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Yoga Teacher Prep provides this to help you prepare for yoga teacher training.

6 Easy Steps to Yoga Sequence Development

The process of creating yoga sequences for the classes you teach can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be!

One of the most frequent questions I get asked in yoga teacher training when it comes to sequencing is, ‘where do I start?’. There are many different methods of sequencing and truth be told, you have to find one that works for you. I’ve been teaching now for 11 years and the process for me continues to evolve. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of the process that stay the same. They look like this:

  1. Pick a theme. Don’t be afraid to get creative here. Themes could include anything! It could be a time of year, a TV show, or a body part.
  2. Pick 1-3 peak yoga postures or variations that embody this theme. Be prepared to explain why they embody this theme in your classes so that your students feel the cohesion of the practice.
  3. Pick a small collection of warm-ups that help your students prepare their bodies for the above 1-3 postures. This will help your students come deeper into the postures you’ve selected as the foundation for your class.
  4. Pick a small collection of cool-down postures to teach at the end of your practice to help balance the energy of your peak postures. These are counter-poses. For example, if your peak posture was a twist, your cool-down postures might be forward folds and backbends to balance the twisting energy.
  5. Pick the type of energy and mood (Bhava) you want to create in your practice (make sure the energy is in alignment with your theme). If you want your class to be strong, sweaty and high-energy you might inject challenging and strengthening postures between your warm-up, peak, and cool-down postures. If you want the energy to be calm and grounding, include more foundational and closer to the earth postures.
  6. Find a way to tie in your theme at the end of class. Pick a quote or a story that aligns with the theme you created. This helps the class feel more complete.

For me, these are the foundational aspects of the classes I teach but within this organization, little things change. For example, I sometimes play with how many Sun Salutations I teach in a vinyasa class. Or, I’ll have longer warm-ups some days. Sometimes, I’ll teach my peak poses closer to the end of class rather than the middle of class. So ultimately, the process is always creative and evolving (in the hopes that my students never get bored!).

Here are a few bonus DOs and DON’Ts for yoga sequencing:

Don’t be afraid to take risks with your sequences. Don’t be afraid to abandon a sequence in your class and come back to an old standby sequence you know always works. Don’t be upset if it feels like your sequence this week flops. But, most importantly, DO find ways to stay inspired because regardless of how fancy your sequence is, this is ALWAYS the key to your success .

Oh, and one more DO. Do take advantage when someone offers up a sequence for you to use as your own (or alter it to make it truly your own). We do this every month for our YTP Yoga Business Academy members. Each month, we craft a done-for-you yoga sequence which includes a theme and a cheat sheet with diagrams of the flow. Join today, cancel any time. 

The post How to Develop a Rockstar Sequence appeared first on Yoga Teacher Prep.

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How to Correctly Incorporate the Pelvic Floor into Your Yoga Classes

It is wonderful to see the pelvic floor (PF) gain more media attention these days! As a yoga professional, you are well positioned to address PF wellness in your classes. Unfortunately, accurate information about the PF is not always conveyed. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of practices to promote PF health? Kegel exercises? Mula bandha? If so, you may want to read on.

What are the qualities of a healthy pelvic floor?
While it is true that a healthy PF is one that is capable of being engaged and controlled voluntarily, it also needs to engage automatically in a functional, refined and coordinated way with other muscle groups. A healthy PF also needs to be extensible, be able to relax and move through its full excursion in timing with the respiratory diaphragm during the breath cycle. The PF expands, widens and descends as we inhale; and ascends into its dome-shaped position on exhalation. The amount of excursion and force that the PF produces as it moves up and down in timing with breath depends on the demands of the task. The ability of the PF to fulfill its roles in bowel, bladder, reproduction and sexual function as well as the roles it plays in breathing, core strategies, posture, hip function and dynamic balance will depend on a variety of factors. It is beyond the scope of this short blog to discuss those factors, but how we breathe, move, feel, what we think, what we eat, how we respond to and manage stress and how we relate and connect to ourselves, others and the world around us, are all factors that can influence how well the pelvic floor fulfills its roles.

Copyright Ray Long, MD Used with permission

Do you over-cue mula bandha?
PF health is not just about Kegels or mula bandha! In some cases, cueing a PF muscle contraction may interfere with its natural excursion in timing with its synergistic muscles, which is required for adequate core strategies to take place. In other cases, cueing a PF contraction may exacerbate symptoms or certain conditions for a variety of populations. That said, there is definitely a time and place to cue an isolated PF muscle engagement, but it is not within a yoga professional’s scope of practice to evaluate the state of the PF in order to know if practicing PF contractions are appropriate for each student; nor can the yoga professional accurately assess if the PF contraction is being performed correctly without actually manually palpating or using electrodiagnostic measuring devices, which are techniques used by licensed health care providers such as pelvic floor physiotherapists. Additionally, keep in mind that historically, it appears that engaging and sustaining mula bandha was an energetic practice used to seal, direct and contain the prana in the body during specific pranayama meditation practices along with breath retention, and not necessarily meant to be sustained during movement. Many yogis believe that the current practice of bandhas during movement in modern day yoga classes may have been somewhat ‘lost in translation.’

Incorporating the PF into your yoga classes:
So what can you do as a yoga professional to address PF health and wellness in your classes?
There are lots of options! We can start by cueing the BREATH. There are numerous practices that can enhance PF awareness, relaxation, excursion and facilitation of PF engagement that involves cueing the breath. PF awareness practices may include feedback techniques and/or visualization of the rhythm of the PF with the breath cycle in a variety of positions such as extended child’s pose, reclined cobbler’s, happy baby and cat/cow while changing the position of the hips and pelvis to provide different sensations to the PF.

PF relaxation may be promoted in certain poses where the hips and pelvis are positioned to allow the PF to gently be in an expanded and relaxed position. This may include extended child’s pose, garland, cow position or happy baby. But keep in mind that the state of the person’s nervous system contributes to muscle tension. So, just because a pose is known to relax and ‘stretch’ a muscle, does not mean it will in everyone. The factors that contribute to whether or not a muscle relaxes are complex! As yoga professionals, you have access to many practices to help your students feel safe and to calm the nervous system which will help relax muscle tension throughout the body, including the PF. You can offer calming breathing practices, mantras, chants, mudras, meditations, supported restorative positions, slow rhythmical movements or use language that can help calm the systems.

There are ways you can facilitate the full excursion and engagement of the pelvic floor muscles in a functional way, without cueing a PF contraction specifically. Research shows that the respiratory diaphragm and PF muscles engage in a sophisticated, automatic, and coordinated way. Focusing on breathing methods that enhance respiratory diaphragm excursion and rib expansion can potentially facilitate PFM engagement. Research also suggests that activation of certain hip musculature plays a role in the functional integration of PF muscle engagement. Therefore, you can use this information to facilitate PFM engagement by choosing poses and movements that are associated with engaging hip muscles such as adductors, gluteus maximus, and the deep hip rotators, while at the same time coordinating these movements with the expansive breath, visualization, and awareness of the natural PF rhythm.

I wrote about this in more detail in 9 Ways to Help Yoga Students Engage Their Pelvic Floors.

I hope this provides some new insights and gets you thinking about how you can incorporate PF wellness into your classes in safe and effective ways. For more resources that expand further on this topic, both the theory and practices, see the references below!

Shelly Prosko, PT, PYT, CPI, C-IAYT is a physiotherapist and yoga therapist dedicated to bridging the gap between modern healthcare and yoga. With over 20 years of practice in physiotherapy rehabilitation and yoga she is also a pioneer of PhysioYoga. Through this, she discovered the importance of pelvic floor health. You can learn more about it through her online practice videos (Yoga Teacher Prep members get 10% off the full package using the promo code: ClientDiscount10), or take her online course PhysioYoga and the Pelvic Floor. For more info and resources: Pelvic Floor Galore! Resources for Creating Pelvic Floor Health Through Yoga.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Shelly for sharing her amazing knowledge and insights. If you’d like to share your yoga teacher knowledge or personal journey with the Yoga Teacher Prep community, please see our Contributor Guidelines.

Feature Image: Copyright Ray Long, MD Used with permission

More References:

  1. Prosko S. Optimizing Pelvic Floor Health Through Yoga Therapy. International Association of Yoga Therapists. Yoga Therapy Today Winter Issue. 2016; 32-34, 48.
  2. Anderson B. Over-cueing the pelvic floor. Cue the Breath! Pelvic Floor Follow Up – 2015 PMA. YouTube segment. Last accessed September 18, 2018.
  3. Kaminoff L. Bandhas in a Modern  Practice: A Historical Perspective. YouTube segment. Last accessed September 18, 2018.
  4. Hall C, Garden S. Lost in Translation: Is Mulabandha Relevant for Modern Yogis? Yoga International Online. Last accessed September 18, 2018.
  5. Prosko S. Creating Pelvic Floor Health Practices with PhysioYoga Videos. Vimeo on Demand. Prosko PhysioYoga Therapy 2016.
  6. Prosko S. Pelvic Floor Galore! Resources for Creating Pelvic Floor Health Through Yoga. 2016  Last accessed September 18, 2018.
  7. Prosko S. PhysioYoga and the Pelvic Floor. Pre-recorded Online Course. Embodia Academy 2018.

The post The Danger of Poor Pelvic Floor Cueing in Your Yoga Class appeared first on Yoga Teacher Prep.

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Most Yoga Teachers Don’t Charge Enough for Private Clients

Recently, one of our past Yoga Teacher Prep – Yoga Business program students reached out to us wondering what to charge for a private lesson. This is a very common question for yoga teachers and of course, the answer depends on many factors. This YTP business student was shocked at the private yoga class rate we suggested. I believe too many yoga teachers completely undervalue their offering.

I’m going to lay out the aspects that you should consider if you are thinking about taking on private or semi-private clients. Consider all of these things before setting your rate.

How Much do you Make Teaching a Full Class at a Studio or in a Gym?

This should be considered your base hourly rate. After all, this is what you could make if you weren’t spending your time with a private client.

Did You Sign a Contract with your Employer that Prevents you From Teaching Elsewhere?

Make sure you read your contracts carefully. Yoga is a small community and you don’t want to burn any bridges. One thing to also be aware of is whether this private client found you through the studio. You don’t want your boss thinking you’re poaching clients from them. It’s best to be upfront about these things and communicate.  

Have You Purchased Liability Insurance?

Many teachers who work only at a studio or gym aren’t required to have insurance – usually because the studio carries the insurance. Once you start teaching outside of the studio, you need your own insurance. This is going to factor into how much you charge – so be sure you know what this cost will be.

Where Would You be Teaching the Class? Your Home? Their Home? Space you Need to Rent?

If you are using your own space, consider what the cost would be to keep it clean (whether that is your time or if you have to hire someone to clean). Also, consider how it will impact the other people in the house. Will they have to be quiet (and can you count on them to be quiet) or will they have to leave the house? What if you have out of town guests? Or, if your child is sick?. Plus, you’ll want to check with your home insurance policy that it covers you if you have people coming to your home. All of this should be factored into the price.

If you will Teach in Their Space, How Long Will it Take You to Travel to that Space (and How Much Will Gas or Bus Cost)?

Travel time is often calculated at 50% of your base rate. Once again, consider that this is time you are giving to this client that you are not in the studio teaching. It’s also time you’re not practicing yourself.

Is There Anything Proprietary About Your Style?

When you offer something that the client might not be able to get anywhere else, you have a premium offering. For example, is this a prenatal class? Or, is it in another language? These are special skills that you either had to pay to acquire or practice to maintain.

What do Other Teachers (with Similar Experience Level) Charge in Your Community?

This is less of a factor, but it’s good to know whether you can be competitive. If nothing else, it will give you the confidence to charge what you’re worth.

Are you Providing any Props like Yoga Mats, Bolsters, Straps, and Blocks?

These items cost you money. They will eventually need to be replaced. And, there is value to the student because they don’t have to worry about it or spend extra money.

Are you Spending Money Marketing Your Private Offering?

Marketing your private offering might be in the future once you realize how fulfilling teaching private classes can be. But, you’ll want to consider this off the top so that you can maintain some consistency in pricing. Your first client may very well bring you your second and third! Also, consider how frequently you’ll be teaching a client. Is this a one-time thing or are they booking regular classes with you like once a week?

Now, use the answers to these questions to figure out a rate. For example, if I make $40 teaching for a yoga studio, I might charge a little more for a private class because the class will be specific to my client’s needs. I’ll ask them in advance what their intention is for the class. And if they’re working on a specific posture or have an injury, I will spend some time researching what to teach them. If they want the class at their home and they live 30 minutes away from me, that’s 1 hour of travel time to factor in that I’m not teaching. I’ll also bring mats and extra props to serve them better. So, because of all these extra elements to consider, I’m going to charge more than my usual studio rate. Instead of $40, I would potentially charge $65 if I’m a new teacher or $80 if I’ve been teaching for a while and have spent years investing in my education.

Of course, in certain situations, you will want to factor in the person’s ability to pay that rate. However, you can’t set the price based on what someone can pay because it could end up costing you money and leaving you feeling frustrated and underappreciated.

Please keep in mind that these rates are arbitrary examples and may be different in the community you’re teaching. I’ve been teaching now for 11 years in my community and charge $100-$150 depending on the situation.

My primary purpose of this blog is to ensure that as a yoga instructor, you don’t undervalue your work. It is important to band together as teachers and ensure we can make a living wage wherever we are in the world!

The post How to Set a Price for Private Yoga Classes appeared first on Yoga Teacher Prep.

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YTP Community Member, Jasmine Sara, Reflects on Starting her Career Teaching Yoga

In April 2017, I completed my Astanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training at Kranti Yoga in India. I settled there for my YTTC after two months of traveling, practicing and studying yoga in Hampi, Mysore, Gokarna, and Goa. I’ve always loved to travel, and have been all over the world but for one reason or another, I found myself back in my hometown this year for my very first year as a Yoga teacher. Applying everything I learned through the practice of Yoga (originating in ancient India) to revisit the place of my past has been a blessing. I’m now doing another teacher training course at home in the North of England and feel reflective about the journey so far.

Here are 5 things I learned in my first year as a Yoga teacher:

    1. I LOVE TEACHING YOGA! It fills me with joy and allows me to be fully present in the moment. I trust 100% in the practice itself and believe wholeheartedly in what it can do to help deal with trauma, physical ailments, mental health conditions, and more. Yoga has played such an integral role in my own wellbeing and healing journey. It is simply beautiful to see other people come to the mat for all their own, personal reasons and to have the honor of holding that space for others.
    2. It’s a Logistical Challenge (but it’s totally worth it). It can be difficult to make a living out of doing what you love. Financial stability can be hard to obtain for self-employed people. In order to pursue my Yoga career, I also work as a waitress in two different cafés and I teach on average about eight times a week at the moment. Plus, I run one-off workshops, help organize community events, and I sometimes volunteer as a teacher. This means that I never actually have a day off. I’m in a fortunate position in my living situation which has enabled me to put time into developing my teaching career but it’s still not as simple as just “quit your job and become a Yoga teacher”! It’s all 100% worth it, though. When I’m in class guiding people through a Yoga sequence there is literally no-where else I would rather be.
    3. Self–practice is Essential. Finding the time for self-practice has become non-negotiable ever since I first committed to daily Yoga practice in October 2016. It really can be fit into any day. Sometimes I just grab 20-minutes in an empty studio in between teaching and sometimes it’s a full hour or more at home. The type of self-practice I choose on a day to day basis changes depending on what I need in that particular moment. So, it could be Yoga Nidra or the full Ashtanga primary series. When I connect to the breath, the past slips away, thoughts of the future loosen their grip, and I am brought home to the here and now. I wouldn’t be able to teach classes without my self-practice! It both inspires my lesson planning and also keeps me well so that I can show up for my students.
    4. Yogis are Human (and just as messy as everyone else)! I used to assume that there was this magical endpoint where you suddenly are fixed; are no longer triggered by anything and have just reached this perfect place of peace. Now, I realize that we are all dealing with our own Samskaras (mental and emotional patterns that we are prone to be in a cycle of repeating over and over again) and each of us is doing our best to transform our destructive habits or patterns of behavior. Healing is not linear. What inspires me so much about the Yoga teachers I have been taught by, young and old, from all walks of life, is that they are human too. They have their own personal issues. Yet, all that messy human suffering begins to melt away when they step on the mat. They find a way to remain present, focused, and committed to the practice and the students throughout class. We are all working with different challenges and Yoga helps us navigate our way through.
    5. There’s Still So Much to Learn. I knew when I first came to Yoga 10 years ago that I would be a lifetime student. This path is one I have chosen for life and I am very aware that I am so far from really knowing anything at all, despite calling myself a ‘Yoga Teacher’! Some students ask questions that I simply don’t know the answer to. I used certain cues when beginning that I wouldn’t use now. I gave certain assists a year ago that I do very differently now. I am always learning.

This barely even scratches the surface and there is so much more to be said, I could write a whole book but for now, here is one brief blog post highlighting some of the key things I have learned a year on from doing my first YTTC. If you’re thinking of becoming a Yoga teacher then I hope it has been helpful. Namaste.

Jasmine first came to yoga ten years ago and at the start of 2017 she traveled around India practicing yoga from Hampi to Mysore before sucked into an Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow 200 hours Yoga teacher training in South Goa. She is currently teaching vinyasa flow and yin classes in Newcastle, England. She is currently furthering her studies with advanced teacher training modules with Yoga Therapies. You can connect with her through her website: Jasmine Sara Yoga.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Jasmine for sharing her insights and inspirations. If you’d like to share your yoga teacher journey with the Yoga Teacher Prep community, please see our Contributor Guidelines. Photo credit: Grace Johnson

The post What I Learned in My First Year Teaching Yoga appeared first on Yoga Teacher Prep.

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Yoga Teacher, Janette Parent Shares How She Handled a Students Spacial Attachment

I teach at a gym, where most people come to yoga as a physical practice. I make a concerted effort to let people explore their yoga journey without pressure and too many rules. I have a casual approach. I mostly use the English names of the poses, we don’t get too twisty and we don’t chant. I’ve slowly introduced the more spiritual side of yoga, sharing what I’ve learned as my own practice grows. Not too long ago, I was once a member of the class, sitting alongside these ladies on my own journey. Suddenly, I had the opportunity to step forward and learn to lead them in the sequences. They were with me through the awkward, nervous times where I stumbled and stammered. We encouraged and supported each other as we all grew and progressed.

I was saddened when I recently heard that one of my yoga students quit coming to class because a new classmate “took her spot” on the floor. We don’t have assigned spaces, which I point out in class regularly. Nonetheless, human nature causes some people to get into the same area of the room three times a week. While I acknowledge that there are comfort and ceremony to a consistent yoga practice, I suspected that ego had taken over.

At first, I wanted to approach her and see if it was true. She and I had grown close, and I valued her friendship. I did send her a text, checking in on her. I didn’t even mention the rumor. I genuinely wanted to know how she was. She’d been traveling and life was getting complex with family commitments. Believe me when I say that I understand life’s detours involving family commitments. But, that’s another topic…I digress.

I reached out to Yoga Teacher Prep’s Facebook Group with a plea to help me find a way to approach this situation.  The online group offered up some wonderful insight which helped me ponder the possible reasons someone would need to be in the same location for each class. They may like to be close to a wall to use it for support (due to an injury, poor balance or vertigo). Some people may prefer to be close to the front of the class, so they can hear the instructor. While some people may be self-conscious about modifications and not want to be a distraction in the front of the class. Then some people are simply embarrassed, nervous, or uncomfortable and want to find an inconspicuous place to quietly practice.

With the help of the online group, I also contemplated how to approach the class. After all, if one person had an issue with their spot, it was likely others did, too. I could use it as a perfect teaching moment. Perhaps I could make everyone move to a new spot, along with asking them to embrace change or discomfort. I could playfully have them pick up their mats and walk around. When the music stops, that’s their spot for the day. I liked the suggestion of having everyone form a circle; a more subtle way of moving them into a different spot. I could use profound yoga quotes about ego, attachment or change – there’s an infinite number of philosophical quotes to select from.

In the end, I decided to not directly address the situation. I didn’t want to disturb anyone’s chi or make them feel uneasy. Yoga class should be a safe place, where the student is given the tools to grow, explore and evolve at their own pace.  We never truly know why people say and do the things they do. I believe that the issue wasn’t really about ‘her spot.’ It was just an excuse to explain her absence from class. She hasn’t returned and has since moved to be closer to her family. I did casually mention to my class that I had read a yoga thread about people being attached to their spot in class. Just like the online forum, I had a variety of responses. Very similar comments to the online group, in fact. We openly discussed the subject, laughed, and together we learned from it.

Here I am, the instructor, once again receiving valuable insight from my yoga students, in an unexpected way. This experience reminded that conflict is rarely exactly as we first perceive it. While I don’t run from conflict, I also don’t choose to rush it head on. I prefer to observe and let the dust settle, hopefully allowing me to see the bigger picture. I’d say this is especially important in a group setting such as a yoga class, where multiple people are affected.

Instead, I chose compassion. Isn’t this really my foremost responsibility as a yoga instructor? Empathy for a person struggling with life’s changes, and sensitivity for a class that probably didn’t want to play musical chairs at my whim. Sympathy, concern, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness and humanity. These are all words that come to mind when I’m in my teaching role. I believe that’s exactly what the world needs more of.

I will note, though, that I now try to move around the class more and teach facing each of the four walls, just in case anyone is getting too rigid in their spot.

Jannette Parent is a visual artist and a caregiver in a small town in Kentucky (USA). A need to relax her mind and escape her stressful life is what drew her to yoga. She first fell into teaching when her instructor took leave and someone had to take over. Now she teaches part-time at the same studio as well as at a local women’s prison. She has been a member of the Yoga Teacher Prep Facebook Group since 2017. You can connect with her there, through her Facebook pageInstagram account, or her website.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Jannette for sharing her story and for being a valuable member of our community. If you’d like to share your yoga teacher journey with us, please see our Contributor Guidelines.

Photo Credit: Jannette Parent

The post Are Your Students Suffering from ‘Saved Spot Syndrome’? appeared first on Yoga Teacher Prep.

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Guest Blog: Jennifer Boppre Shares her Runners’ Yoga Workshop My Runner’s Past

As a runner, I never really saw the value in stretching before or after a run. It was far more important to hit the distances on my training schedule. I climbed hills, put in the speed work, paid strict attention to my nutrition, but no stretching. I carb-loaded through my one and only crack at a marathon and ended up walking for 20kms because my hip couldn’t take it. I got to the finish line, collected my medal, chowed down on post-race nibbles, but still, no stretching.

After years of pounding the pavement, I suffered through injuries that ground my running to a complete halt. I replaced running with fitness classes and I began to see the value in adding a couple of weekly yoga classes to my regime. After retiring from a long career in healthcare, I became a personal trainer and was hired as a fitness instructor at a local fitness and yoga studio. I was able to teach, workout, and share my love of movement with everyone.

Then Came Yoga

Being able to go to yoga anytime was a perk of working at a studio. I started trying all kinds of yoga, and loved it all! I wanted to slow down my career in fitness by adding yoga teacher training to my resume, and the rest is history. I graduated as a yoga teacher after a summer intensive in 2017.

I joined the Yoga Teacher Prep Academy to prepare myself for teacher training, and I’m so glad I did. The experience was amazing! I knew after I graduated I was going to enroll in the business courses offered by Yoga Teacher Prep to help me get laser-focused on my yoga offerings. What kind of yoga would I teach, and to whom? Runners were the perfect group of people I could market my classes to! I’d found my niche.

I joined a local running group and went for casual runs here and there. It tuned out to be great market research because, after a while, I started to notice a trend in the posts on the group’s social media page.

Injury due to overtraining was the common denominator. Runner’s knee, IT band syndrome, sore hips, tendonitis, bursitis, ankle-itis, shoulder-itis…you name it -itis! So many members were broken. It was clear to me that a Yoga for Runners workshop was desperately needed. My yoga business plan was feeling stronger and stronger.

Combining My Passions

I created a 2-hour workshop. It includes a brief look at the anatomy and physiology of running, pre and post run stretches, pranayama when running, and mindset when racing. I lead the group through a special 60-minute practice designed just for runners so that all the participants can actually experience everything discussed.

It was a hit. And the best part, past workshop participants continue to attend my yoga classes regularly…and they’re still running!

In addition to the full workshop, I also speak at the local Running Room (a Canadian chain of stores for runners). I share my tips with the store’s half-marathon training groups and instill the value of adding yoga to their training.

There are a variety of styles of practice that are great for runners. Here’s what I tell my runner’s yoga students:

  • Hatha builds strength.
  • Yin is amazing post-run to really experience deep tissue and muscle stretching.
  • Restorative is wonderful for allowing muscles to relax, recover, and repair.
  • Flow classes are awesome for working the whole body, and leave you feeling super bendy!
Run With It

If you want to help your yoga students (who are also runners), here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Essentially all muscles are used in running, but a few key groups should be considered when sequencing for this specific group of yogis. Include postures that target the following:

  • Quadriceps – Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge), Ustrasana (Camel), Virasana (Hero) and King Arthur pose
  • Hamstrings –  Uttanasana (Forward Fold), Uttihita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle) and Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee)
  • Psoas – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon), Vrkasana (Tree), Natarajasana (Dancer)
  • Glutes – Malasana (Garland), Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle) and Agnistambhasana (Double Pigeon)
  • Abs – Plank, Navasana (Boat), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge) and Bhujangasana (Cobra)
  • Calves – Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Splits) and Parsvottanasana (Pyramid)
  • Shoulders – Gomukhasana (Cow Face), Balasana (Child’s), Garudasana (Eagle) and Parsva Balasana (Thread the Needle)

A simple sequence including Surya Namaskar A, B, and C is effective pre-run for focusing on opening through the quadriceps, hamstrings, psoas, and shoulders. I love to flow between Ardha Hanumanasana and Anjaneyasana. Opening the psoas on one leg and the hamstring of the other is a great way to get the legs ready to run.

Show them postures that they can do right after their run.  Pigeon, bound angle, and garland pose are excellent post-run for targeting the hips and deeper gluteal muscles such as the piriformis and the medial glute. The most effective quadriceps stretch I recommend is the King Arthur stretch. It really gets deep into the front of the thigh and there are many variations to suit various levels of ability. Seated Forward Folds like Paschimottanasana, Janu Sirsasana, and Marichyasana will have the hamstrings lengthened if practiced consistently after running.

Two books I recommend for more information on anatomy are “The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume I” by Ray Long, and “Yoga Anatomy-2nd Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff.

After a few years of practice, I am now starting to enjoy running again…on the dreaded treadmill, but injury free. I’m sure that if you share this info with your runner students, they love it too  (and show up for more yoga classes!)

Jennifer Boppre is a yoga and fitness instructor and owner of Aspen Yoga in Airdrie, Ab. Connect with her on Facebook. Jennifer graduated from YTP’s Yoga Business program in the fall of 2017.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Jennifer for sharing her story and workshop. If you’d like to share your yoga teacher journey with us, please see our Contributor Guidelines.

The post How to Help the Runners in Your Yoga Class appeared first on Yoga Teacher Prep.

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Yoga Teacher Prep provides this to help you prepare for yoga teacher training.

How Yoga Teachers Can Bring Kids Yoga to Their Community

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach the odd kids’ yoga class. Every time I do, I’m amazed by how quickly they pick it up. Kids just seem to get it; they somehow intrinsically understand the value of balance between activity and rest. They all see the FUN that yoga can be (unlike so many adults who make yoga just another thing to ‘check off the to-do list’).

So, when we at Yoga Teacher Prep learned that April 6th is International Kids’ Yoga Day, we jumped on the opportunity to help spread the word. Kids’ Yoga Day is an annual, free event held on the first Friday in April. Children from all over the globe do a 5-minute yoga routine (simple poses with kid-friendly names) at 11am local time. It might be at a school, a daycare, a yoga studio or even in a living room – wherever the yoga teacher can gather kids. In 2017, over 115,000 kids participated, in every corner of the globe! This year, they’re hoping for more.

We reached out to the founder, Teresa Power for some tips on how we, as a community of yoga teachers, can help bring that number up. By the way – you don’t have to be a yoga teacher to be a Kids’ Yoga Ambassador. So, for our aspiring yoga teachers, this could be great practice and a way to share your yoga before you officially become a teacher.

Here’s what you can do to bring yoga to the children in your community on Kids’ Yoga Day:
  1. Register as a Kids’ Yoga Ambassador at worldyogapower.org/participate. Once registered, you’ll get details about the day and the routine (see below).
  2. Find a group of kids to work with if you’re not already affiliated with a school, community center or daycare. You’ll get free tools that will help you explain the premise and what will be involved. The website also has a great video that will help administrators get the picture. Plus, you can remind them that yoga boosts the mental and physical health of children and has been proven to increase calm and focus (even address ADHD) for kids.
  3. Practice the simple 5-minute yoga routine with your class or school.
  4. Do the routine with your students at 11am on Friday, April 6th, alongside tens of thousands of other kids around the globe!
    Kids love being a part of something bigger than them, so be sure to remind them about all of the other kids around the world who are doing exactly what they are doing.

Thanks to Teresa Power for sharing this with us and for creating such an amazing way to introduce kids to the benefits and joys of yoga.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Kids’ Yoga Day appeared first on Yoga Teacher Prep.

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