I have been thinking to transition from being a desk bound office workers to something that I am passionate with for a living. I like yoga, so why not teach yoga? Oh, that was my initial thought, but after I went through the teacher training program, I noticed that there is more to teaching yoga than just knowing the names of the poses or what they look like.
Personally, I practice yoga is because I wanted to keep fit, sane and challenge. Particularly, to be more flexible because my body is as stiff as a poker!! My hamstrings will scream each time I do any of the forward fold poses; be it Uttanasana or Paschimottanasana. My tight hamstrings make it challenging to reach correct alignment in many, many yoga postures. Often, I need to micro-bend my knees, or go for an option that makes the poses more accessible; including the use of props. What I like about myself is, despite of my tight hamstrings, I always want to try, to push, to learn and to experiment how far my body can go.
Yoga surprisingly is a hard work. Certain poses can be challenging, and some may have little issues of controlling their body. This is where alignment and techniques comes in. Proper alignment is not the only key to injury prevention but it is a good practice to begin with in any level in yoga classes. Proper alignment and techniques will guide the students in finding their way to a more stable foundation, to aligning their body safely and comfortably, and to encouraging deeper exploration while staying connected to the breath. Good and proper alignment also helps to make the “energy” flow more efficient into each poses.
Practicing yoga, not only it helps to maintain the physical aspect; it’s also helps to focus on the present, create the awareness of the mind and body. The good thing about yoga is, it’s accessible to people of all ages and ability.
A good and passionate yoga teacher will show their students a yogic pathway and offer them guidance along the path. To make the path to bliss more accessible, Patanjali offers eight-stage process; (1) yama; disappearance of all suppression, (2) niyama; freedom from all observances, (3) asana; steady and comfortable pose, (4) pranayama; expansion on vital energy, prana, (5) pratyahara; withdrawal of the senses from object and subject and moving consciousness inwards, (6) dharana; mind fit for concentration, (7) dhyana; meditation, and (8) samadhi; super-conscious state.
So, the next time you step on the mat, begin with your palms together at the heart centre in a prayer position, set clear intention in your practice, find the breath and let the warming flow begin.