Most of us have had at least one yoga experience in life even without knowing it. Growing up and participating in a physical education class most likely had you doing warm up stretches and some flexibility exercises. Those are little baby pieces of yoga practice. Yoga teacher training is hoping to put some attention on the importance of the yoga pose and the key elements for a healthy practice that will avoid injuries.
Typically, when you practice yoga poses you are barefoot and standing on sticky yoga mats while wearing clothing that will allow for your body to move and stretch as needed while staying comfortable. Yoga poses range in difficulty from a slow restorative yoga, gentle yoga to an advanced style with heat. Being able to master the yoga poses and hold those for longer periods of time will give you the opportunity to increase their intensity. Poses will build upon each other such as the plank pose prepares your body for arm balance poses. Your yoga teacher training will explain how important it is to make sure you warm your body up before beginning the more intense poses.
Yoga poses will challenge your body’s flexibility, strength, balance or all of them together. The main function of any sort of yoga pose is to be able to calm the yogi’s mind so that he can move into meditation better. Practicing poses will also help the body allow for it to be in a sitting pose for meditation for longer and longer periods of time. Yoga teaching explains that a true yogi will use a combination of yoga techniques to be able to connect to a higher consciousness. Important elements of practicing yoga poses are focusing on your breathing and the present moment.
Common Names for Poses
Even though there are many different yoga poses if you think about the different variations and modifications many happen frequently throughout the different styles of yoga. For instance, Downward-facing dog is a pose but it also a pose that tends to be placed between other sequences and are linked with the breath. Other poses that you will encounter are warriors, triangles, and variations of the forward bends. The lotus pose is used in almost all yoga styles.
When you are practicing yoga you know that it follows the eight limbs of yoga which are outlined in the Yoga Sutras. Non-violence applies to the practice of yoga poses and not just your lifestyle. Poses are meant to challenge your body but should never cause injury. Yoga teacher training helps student to find balance in each yoga pose they learn. While you are strengthening your muscles you are also creating a balance and calm with breath and a relaxed face and neutral shoulders. You need to continue to stay present during your yoga poses as part of disciplining your mind. The yoga poses are internal just as much as they are external.
Props for Yoga
Looking down at your yoga mat you are looking at your primary prop and sometimes your only prop depending on what kind of yoga you are practicing. Many yoga teachers encourage you to use props to help with optimal alignment of poses. Some of the more common props include blocks which will help you bring the floor closer to you. Straps are also used which help you hold and release a stretch. Bolsters are also available and bring you support. Many yoga studios have these props for your use at their locations.
Cautions for Yoga Practice
Yoga is normally a low impact and safe activity but that are always certain cautions when you have medical conditions or injuries. You should always communicate with your yoga teacher if you have any issues before beginning your practice. Women who are expecting should avoid any deep twists, over stretching or inversion poses. Neck injuries should avoid all poses that put pressure on the neck. Spinal injuries should avoid any back bending poses. Make sure that you have approval for yoga exercise, that your yoga teacher is aware of any problems, and that your yoga teacher is yoga certified so that they know how to correctly modify the poses for you.
Yoga teacher training is the best way for someone to learn appropriate ways to teach and become certified. You also want to make sure the person you are learning from has that experience so that you have a safe practice.