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Yoga in Practice: The Impact of Yoga Teachers on Society (Part 1)

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
In the West, there was a time when practicing Yoga was kept secret. When I was a child, it was considered, "a bit strange." During the 50's and 60's, Yoga practice was associated with being part of counter culture movements, such as living the life of "beatniks" or "hippies." Interestingly, I was told by a school teacher that I would some day grow up to be a beatnik.

Well, time has passed and Yoga has "come out of the closet" in a giant wave. Yes, Yoga has gone "Global." The world society, as a whole, has been affected positively by Yoga classes and Yoga teachers. Meditation, a component of a typical Yoga class, is a proven and valuable tool for mental health.

Let's look at some of the ways Yoga teachers, Yoga classes, and the many styles of Yoga have gently changed the world today. There is much more to Yoga than "meets the eye," at first glance. In fact, there is a Yoga style for every need, purpose, and personality.

When you consider the number of Yoga students, who want to change their lives on the physical level, union by physical mastery (Hatha Yoga) is easy for most students to grasp.

This is why you are seeing so many people gravitate toward Hatha Yoga, but I predict that Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Raja Yoga will become more popular in the near future. So, there is much more to Yoga, beyond exercises; but let's continue with the benefits Yoga teachers make available in a typical Hatha Yoga style.

Pranayama, or breathing techniques, are commonly taught in many Yoga classes. Yoga students learn to take control of their lives and regulate their health, just by breathing correctly. This is a form of preventative medicine, when you consider proper breathing as a practical deterrent to panic attacks, high blood pressure, chest pains, and many more stress-related ailments.

Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine address dietary needs based upon your "dosha" or constitution. If a Yoga student wants to pursue this subject further, he or she can take a dosha test and develop a sensible, practical, and moderate Ayurvedic diet.

Kriyas or Shatkarmas are traditional Yogic cleansing techniques for detoxifying the body. Detoxification is needed more than ever - with so many unnatural foods available. At the very least, students of Yoga should be consuming eight glasses of quality water per day.

© Copyright 2006 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.
http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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