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Yoga Teacher Training Aspects - Physical Commitments and Communication with Students

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
May 21, 2008
If you teach any form of Yoga, you are expected to be a living example of good health. This can be easy for some and a daunting task for others. Any one of us could suffer from any one of the multitudes of ailments or diseases, while living a healthy lifestyle.

When students see you for the first time, they make initial judgments. Whether it is right or wrong, people make judgments. Bearing this in mind, Yoga teachers should be eating correctly, cross training, getting a good night's sleep, and abstaining from bad health habits.

Body weight is difficult to control; especially if you have reached middle age. As a result, your diet and physical activities should be regulated according to your present weight. Walking, jogging, or swimming, should be part of your daily routine.

How much cross training is necessary? This depends on your present body weight, your blood pressure, and the condition of your heart. Some studies recommend walking 10,000 steps per day.

You could log this in by using a pedometer. It has also been discovered that moderate intensity exercises, such as: Swimming, biking, walking briskly, or dancing, are also of great benefit to our overall physical health.

The most important thing is to take part in physical activities, which you find stimulating. In good weather, a brisk walk outside is a wise habit. Granted, there are machines, which are designed for moderate intensity exercise. The elliptical trainer is a good example of such a machine.

Eating correctly, and moderately, should be no mystery to any of us. The Sattvic, or Yogic Diet, has plenty of solutions for weight control. One thing to consider is that raw vegetables, fruits, and water, are of extreme value to your physical health.

On another note: For Yoga teachers, there are many advantages to fine tuning the art of spoken communication. When compared to writing, speaking is much more personal. The interaction with one student, or an entire class, establishes a rapport.

Working face-to-face, with a class, allows you to use voice inflection, body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Through this, you have created a form of unconscious human interaction, which results in trust.

Some Yoga instructors manage to make each student feel important during class time. A Yoga instructor gives physical assists, when needed, and addresses each student's needs. This is much different from being a public speaker because of the student / teacher relationship.

Yet, a public speaker must also establish a bond, develop trust, and create an open atmosphere. In any type of classroom setting, the student should never be afraid to ask a question. The open environment enables the collective group to make progress, and prevents misunderstandings.

Once open communication is established, there are no limits as to what students can learn in your Yoga classes. Information is exchanged rapidly, clearly, and without confusion. Many times, sincere students, who ask in-depth questions, stimulate the interest of the entire group.

Some Yoga teachers have a firm policy of not answering questions during class time. The concern, among these teachers, is how to handle a disruptive, or ego-driven, student. If you have a person who you feel is purposely disrupting the class, keep your answer short and offer to discuss the question after class.

Yoga instructors can misunderstand the motives behind a student's questions or actions too. Take the time to see the big picture and resist judgments. The student, who is curious, has sought you out for the answers to his or her questions. Students, who ask a lot of questions, cause us to research an old topic again. There is no harm in this because curious students make their teachers better.

Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

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