When Does One Become A Yoga Teacher?

When you teach a friend, co-worker, or family member one Yoga technique, you have taken the first step toward becoming a Yoga teacher. This is the traditional way Yoga was initially taught before Hatha Yoga classes became such a “magnet” to the public. Large Yoga classes are not a bad thing, but it is easy to forget the way Yoga was taught for centuries.

Now, let’s fast-forward into the 21st century. Today, we have access to instant information. You can learn Yoga from television, the Internet, books, DVD’s, MP3’s, CD’s, and e-Books. It would seem anyone who wants to become a Yoga teacher has all the tools at hand, to pursue his or her dream of teaching Yoga. Should you read Yoga books to become a Yoga teacher? Yes, you will have to read and much more. Yoga books, DVD’s, and CD’s set a foundation of Yoga teaching knowledge, but there is much more to this in order to become a Yoga teacher. It is daily experience, gained through teaching Yoga students, which causes a Yoga teacher to further evolve beyond the initial teacher certification process. Practical knowledge and experience becomes a “treasure chest” for any Yoga teacher.

Teaching Yoga is a journey. If Yoga teachers sit still, without expanding their knowledge, they will become stagnant. Yoga books are great references, but Yoga teachers are works in progress. In fact, Yoga is a work in progress. Yoga changes as teachers make new and innovative discoveries along the way. Hopefully, innovative Yoga teachers will record their discoveries for future generations. None of us have a life long enough to learn all that has been written over 5,000 years, but we learn everything that will help our students live a better-quality life and more. Every student ailment is researched again and again.

Yoga teachers may eventually run into a situation where the right Yoga book is not available, or perhaps it was never written. Always remember that Yoga books are very valuable, but they are learning tools for the beginning of the journey, and good references, to come back to, when you put Yogic principles into practice. So, when do you know if you are ready to become a Yoga teacher? If you have been practicing Yoga for years, reading Yoga information, and showing your friends Yoga techniques, you have already taken the first step.

There is no promise that the journey to become a Yoga teacher will be easy, but it is rewarding. Yoga has much history behind it, but many new chapters are being written at this moment, and many more will be written in the future. The public is always in need of competent and innovative Yoga teachers.

Yoga at Home: 6 Ways to Get Started

Doing yoga at home is a great way to continue or enhance your practice beyond studio classes. Pragmatically, a home yoga practice could help you save money, time and effort – especially if you want to practice more frequently than your funds allow, free yourself from a class schedule and have more space to yourself. Do not forget the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga – staying healthy, feeling serene and nourished all in the comfort of your own home! To begin establishing your own home-practice, here are some tips to consider:


Create a Comfortable Space

Dedicate a suitable spot in the house for practice – a space that is quiet, well-ventilated, large enough to roll out your mat and not be hampered by clutter or sharp corners. Ideally, a room or a private corner where you could be alone for some time. Make it a point to leave distractions such as your phone and computer outside this ‘sanctuary’. Details like art on the wall, a niche for candles and incense, or simply having your yoga props in place could further sanctify your space and get you into the zone for practice.

Choose a Convenient Time

Yoga in the morning is recommended as it starts your day off with an elevated level of energy. A tip is to go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier so your session does not reduce your sleep time. If morning will not suit, choose any other time slot which is most convenient – the key is fitting it to your schedule, a big reason why you are practicing at home! Yoga during lunch break or after work is still a great way to refresh your senses or de-stress from the day’s activities.

Start with Stillness

Include time for stillness – to just breathe and be mindful of yourself. Even a few minutes could calm your mind, center your awareness and get you ready for practice. Meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) are great for it. Since classes often do not focus on these aspects of yoga, at home is a fantastic place to add stillness to your practice. Stillness also trains your powers of concentration, which is beneficial for a more focused asana (physical practice of yoga).

Set Your Purpose and Prepare

Setting a purpose and preparing beforehand could help you use your session more effectively. Decide ahead of time what you want to do – it could be a style of yoga, a body area of focus or a particular posture to improve on. If you are just starting out, an online video instruction is an easy, straightforward option. When you become more attuned to your body’s preferences, you could begin to design your own sequence (more in Yoga at Home: Creating your Home Sequence).

Be Gentle and Listen to Your Body

Always perform poses in a gentle manner and respect your body’s limits. Over-assertion and force is not the way to garner quick results and may cause harm to your body. Learning to differentiate between discomfort (dull aching) and pain (acute and hot sensation) can help you identify how far to go. Begin practice with an open-mind and warm up properly before trying more challenging poses. Explore your body with patience and acceptance.

Be Consistent

Set up a phone reminder! It is vital to be consistent with your practice. Yoga teachers advise that a short (10-15 minute) practice daily produces results more effectively than a long session every now and then. Some ways to help you develop the habit is to make it part of your morning ritual, sticking to the same yoga sequence so you don’t have to think about what poses to perform and have a reference for improvement, or practice it with a friend or family member!

From Zen to Street – 5 Favorite Leggings You Can Wear Outside the Studio

With the ever-so-popular athleisure movement in full effect, leggings are becoming more and more fashionably acceptable and the clothing of choice for many. And understandably so! They are universally flattering, offer support and are versatile. We were them to yoga class and if you’re crunched for time (which many of us are), leggings that can take you from the studio and beyond are ideal. Whether you are running to the grocery store or meeting the girls for brunch, these 5 must-have leggings will get you there in comfort and style.

Lululemon Hot Like Agni Pant- $118
You can’t go wrong with these awesomely flattering leggings. Lululemon is no stranger to the yoga community and there’s a pretty good reason for that. These leggings hold in all the right places and for those of us not genetically blessed with a voluptuous backside, this is our saving grace! From downward dog to a shopping date with the gals, these leggings are versatile and are sure to be your new favorite “pants.”

Alo Yoga High-Waist Moto Legging- $118
Mix in an urban-chic vibe to your legging arsenal. These are perfect for date night with your guy or when plain black pants seem boring. Pair with a slouchy sweater or tee for a relaxed look. Studded motorcycle boots not included, but are strongly recommended.

Koral Lustrous Legging- $88
Supple enough to get through a Hatha class and fashionable enough to turn heads while you’re out on the town. These shiny pants come in black, gray and navy and it’s easy to see why you would want one in each color. You can dress these up or down, pairing them with a loose fitting t-shirt in a solid color or a statement blouse for a dressier appeal.

Lucy Studio Hatha Legging- $29.98
These are all about the comfort factor. Bend and twist in every position imaginable with ease. At under $30, these tights are a steal. Available in a variety of gorgeous colors and patterns, you can afford to splurge.

Athleta Tropical Excursion Tight- $89.00
This fun print is a great addition to your legging arsenal! Designed with wicking and breathable material, these tights lightweight but will withstand your next Bikram class. Side leg pockets are handy for keeping your phone and other essentials in place when you’re grabbing a juice or smoothie after class.