Friday, 22 April 2011

Yoga on the Web: Giving Better Understanding of Its Health Benefits

Two websites, Beliefnet and Yoga in Daily Life, are healthy and spiritual sites living through their articles and stories about yaga practice.

Beliefnet is a comprehensive website covering a wide range of topics including health, faith, religion, politics, sustainable living, and family entertainment. Its section Pain Management Centre is where lessons on meditation are available. These meditation topics include 10 yoga poses for pain management such as back pain.

Meanwhile, Yoga In Daily Life is a site exclusive for yoga. Several programs are created including Mantra Yoga and Kriya Yoga. These two kinds of yoga are more centered on life guidance and spiritual euphoria. The varied system offered by Yoga in Daily Life is taught around the globe through yoga Centers, adult education centers, health institutions, fitness and sports clubs, and rehabilitation centers.

Recognized all over the world, many yoga therapeutic programs prove to be an excellent non-surgical treatment to several diseases and body pains. It helps reduce stress, alleviate pains in the lower back, shoulder, and neck, strengthen the muscles, and increase circulation of the blood. With regular yoga practice, one can also improve his posture and body mechanics.

Meditation is one of the principles of yoga in achieving mental stability and good health. There is a variety of poses in meditation, each suits different types of people and their needs. In a meditation, one enters a state of peace and tranquility. Sometimes, meditation is accompanied with music such as Mantra Yoga and Yoga Nidra. Though the former is more focused on chanting. Also, visualization in a yoga exercise can further make practitioners relax, thus proportionally relieving the stress. The visualized images usually define the over-all mood.

Above all, yaga teachings include protection of life and respect to individuality and independence of every life form for humans are stewards of the earth.

By looking at the different forms of yoga one will find that there will be a 'connection' for you at that time, something that you can relate to, maybe a path for you to follow. You may have a 'calling' to the spiritual side rather than the physical side of yoga.

There are those that seek yoga to eliminate some form of pain or suffering like back pain, or maybe neck pain or some other form of pain. Many use yoga to feel less stressful and a more content and peaceful life. Meditating will help address a more balanced and peaceful life. Aim to give yourself time to meditate on a daily basis as there are many benefits.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

12 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training Course

So, you've made the decision to become a yoga teacher. Perhaps you've been a yoga student for years, and have decided to take the next step. Maybe you just want to take your practice a bit deeper, and think that teacher training will help your self-development. You might have been made redundant and want to change career. Whatever your reason, there's not been a better time to train as a yaga teacher.

Teaching yoga is a growing industry, as there's a stressed out nation out there and more people than ever are turning to yoga to help them cope. Yoga teachers around the country have reported higher numbers in their classes this year than in previous years. I've found that corporate Dru yoga and well being classes are in great demand, as when stress levels rise, so do back problems and absenteeism. Companies are looking for experienced, grounded yoga teachers to work on the factory floor and in the office.

It's estimated by the British Wheel of Yoga that half a million people regularly practise yoga in the UK, and the number of yoga teachers is growing by 10% per year. But we're all different. Some of us like a more physical, dynamic style, like Sun Power, Power Yoga, Teach Yoga or Chi Kri schools, others prefer something more gentle, which suits all fitness levels, like Anusara, Dru Yoga or FRYOG. Some want a deep philosophy intensive in an ashram environment, as experienced in the Sivananda training, or the spiritual focus offered by Kundalini. Others want to fit their yaga training around families and jobs, and chose schools like triyoga, British Wheel, or Appleyoga. Some want to study close to home, others want to retreat to a beautiful environment like Snowdonia or the North of Scotland and make a holiday out of their training. So what's out there, and how should we choose?

After talking to people from many UK yoga schools, I've shortlisted 12 questions which should help you find the perfect training course for you. After all, the schools are all quite different, and are suited to different sorts of people. It's not a case of one being better than another, just finding the one which reflects your needs and aspirations best.

The top twelve questions:

  1. What makes your course different from all the others?
  2. Where is your course held in the UK?
  3. Is it accredited with Yoga Alliance or a similar body?
  4. How many years has your school been established?
  5. How many students do you have currently training, and how many active graduates do you have?
  6. Is your school worldwide? If so, in which countries is your course also available?
  7. How qualified are your tutors? Do you have specialists in other relevant fields (eg osteopathy, medicine, sports science) on your teaching team?
  8. How big are your classes, and what's the ratio of students to tutors?
  9. What's the structure of your course? (Weekends/intensive/5 day modules etc) How long does it last?
  10. How much does it cost? Are there any flexible payment plans? If so, what?
  11. What support do you offer for your yoga teachers once they've finished the course?
  12. Do you offer postgraduate trainings eg pregnancy yoga?

So, when you're ready to choose your yaga school, arm yourself with these questions and make note of the replies. Becoming a yoga teacher is a once in a lifetime activity, which will make a difference to potentially thousands of people, so take your time in choosing the right yoga school for you!