Man is a mental, physical and spiritual being. Yoga seeks to promote the right balance between these three parts. Physical exercises such as aerobics work on the physical well-being and have very little to do with the improvement of the astral or spiritual body. Yoga helps to recharge the body using the cosmic energy which promotes self-healing; the attainment of harmony and perfect equilibrium; enhances personal power, removes toxic substances from the body and negative blocks from the mind; increases self-awareness; reduces tension and stress within the physical body through the process of activating parasympathetic nervous systems; and helps in concentration and attention focus. The things that every yoga teacher should have in their finger tips include:
- Create a conducive environment
Every yoga teacher should learn to create an environment that is right for learning and healing. This will go a long way in keeping learners returning back for the classes. Most importantly, you create an environment that is right for transformation for both the teacher and the students. Considering that we live in a busy society, it is important to start and end the classes on time. This allows the students to engage in other commitments such as getting to work on time or picking the children from school- keeping time helps to ensure the students remain emotionally balanced throughout the day.
- Know different postures (Asanas)
Yoga teachers should know the different yoga postures- e.g. power yoga, ashtanga, lyengar and hatha. Furthermore, they must know the best posture suited for different needs. This means you will not teach the same postures for a beginner class and an advanced class. You need to be an authority in the class, particularly during the centering. You will need to keep your eyes open to avoid appearing disconnected. When the teacher closes their eyes they fail to know the directions of the class. It must be remembered that students want a teacher who can see; one who is present inside and out.
- Teach breathing
Learning how to breathe is an important aspect in yoga. The teacher should be able to help the students to slow down in order take more connected breaths.
- Avoid staying in one position
Avoid the temptation of staying in one position, such as the mat throughout the session. When you remain in one position, many of the students may fail to see the teacher; make sure to move around. Take the time to teach various poses such as Triangle and Warrior Two. Take every occasion to get off your mat to offer your students straps or blocks in case you notice that they need them.
- Teach warm-ups sessions
It is important to avoid teaching the difficult poses without first engaging the class in warm-up sessions. The warm up sessions helps them to gradually move to the difficult poses without witnessing resistance among the students. Make sure to give maximum attention to all students regardless of whether they are slow or fast learners. This will go a long way in generating a sense of acceptance which is an important quality in yoga.
- Be structured yet flexible
It is important for the teacher to come prepared for the class. However, they must be ready to put aside the plan when the need arises. This allows for intuition.
Parker, a specialist in natural healing techniques has his focus on yoga as a natural healing process, especially for toxins within a person’s body. He also encourages Yoga Teacher Training in Dharamshala and participates in making it successful.