Using props in yoga practice

Most weeks I teach yoga I have a theme. It could be feet, twists, low back, balancing poses, groins, etc.

Whatever sequence I teach my classes for the week I am also practicing at home.

Many of the places I teach currently don’t have props. Which has been a good challenge for me as a teacher.

Last week I taught what I called props vs. no props.

I travel with a few blocks and straps and remind my students that they are welcome to use the blocks or straps during class. A couple of students have said to me over time that they don’t know how to use the props.

Huh, OK, that hadn’t occurred to me. This prompted a sequence for me to show my students how props can be used in various poses.

I don’t have enough props for everyone nor can I travel with 30 blocks and straps to every class I teach (sometimes I have more than 30 students and I have 22 blocks and 23 straps). But for last week I made it a priority to carry around 22 blocks and 23 straps, which aren’t heavy, just bulky. (I asked my students to bring any blocks … Continue reading

Help me with yoga poses

We haven’t had a Comment Contest Tuesday in some time.

I need your help.

I am nearing the end of my teaching stint at Alameda Athletic Club.

I have decided for my last two weeks of classes I am going to ask for student (and GFG! reader) input.

It’s pretty easy.

Tell me your favorite yoga pose.

Tell me your least favorite yoga pose.

You can definitely have more than one of each.

If you’ve never practiced yoga or are new and don’t know a lot of the poses and/or the names you can still participate. Check out the yoga for beginners on the Yoga Journal website for some ideas.

When I write a sequence I try to have a well-rounded yoga practice of standing poses, seated poses, balance, challenging and easier poses, twists, etc.

I also make sure there are poses I truly enjoy and others I would really rather not do. The sequence I teach for the week is the sequence I practice at home for the week.

I am starting to ask my students what are their favorite poses and what are their least favorite poses to give me ideas for my last few classes at the … Continue reading

Yoga Pose: Ardha Chandrasana

Yoga poses are good for physical health, mental health, emotional health and also have an anatomical focus and therapeutic benefits.

Recently I took part in a 20-hour Restorative Yoga teacher training with one of my favorite teachers and people, Vickie.

Every day we focused on different issues. One day the class was dedicated to women’s issues.

According to  a study done by Yoga Journal in 2012, 82.2 percent of yoga practitioners are women.

Since the majority of my yoga students will be women I will encounter women in various stages of their life: menstruation; pregnancy; and menopause.

When I was still in my Deep Yoga teacher training I wrote about the day we learned about women’s issues and we practiced while being “pregnant.”

The benefits of Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose, which is pictured), according to Yoga Journal, are that the pose strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine; stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine; improves coordination and sense of balance; helps relieve stress; and improves digestion.

Some of the anatomical focuses are: groins, spine, abdomen among many others.

According to an article Geeta S. Iyengar wrote on the Iyengar Yoga website, Ardha Chandrasana helps … Continue reading