Yoga is a practice that has been around for centuries. Although we’ve come to associate it with exercise, yoga can be seen as a way to bring peace and clarity into your life. It’s not just about the physical benefits; it’s about how yoga helps you to become a better person. But what does it mean for a class to be “good”?
First, if you want the best possible physical benefits from your yoga central class, you must ensure that it is both vigorous and relaxing. That means the instructor will sometimes request that you tone the intensity down a little so that your body can catch its breath before ramping up again. As the instructor, you’ll need to be aware of the mood that is evolving in your class and adjust it as appropriate.
Remember not to push yourself too hard if you have injuries or conditions. If you feel like something is wrong with your body, or if something has just popped up out of nowhere, don’t push yourself through it. Always listen to your body and trust its ability to let you know when it needs a rest.
Rather than emphasizing sheer strength or physical endurance, yoga is more about flexibility. Adopting a healthy postural alignment during the practice can have powerful benefits for breathing and stretching out the tension in the body.
The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which is a verb meaning to yoke or join. The process of “joining” your mind and body is referred to as yoga. It’s not just about physical strength; it’s a lot more than that. It’s about the perfect alignment of your body, mind and spirit.
There are three main stages of yoga: asana, pratyahara and Dharana. Asana is translated as “seat” but doesn’t refer to anything in particular—it refers to any physical position that allows you to achieve specific goals through relaxation and stretching.
During the second stage of yoga, pratyahara, you can withdraw your senses from the external world and focus your attention on your body. Then, during the final stage of Dharana, you become fully aware of yourself and what’s happening around you. You can focus on anything that will bring peace and clarity. You can put this into practice by focusing on different things—perhaps while lying down in savasana (corpse pose) or probably while in a seated position—but whatever you choose to focus on, the goal is simply being present in that moment.
As you can see, yoga has many different stages beyond physical discipline. It can be a spiritual practice and enable you to feel truly alive. As an instructor, you’ll have the opportunity to help others achieve this peace and awareness through your instruction, which is one of the best parts about being a yoga instructor.
If you are a yoga instructor, make sure that your classes are geared towards endurance or flexibility, depending on your goals for the course. You want to push yourself only a little; instead, you want to find that happy medium where everyone in the class is having fun and getting a good workout at the same time.
As an instructor, remember that besides physical health and endurance, there are emotional benefits of yoga as well.