require heavy lifting, which have a weak pelvic floor. Like all muscles in the body, the pelvic floor requires regularly training in order for it to remain strong.

 100 times a day tighten the pelvic floor muscles it`s training !!!

Unfortunately, many people do not know how to engage their pelvic floor muscles and they use their gluteal muscles instead.

For a physiotherapist, it`s difficult to determine whether a patient has activated this muscle group as it cannot be viewed externally. However, simple yoga exercises can help a patient locate their pelvic floor muscles. This can be achieved by lying on one’s belly (Crocodile pose) or sitting down (Sukhasana) and focusing on one’s breathing, as the pelvic floor moves in synchrony with the diaphragm.

Although it takes time to feel this muscle group, there are many yoga poses and variations which strengthen the pelvic floor such as the bridge pose (sethu bandhasana). Essentially, any yoga pose where one sucks in one’s belly such as chair pose, warrior, boat pose, as well as many Pranayamas, activate the pelvic floor.