A yoga teacher training (YTT) can be intense. It's usually done either in a set schedule of weekends, that may last about six months, or what we like to call "intensives" which usually run from three to 8 weeks. @00 hours, then the next step is 300, whcih adds up to a 500 hour certification. 200 Must be taken beofre the 300 hour.
At Yoga Maya we do ours in either 3 or 4 week sessions. As we are a destinatini training. Meaning most of the students do not live in our town. They come to enjoy the surf, sun and yoga. So their time is limited with us.
It's best if you have a few years of yoga experience before you undertake a YTT, but sometimes people want to do one just for fun and to learn more about yoga. They never plan to teach, and that's ok. But if you are really serious about teachign yoga, it's best to find a school that is certified with the Yoga Alliance, USA. Here at Yoga Maya, we are a registered school with the Yoga Alliance.
Hopefully you the student will be healthy and uninjured at the start of your YTT and can enjoy your training.
We send out four weeks of prerequisites via email to get you a ready for yout YTT. Not a lot of schools do this, it's a shame.
A YTT should not only go over the commonly used poses, but the modifications for them. For people who cannot get into the pose fully.
A YTT should teach you how to put poses together that make sense, work well togheter and do not require a lot of up and downs in a class. (people dislike that a lot).
If you are thinking about a YTT, make sure it is in the style of yoga you want to teach or learn. For example Vinyasa or Yin.
Make sure you like the location and the teachers.
Any further questions, feel free to email me. Namaste peeps!
We always hear great things about yoga and it's benefits. Some maybe we understand completely, some maybe not so much. Here's a great article on the lymphatic system and yoga. It's the best I have found, and believe me, I've spent some time on the interweb a looking.
The lymphatic system is often overlooked and misunderstood. Take a few minutes out of your day and read the article in the link below. Try some of the poses recommended. If you take yoga that is awesome. If not and are a bit curious, move your body and do some twists, and end with a mild inversion, like legs up the wall. Your body will thank you for it in ways you may never know. You do not need a firm pillow or block under your bum, but it is very nice. Give it a try. Enjoy and Namaste peeps!
I do love my Yin Yoga. It's so out of character for me, it's crazy that I love it. I think it's just what I need sometimes. To calm down, relax and push all at the same time.
Here's a great article on the benefits and needs our body has for lossening the connective tissues.
Check it out! https://bodydivineyoga.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/technolgies-of-qi-yin-yoga-connective-tissue/
You gotta Detox to retox I always say...
Twists are detoxifying, or at least that's how BKS Iyengar has to say about them. Twists do squish and move the abdomen, so there may be some truth to that statement. Science disagrees, but science doesn't feel how a twist feels in teh body, before during and after. They do feel good, and definitely help many back problems, but be cautious in your twists.
Keep in mind that the thoracic spine moves less than the lumbar and the cervical. So we want our twists to be more from that region (where the ribs connect to the spine). People tend to overcompensate in the lumbar and cervical area during their twists. This is not the greatest idea, as we can injure ourselves in that way.
When you twist; start from the belly, then add the chest, and next the shoulders. Add the neck only if it's a pleasant addition, and do not over twist the neck. Undo the twist in the exact opposite. Shoulders, chest, then belly. This will not only protect the entire spine but if you are thinking about elongating the spine during your twist, you will go further, keeping the spine protected with length and reap more benefits. Such as spinal mobility.
We don't think about mobility much, until we age, unless we are into certain sports or yoga. You will find a healthy happy and mobile spine can be your best friend or your worst enemy at any age. Keep it on your good side by twisting with these key factors in mind.
Do not leverage too much.
Inhale and lengthen the spine, then twist. (remember belly, chest, shoulders)
Keep that long spine during the entire twist. Never give up the length to twist deeper.
Come out of a twist in the reverse way (shoulders, chest, belly)
Usually exhaing on the twist (unless it's a lifting twist: then you inhale)
Keep the shoulders low and even.
Keep the chest and shoulders open.
Breath normally or try to deepen your inhalation and exhalation, but do not cut off your breaths.
Do your twists on both sides for the same amount of time, with the same amount of effort. (not necessarily the same depth of pose, as sides may differ greatly)
Use caution with the neck in twists.
Enjoy, don't judge.
I love Esther Ekhart, she has many great tutorials on youtube. Here's an article she wrote on twists that I highly recommend. Enjoy!
Many yogis are tempted to do a little yoga on the beach. I do it all the time. Be warned, it's not that easy. The ground is not super stable underneath you, so when coming up into your standing and or balance poses you must proceed with extra caution. Make sure your foundation is sturdy. It's easy to twist an ankle in the sand when coming up into a Warritio I pose. Seated poses can be easier in the sand. Try gomukasana and or a split. Let the sand move and help you feel deeper into the pose.
To ensure safe yoga on the beach:
~move slower into poses
~get your feet safe and steady
~be aware of your surroundings (playing dogs have knocked me down on the beach)
~ use a friend to help stabilize yourself (this is fun)
~don't do yoga and drink alcohol
We all love the beach and yoga. If you follow these simple guidelines, the two will get along beautifully.
The muscles that bring the leg forward (lift the leg) are known as the hip flexors. Think about where you feel the work coming from when you raise your knee towards your hip. These muscles are very important to walking, standing, running, and basically the posts is the kingpin (fyi Kingpin w Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson was a great movie, that now I will need to watch once again) of connecting your upper body to your lower body. That's a pretty important job. We all know about the quads, but the posts may be new to some of you. Take a look at the iliopsoas. There's a lot more to lifting your leg than you may have thought. When a muscle gets injured, the sirrounding ones take over (compensation). This can be hard to reverse once a pattern has immerged.
These hip flexor muscles can also be weak, or tight. God forbid they are both weak and tight. Ugh.
Yoga is a great way to not only stretch these muscles but also strengthen them. Do not underestimate the need for both strength and. range of motion.
Many people suffer from back pain. You don't need to be "old" to have pain in the back. I suggest start a little exercise now to avoid any problems. If you've never had back pain, count yourself as a lucky person. Believe me, it totally sucks. Begin your day with some gentle stretches and work into some more leg, shoulder and spine stretches. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Click on the link below to see how the hip flexors relate to back pain. Very intersting indeed.
Sometimes called "flow" or "vinyasa flow" this type of yoga actually does have a flow to it. You typically move from one pose to the nex,t coordinating movement and breath. It can be a great combination of strength, stretch and cardio. Usually a vinysasa class starts out with a down dog or a spinal warm up then proceeds to several sun salutations.
After that point your body should be warm, you are probably sweating. The sweat continues with more standing poses and then you eventually make your way to the ground for some stretches, back bends, twists and general feel good stuff. Oh don't get me wrong, it's still work, but maybe the sweating has lessened by now.
If at any time you neeed a rest. Take a child's pose or a down dog. You can jump back into what the group is doing when you've had time to catch your breath.
Coordinating the breath and the movement is a glorious feeling. Many yogis get hooked on that.
Vinyasa differs from Hatha in that it flows more, has more sun salutations. A Hatha class may use all the same poses, but it's just a slower paced. You may hold the exact same pose for a significantly longer time. It's still fun and challenging, but different.
I suggest you give them both a try. See which one works best for you.
Is Savasana necessary? Does it do anything? Can't I just leave after those last few poses. Sneak out and try not to disturb anyone...
Nope. Stay for Savasana.
Savasana is important. The last pose really is all about saving the best for last. Give your body those few minutes (5-15) usually, to reap all the benefits of your yoga practice. To calm the mind and the body and to transition back to your crazy life.
Here's a little article on Savasana by someone probably way more intelligent than I am. Or at the very least more published. :)
Give it a look. Please don't skip it, even in a home practice. Don't skip it. And it can be spelled both Savasana or Shavasana.
I prefer Savasana as the spelling.
Below is a great article on business, and the Type A personality's need for yoga. It's always best to takea little time out of each day and remember to be mindful, meditatie and or move the body in a healthy way. Yoga can give you all three of these wonderful disciplnes.
Check it out. http://yoganonymous.com/ceos-secret-to-success-practicing-yoga
Happy baby is a gentle pose that we yogis usually do towards the very end of a practice. Whether the practice is gentle or very physically demanding, it is nice to transition to the floor and end with some finishing poses that transition you nicely into 5-12 minutes of savasana.
Happy baby is perfect for this transition. Not only are you on the floor, supine, but you are gently opening the inside of the hips. You do not need to be able to touch or grasp the feet nor arches, you can grab the backs of the thighs, the calfs, or use a strap.
The goal of this pose is to gently lower the knees towards the floor in a wide spread manner. The soles of the feet point towards the sky. You may rock a bit, but try to keep the spine and the shoulders on the ground.
Once into the position try connecting to the breath again. A big inhale with the belly getting larger, then pulling the naval towards the spine for an even bigger exhale. This pose can be done for a few breaths, or up to 20 minutes.
In a yoga practice 5-10 is a great amount of breaths to do in this pose. If you are in a Yin yoga class, this pose may be done for 3+ minutes.
If you have never tried a Yin yoga class, be sure to drop in on one, or email me for a sequencing routine for a beginner Yin. Enjoy your happy baby pose. Experiment with extending a legout and to the side of the body, then the other, find the simple joy of this beautiful hip opener. Thanks again for reading my blog. I appreciate your time.
Debbie Krejci E-RYT
become a yoga teacher