The Place of Developmental Movement Patterns in Yoga Part I – Beginnings

December 31st, 2014

how to begin yoga trainingBy Kathryn Boland

I personally love to watch babies move. They roll, reach, and giggle at accomplishing what might seem to us like small goals. Sometimes they fall, struggle to get to where they want to be, and cry for a caregiver’s help. They are learning their bodies, ways to solve problems, how others react to their reactions, and what it is like for them to experience all of that in body and mind. All of those elements are the beginnings of the achievements, challenges, and inner/outer experiences that we all encounter throughout the lifespan. While the natures of those encounters differ for each individual, and notable exceptions do exist, there is a generalized sequential pattern of movement milestones that individuals achieve in the early years of life. Dance/movement therapy and other somatic disciplines rely upon this universal pattern to guide individuals to optimal holistic health. While yoga instructors and practitioners already (seemingly naturally) connect with this developmental somatic knowledge, we can even further utilize it in how we practice and guide others in practice.

First, babies enter the world with 1) breath – therein evidently the first most essential ingredient for life. It is no coincidence that most practitioners, and most instructors guide their students to, begin asana practice by cueing into the quality of breath. The goal in this phase is to reach the type of breath that will support the individual in the upcoming task. We equally need this preparation through breath in various types of asana practice, as babies rapidly learning and growing, and in diverse life experiences.

Secondly, little ones become aware of the world of sensations that is available to them by engaging with their environments through 2) touch. Babies learn much about themselves, others, and inanimate objects through pulling, stroking, chewing (engaging with touch through their lips), et cetera. In yoga, hands-on assists (from instructors, yet sometimes even from ourselves) and limb-on-limb points of contact (such as in binds) can guide us to make healthful adjustments to our postures. In sometimes less definable ways, those practice elements can engage our bodies’ intuitive senses – in ways that words never will – to feel more truly alive and whole within our practices.

Branching out more into their worlds, infants then begin to balance their movements in the realm of 3) core-distal. They have developed enough muscular strength and integration to reach their limbs out from their small bodies when it might help them to meet their needs – yet also to bring their body parts closer to their bodies’ centers when that is more satisfying and/or necessary. Asana practice plays with a similar balance between engagement of the core, necessary for balance and optimal alignment – and sending energy out into the distal (peripheral) parts of our bodies, which is imperative for achieving the most possible flexibility, other fitness markers, and simply sense of aliveness.

Then babies begin to sense a connection between 4) head and tail. At about five months old, they can – for the first time – fully lift their heads. Through that they experience both the practicalities as well as pleasures involved with stabilizing their movements through their spines. All central aspects of yoga practice – including asana, pranayama, and meditation – rely on this relationship of the head and tailbone. In asana, the appropriate relationship of those two parts is essential for balance and safe alignment, among other important components. In pranayama, a straight and stable spine is necessary to position the lungs for optimal breath capacity. In meditation, one’s spine must stay similarly straight and stable in order to minimize physical sensation – therein allowing one to get closer to the quiet, undisturbed consciousness that the practice can offer.

There are further possibilities yet! Stay tuned to learn about the four movement patterns within this largely universal sequence that we generally develop last, and then keep most central in our experiences throughout life. Those include abilities to expand one half of the body into space while keeping the other grounded, and conversely to move “cross-laterally” – moving arms and legs in opposite and sequential fashion. Those skills have implications for nothing short of our abilities to balance and “locomote” (walking, running, skipping, etc.) throughout life. Understandings of these natural connections, and resulting movement tendencies, can lead yoga practitioners and instructors to create practices that are true to our bodies – and through that are capable of contributing to expanded overall holistic health.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Yoga School Policies for Preventing Harassment

October 25th, 2014

practicing heron poseBy Kimaya Singh

Like any workplace, yoga studios must always have policies in place for dealing with harassment problems of a sexual, verbal, or physical nature. These policies should be made available to every yoga teacher and student that participates in classes at the studio. Having these policies already written out and readily available will ensure that appropriate action is taken swiftly if a harassment issue does occur between teachers or students at the yoga studio. If a problem does arise during yoga practice, the policies in place will ensure they can be handled efficiently, quickly, and legally. Every yoga studio should have some concrete policies in place to avoid confusion and disorder when dealing with harassment situations.

Dress Code and Appropriate Attire

Since yoga is performed in fitness clothing and form-fitting attire, a dress code should be in place so that outfits are always appropriate for the classroom. This consideration is especially important for yoga studios that offer hot yoga classes. In these classes, light clothing that shows exposed skin is a must. This will keep students cool and comfortable. However, even in this situation, it is important to have an appropriate dress code. Clothing should not be too revealing, and it should be appropriate for the age group of the class. Make sure to be specific in the dress code. If your studio doesn’t allow bra tops or speedos, make this known before your students come to class. All new students should be provided with a written dress code so they can be ready for their first class. Be prepared to enforce the dress code at all times, even if that means asking a student to return home to change. Do not waiver from your dress code or exempt certain students – this will only cause confusion and resentment.

Physical Adjustments

In yoga practice, teachers may want to physically adjust their students in order to correct their body placement in a pose. However, before ever touching a student, ask if they are comfortable with it. Some students will not want to be touched. As an instructor, you need to respect the wishes of the student and find other ways to correct them if they do not wish to be touched at any time. Verbal corrections and instructor demonstrations can be alternatives to physical adjustments made in the classroom. It is also important to make sure students do not try to physically correct each other in the class, even if they are an experienced yoga practitioner. As the teacher of the class, you are the only one with the authority to perform physical corrections during the session. Allowing students to correct each other may lead to injuries, harassment complaints, and other issues.

A Quiet Environment

The yoga studio should be a place to focus solely on the practice. By ensuring the space remains quiet and contemplative, you can reduce harassment complaints. Make sure students know that they should not bring loud or disruptive devices into the studio. This means no cell phones, tablets, or MP3 players. To ensure your students remember this rule, post signs outside the studio for them to see upon entrance. If a student is being disruptive, use gentle reminders to ensure the studio stays a comforting and meditative space.

Even with the best preventative measures, harassment can occur anywhere. Having policies in place from the get go will ensure that any problems can be resolved as quickly as possible, without damage or trauma caused to the student, teacher, or studio. Whether you are a brand new teacher or an established instructor, take the time to set up and review your harassment policies on a regular basis in order to ensure you are prepared for every potential issue.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Yoga for Sleep: Restorative Viparita Karani

October 17th, 2014

about restorative yogaBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

At the present time, there is just a touch of fall coolness in the air in the Northeastern United States. As summer subtly wanes into early fall, the humidity level is dropping and the trees are beginning to reveal a hint of the brilliant fall foliage to come. I have always loved the fall. It is one of my favorite times of the year in the Northeast. The colors of the leaves when they are at their peak are simply breathtaking, and the swirling energy of the season is always invigorating and filled with promise.

Every year, the fall season sparkles with the crisp energy of hope and enthusiasm. This often translates into a new school year, training program or continuing education course of study for many of us. As the long, warm days of summer begin to shorten, many Yoga students and Yoga teachers find themselves rushing to fit into their busy schedules a variety of wonderful summer activities before the days shorten and the temperatures drop to a point where some of these activities, such as swimming or surfing, are no longer possible. At least not without a very thick wetsuit!

The combination of seeking to fully enjoy the final weeks of summer, in addition to added academic and professional goals and responsibilities, often generates an underlying feeling of anxiety. Unfortunately, the busyness of a full schedule can increase anxiety levels to a point where you may find it difficult to sleep. If this is the case for you, practicing some soothing, restorative Yoga poses will help your body and mind to calm down, which will allow you to rest in a place of quietude. Resting in a place of peace and quietude will support you to sleep more deeply and restoratively.

* Viparita Karani or Legs Up the Wall Pose

Viparita Karani is also known as Legs Up the Wall Pose. This is a simple and accessible Yoga inversion that helps to calm frayed nerves, quiet your mind and replenish your vital life force energy. Viparita Karani is usually practiced toward the end of a Yoga class or session. It is generally one of the finishing postures in a sequence of Yoga poses that is practiced just prior to Shavasana.

Some of the benefits of practicing Viparita Karani for five to fifteen minutes are: improving blood flow throughout the entire body, restoring tired legs and feet, alleviating headaches, easing tension in the lower back, calming anxiety, relieving insomnia, and stretching out the front of the torso, the back of the neck and the hamstring muscles. To practice Legs Up in the Wall Pose in a restorative fashion, you will need a folded blanket, an eye pillow or small towel and a weighted sandbag for your feet. You may also wish to place an additional blanket over your torso for a fuller sense of being nurtured and to stay warm, of course.

When you are ready to practice Legs Up the Wall Pose, place your Yoga mat perpendicular to a free wall in your home or Yoga studio. Place any props you are using on one side of your Yoga mat. Lie down on your side on the Yoga mat with your buttocks touching the wall. With an inhale; gently roll yourself onto your back as you raise your legs up the wall. Extend your legs fully and keep your feet slightly flexed.

If you are using a folded blanket, place it underneath your hips for added support. Place the other blanket snugly over your torso and rest the sandbag on your feet.

When you have all of the Yoga props positioned properly, place the eye pillow over your eyes and extend your arms out to your sides at chest height with your palms facing up in a gesture of release and openness. Sink into the floor or earth beneath you and breathe fully and deeply. Hold this posture for five to fifteen minutes, and then remove the props, roll to your right side and gently push your self up to Easy Seat. Pause for a few breaths to feel the blanket of peace and quietude enveloping you that your practice of this restorative Yoga pose has generated before moving into Shavasana.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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What Should Yoga Teachers Know About Accepting Pregnant Students?

October 15th, 2014

yoga training for pregnancyBy Kimaya Singh

As a yoga teacher, you are going to accept many students, who are all going to be of different weights, heights, body frames, levels of flexibility, and more. Typically, you don’t have to worry too much about the average student you teach because most can practice the techniques, but when dealing with pregnant women, you should consider changing up your class.

There is no reason why a pregnant woman cannot have a great time in yoga, but things will need to change. Pregnant students should be in a prenatal class with a certified prenatal yoga instructor. Here are tips that you can use to make the prenatal class enjoyable for everyone.

The first thing to do is to make sure you provide space for the baby. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, the baby is going to be larger and accommodations need to be made for the baby and the space it takes up. This is why you should avoid teaching any yoga poses to your pregnant students that compress the belly. If you can’t avoid them, modify them. You should not have your pregnant students on their bellies, especially in the second and third trimester. Compressing twists should also be avoided.

Another thing to make sure your pregnant students don’t do is overstretching. While the hormone relaxin increases flexibility, helping prepare the body for birth, that doesn’t mean that pregnant women should try and stretch to the limit. Ligaments are more relaxed, but by over-stretching, women can cause lifelong joint and pelvic problems, or even pulled ligaments. Have your pregnant students focus more on increasing their strength and stability, rather than trying to stretch as far as they can. Avoid deepening assists with your pregnant students.

If your student is at the end of her first trimester, and the beginning of her second trimester, the placenta is beginning to attach to the uterine wall. As a result, you want to avoid any inverted or jumping movements at this point. If your experienced students do want to do any inverting, they should practice mild variations, such as Downward Facing Dog and only for 30 seconds or less. Some women will resist any advice that they consider to be pampering, but pregnancy is the first time in our lives, when we have to consider every risk we take. Some women will always put their children at risk, but a wise mother will be mindful of her baby well before birth.

The center of gravity shifts for a woman who is pregnant, down to the lower back. As a result, pain in that area can be a common problem for women who are pregnant. As a teacher, you can help with that by ensuring that their lower back is where you are focusing on. Tailbone-centric exercises are an excellent way to strengthen that area and help a student relieve the pain. Encourage your pregnant students to practice exercises that strengthen the tailbone, and that should help them relive the problem of back pain.

Some yoga teachers use kumbhaka, which is breath retention when doing yoga, but this should be avoided if you are teaching pregnant students. Pregnant students should breathe slowly and evenly. Alternate nostril breathing can be a substitute for women who are pregnant.

For some people, lying on the back is not going to be comfortable. For pregnant women, you should avoid having them on their backs altogether. Some women find it to be welcome relief to learn modified postures instead of lying in Shavasana. Yoga can be a great way to keep the body healthy during pregnancy, but it is important that your students never push themselves too far with their poses.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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What Should Yoga Teachers Know About Students With Heart Problems?

October 13th, 2014

heart care with yogaBy Faye Martins

Yoga is good for you, and we all know that. As a yoga teacher, you have the ability to help people deal with a lot of health problems, and heart problems are no different. According to Dr. Suzie Bertisch, a medical instructor at Harvard, the benefits of yoga for the heart are quite immense. In addition to making the body healthy, it helps to improve the symptoms of heart failure, ease palpitations, enhance the rehabilitation of the heart and reduce blood pressure.

Now, if you have someone in your class with heart problems, you need to take special considerations so that you can help them get healthy, while also not pushing their heart too much.

There are several yoga poses that should be avoided if a student has health problems.

First of all, poses with long-held inversions should be avoided, as well as poses that involve handstands. Any long-held pose that has the arm over the head should be avoided and anything that involves holding breath, or having intense breathing, must be avoided at all costs.

Some poses that should be avoided are:

  1. Extended triangle pose
  2. Low lunge
  3. High lunch, crescent variation
  4. Feathered peacock pose
  5. Upward abdominal lock
  6. Warrior I pose
  7. The handstand
  8. Full boat pose
  9. Hero pose
  10. Supported headstand
  11. Upward bow-wheel pose

In addition, unsupported inversions should not be attempted because this will put the weight of abdominal organs on the upper-half of the body, and that can put strain on the heart.

An excellent idea is to teach your students breathing practices and meditation. Along with restorative postures, they can be very effective in healing heart conditions. These exercises help to calm the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn will help to relax the mind and the body and reduce stress on the individual.

There are styles that may benefit heart tissues and some poses that are vigorous can be done as long as the stamina is built up over time. If someone is non-active and suddenly wants to do some intense yoga positions, it is in your best interest to prevent them from doing that. Students, who have problems with heat, should avoid any sort of Bikram style yoga, or hot yoga as this can put extra strain on the heart for the student.

As a teacher, the poses that you should be having your student focus on are poses that will relax the mind and the body, while also helping to expand the chest. These are poses that use the expanded chest to allow for deep breaths, which puts more oxygen into the body and helps to improve the overall flow of blood in the body. By doing this, the student will improve their heart condition and thereby be able to do more intense yoga poses without the level of risk they would have had.

If students have a heart condition, you should encourage them to speak with their doctor first to ensure that yoga will benefit them, rather than increase their risk. You want them to be healthy, and sometimes even starting slow can aggravate the heart. By getting the okay from the doctor, you are ensured that your students are going to be okay during exercises, but you are also protecting yourself if a student were ever to have a heart attack in your class.

Yoga has been proven to help people with heart conditions, and it can help your students. As long as you keep things safe, and plan out the exercises for heart condition students, everyone will have a great time getting healthy.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about our selection of inexpensive hatha yoga instructor training intensives.

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Giving Yoga Students Safe Challenges

October 12th, 2014

keeping yoga students safeBy Azahar Aguilar

As a yoga instructor, you are there to challenge your students into new spaces mentally and physically from what they may never thought possible for themselves before.  However, you are also there to keep your students safe and injury free. How to establish this balance between challenge and safety?

Types of Students to Challenge

When you kindle your students desire to push themselves, it is usually best for regulars or students you have frequent interaction with.  These practitioners you typically know better, and therefore have a stronger understanding for their needs and abilities.  In turn they feel more comfortable to inform you if they feel truly uncomfortable in a challenge.

Other times teachers can get swept up in the success of a new and eager yoga student.  If a new practitioner reaches a higher milestone in the practice, it is easy for an instructor to forget that each day is different.  Even if a student made great progress in a posture one day, the next day their body or mind may not be in the same place, which may lead to an injury in a posture they may have opened into the day before.

Teachers must leave their ego aside and continually evaluate practitioners, their comfort level and ability constantly. No matter how much you’ve worked with a student, check-ins are always necessary for safety.  A quick “how does that feel” or simply placing a block near someone with a pained face in a floor posture will act as important prevention.

Filling Advanced Classes or Programs

Other possible danger zones occur when focus shifts from the practice to the business of yoga.  Sometimes studios need a certain amount of students to run workshops or classes, and programs intended for advanced or master’s level can become too relaxed in the admission process.

A new student should never be allowed to participate in anything labeled master, no matter the level of supervision.  Keep the integrity and safety of the practice at all times.  It will be more enjoyable for the student, and you will rest easy knowing your students are safe and happy.

Education and Adjustments

Educate practitioners in your classes about what to watch for in certain advanced postures, and at the same time to check in with the ego before they attempt to push limits. This way you empower the students to check in with themselves before blindly attempting the challenge. The more your students are aware of their intention behind the desire to challenge, the better aligned their transition will be.

If you decide your intention to challenge a student is pure and ego-free, it’s important in the next step you slowly step into the student’s space to feel the energy and ask permission to push them a bit further with an adjustment or verbal cue.  Acting in the student’s personal space will also allow for a more one-on-one experience, rather than inviting the ego when the class turns it’s attention as a whole to yourself and the student.  Take your time, breathe with the student and check in before the challenge.

The Perfect Balance

Ask yourself why you want to push a student into a new space in their practice before you take action to do so.  Sit with the reasoning to feel if it comes from a place of love or of ego.

When you do challenge a student, check in with him or her to insure they feel comfortable throughout the adjustment or verbal cue.  Try and do so somewhat intimately, instead of involving the class for ego. Keep the intentions pure for growth in a specific posture or series, take your time to listen and you and your student’s practice will flourish.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about our selection of inexpensive hatha yoga instructor training intensives.

Please feel free to share our posts with your friends, colleagues, and favorite social media networks.

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Establishing a Safe Track Record in Yoga Classes

October 11th, 2014

yoga safetyBy Azahar Aguilar

Responsibility rests on yoga instructors to look out for the student’s safety before, during and after class.  A safe teaching track record leaves you and your students confident and better able to focus on the practice.  Established studio tracking methods as well as constant communication between teachers and students will create this type of caring environment.

Prevention with Tracking Systems

In a studio, a critical step to ensure communication between many different yoga instructors begins with the new student sign up process.  There must be a place on the welcome form to list pre-existing injuries and health conditions, then loaded into a computer or folder tracking system.  When students sign in for future classes, that information easily shows and is available for the current teacher instructing.  The teacher glances over the list, and is immediately aware of injury and health information before stepping into the studio with that student.

Encourage a space to track conversations with students in your studio as well; such as when a student may approach you after class for more information on how to modify a posture for her former torn ACL.  That knowledge is important to share; a place to note that in a tracking system for other instructors to see and be aware of is extremely valuable.

Prevention with Conversation and Questions

Habits of yoga teachers should include initiating conversation with new faces as they step into the yoga studio- even a quick and direct question, “do you have any injuries or health concerns I should keep in mind to make you more comfortable?” to allow another opportunity for sharing safe yoga knowledge.

Initiate conversation after class with other students for a more natural conversation flow with regulars and faces you have seen before.  Anything you noticed in class from discomfort in the face during a knee-intense posture to asking why they began yoga can open communication. These conversations can easily be additions to add notes in the tracking system for the advantage of the next teacher to safely instruct that student.

The space exists, at the start of class as you introduce yourself, to ask for students with any injuries to raise their hands and let you know of any injuries or health concerns.  Another option for shyer students is to close their eyes and place hands over their hearts for a more anonymous approach. Create your own opportunities to find out more about your students to further establish safety in the studio.

Remind your students during or after class – to make their new instructors aware before class of pre-existing injuries or health conditions.  This also provides the opportunity for your students to make the studio a safer place for him or herself, and a more enjoyable practice for teachers to offer modifications as needed.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about our selection of inexpensive hatha yoga instructor training intensives.

Please feel free to share our posts with your friends, colleagues, and favorite social media networks.

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Yoga for Sleep: Establishing a Regular Rhythm

October 2nd, 2014
teaching yoga for sleep

By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed
Deeply restorative and refreshing sleep can be quite elusive for many Yoga practitioners. With the frenetic pace of many Yoga teachers and students’ lives, winding down for a good night’s sleep is frequently challenging, if not impossible. As we all rush to squeeze in one appointment after another during our already fully scheduled days, the fight or flight response is often locked on overdrive and anxiety and stress levels can stay high well into the night. When this happens, the body and mind are physiologically unable to unwind and ease into a peaceful state of being, rather than constantly doing. 
Turning off an overactive mind at the end of the day is crucial to being able to rest deeply. An overly anxious or busy mind that is always in “doing mode” drives the sympathetic nervous system to remain on as the mind simultaneously continues to plan what to do next. This is all too true for many Yogis and Yoginis  even after a modern day mini-crisis, such as making it to the bank or post office before the stroke of 5, comes to an end. If you find that you often operate on the adrenalin rush that your own body produces in response to an unending series of crises throughout the day, you probably have difficulty falling asleep and sleeping uninterruptedly throughout the night. 
By creating a soothing bedtime ritual for yourself, you will cue your body and mind to begin to unwind from the day and to enter into a state of peaceful being, rather than staying stuck in a state of constant “doing” by planning for the next day and rehashing the day you have just lived. Ruminating about the past or the future will keep you in a state of doing and will prevent you from sleeping restoratively. There are a number of ways to create a soothing bedtime ritual for yourself. A few tried and true ways of demarcating a time of rest are taking a hot bath, drinking a calming cup of herbal tea and reading a good book in bed. Practicing restorative Yoga poses and quieting Yogic breathing exercises are also wonderful ways to support your body and mind in letting go of the concerns of the day. 
* Dirga Pranayama or Three Part Breathing 
In terms of creating a regular rhythm to support you in resting well, practicing a calming Yogic breathing exercise just prior to turning in for the evening will quickly and effectively calm your mind as the sympathetic nervous system, which drives the fight and flight response, comes to a barely perceptible idle. Dirga Pranayama is a simple and highly effective Yogic breathing exercise for establishing a regular rhythm in the body and calming the thought waves of the mind. Practicing Dirga Pranayama helps you to become deeply aware of your own breathing patterns and to breathe fully, deeply and completely. 
To practice Dirga Pranayama, come to prone position on your Yoga mat or sit on a chair with your feet resting flat on the floor and your spine erect. You can also practice this calming Yogic breathing exercise just prior to drifting off to sleep as you lie cozily in your bed. When your are ready to practice Dirga Pranayama, place your right hand on your lower abdomen and your left hand on your heart. The placement of your hands will help you to be aware of each inhalation and exhalation. 
The practice of Dirga Pranayama is also known as the Three Part Breath. Each inhalation is divided into three parts. The first part of the inhalation fills up your lower belly. The second part of the inhalation fills up your abdominal area to your lower ribs, and the third part of the inhalation fills up your chest cavity completely, all the way up to your collar bones. The exhalation is long and continuous and should ideally be the same count as all three “mini” inhalations put together. 
In other words, if you counted to three with each part of your inhalation for a total of nine counts, your exhalation should be a total of nine counts at the same pace. A series of three “mini” inhalations followed by a long, continuous exhalation is one round of Dirga Pranayama. Practice this soothing Yoga breathing exercise for at least five rounds. The regular rhythm of this breathing exercise will help your body and mind come to a quiet place of rest and repose in preparation for the night ahead.  
© Copyright 2014 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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The Truth About Making Money

September 19th, 2014

how to solve money problemsBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Money has been a mystery to humankind since it was first invented. If we had enough money to pay our bills, would that create happiness? It is true that bills for medicine, housing, energy, food, insurance, taxes, clothing, and transportation can take happiness away. However, are the rich really happy? Does the idea of having money create an illusion for those who are in need? Is money the cause of wars or could we prevent wars with prosperity?

Many of our problems with money have to do with the way we see it. Some of us feel that we do not deserve to be paid a fair wage or we are not worthy of material wealth. Others view money as an evil thing. Money is really just a source of energy. Our personal view of money is a factor in attracting it or pushing it away.

There is no shortage of opportunities in this life. This is where going into business for yourself can be lucrative and fun. With the current state of the Internet, anyone can go into business doing anything; but to ethically make a living, one has to be driven by morals and a passion for their work. I spend a lot of time coaching teachers to get over their “hang ups” about making money. Yoga teachers tend to be givers, but they do not usually take. Some instructors have problems with accepting gifts of appreciation.

My viewpoint is as follows: If you make too much money doing anything, give it to others. Help local charities and causes that exist for the good of the entire planet. If you want world peace, to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, or to save the whales, there is a charity for it. If you want to create a new charity, take your money and start one. My point is simple; it’s not that easy for many people to have huge surpluses of money. If you have a fear of making too much money, just give it away. This is not the concern of most people, because most people need more money and they need to change the path they are on.

About Marketing and Business

By designing and offering your own services, programs and products, you can interject your personality into your business. Depending on your location and marketing skills, you can make a great living, as long as you have real passion for what you do. If you’re in a location where a large number of people are looking for your services, then the sky’s the limit. If this isn’t the case, you need to develop some marketing skills.

About Marketing Yoga Services

In order to get students, you must be able to make yoga instruction appealing. You have to let them know that you can make them healthier with your teaching. It’s going to take a bit more work, but if you’re dedicated to improving the health of your community, then you’ll succeed. Yoga is one of the greatest examples, of an ancient discipline, remaining relevant in the modern age. Whether you’re looking to focus on the spiritual, mental, emotional or physical aspects of the art, being a yoga instructor can be a profitable career path. If this is the path you want your life to take, then get off your yoga mat and take the necessary steps to start teaching!

For Anyone Who Wants to Find Prosperity

If you have a true passion for something, the development process is a labor of love. At this time, anyone can create a legitimate source of income. If a person wants to write, create art, or create music, the Internet gives all of us an equal chance. The path to prosperity is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other and walking forward. If you want to make a change, get rid of negative energy, and attract positive energy, here is a book for you. Additionally, here is a coupon code for 50% off: Holistic50Promo

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Yoga & Self-Hypnosis to Quit Smoking

September 6th, 2014

how to quit smokingActually it’s simple and easy to stop smoking.

Many people find it difficult and are unable to quit because they don’t know how to invoke cooperation from their subconscious mind, how to harness that power in their everyday lives and so become the individual they want to be. By practicing yoga and self-hypnosis, we can find joy and pleasure that within days to weeks will empower an individual to quit smoking and remain a nonsmoker for the rest of his or her life.

In his second yoga sutra, Patanjali defines yoga as the “conscious process of gaining mastery over the mind”. By practicing self-hypnosis, asanas, pranayamas, kriyas and meditation, we develop awareness of our body, breathing and thoughts. This awareness awakens inner knowledge and wisdom that helps us better know ourselves. Thus we gain mastery over our mind and learn how to use this power towards helping the individual locate a healthier, happier lifestyle. We become instinctively more health-conscious, more aware of what we do and what we eat. We develop a powerful inner drive to do things that are good for our health and avoid things that are harmful.

To quit smoking through yoga and self-hypnosis, I have developed a simple, practical and effective method anyone can try.

There are three steps:

1) “Positive thinking brings me what I wish”

mudras in yoga therapyMany find it difficult to quit because they already believe it is difficult to quit: a self-fulfilling (or unfulfilling) prophecy. They find themselves unable to do it, therefore they are unable to do it: “As you think, so you become.”

By practicing this method of self-hypnosis I have developed, an individual develops a strong positive attitude that you can in fact live the life you would like, you can become a nonsmoker and it is easy for you to do this.

Here’s the exercise to practice:

In the morning when you wake up (or any time you wake up) as you open your eyes and before getting out of bed, please repeat this sentence: “Positive thinking brings me what I wish” 20 times in your mind. Then get out of bed. In this state, there is now a good communication flow with the subconscious and so useful suggestions and ideas will imprint more easily onto the subconscious mind. Repeat this sentence sometimes during the day, with an attitude of joy and pleasure, particularly any time a negative thought or temptation arrives that is connected to smoking. This sentence can also be repeated during self-hypnosis, asanas and after pranayamas and meditation.

2) Imagined scenarios, ‘imaginations’

The next, equally important step is picturing yourself as a nonsmoker in certain places and situations.

Many unwanted habits are programmed, deeply rooted in the subconscious mind and repeat themselves in a destructive cyclical pattern. These habits can be deprogrammed by the power of positive auto suggestions and also by what I call “imaginations”.

Here are some examples to practice in addition to the imaginations you may want to develop for yourself.

  • Imagine it is the morning and you are having breakfast, drinking tea or coffee: You feel good that you are a nonsmoker.
  • Imagine it is after your meal and feel good that you are a nonsmoker.
  • Imagine you are working with a computer and you are a nonsmoker.
  • Imagine you are making an important decision and you are a nonsmoker.
  • Imagine you are talking with your relatives, friends or colleagues and you are a nonsmoker.
  • Imagine you are waiting for a friend who is already late and you are a nonsmoker.
  • Imagine you are having a walk and you feel fresh and energetic. You feel good that in the last few days you didn’t smoke at all.
  • Imagine you are climbing up a hill or mountain and feeling strong and energetic. You realize your lungs feel clear and healthy because you did not smoke for weeks.
  • Imagine you are laughing, recognizing that your lungs are clear because for many months you did not smoke.
  • Imagine in general about yourself that you are very healthy and a non-smoking person.

In addition to practicing these imaginations during self-hypnosis, they can also be practiced during asanas and after pranayamas and meditation. They are also effective when practiced after waking up from sleep or before getting out of bed.

3) “I am always healthy, and I am a nonsmoker”

about yoga as therapyThe final step is to develop a strong attitude towards a healthy life, so that we do things that are good for our health and avoid things that are bad, like smoking.

The sentence “I am always healthy, and I am a nonsmoker” should be repeated during self-hypnosis and also during yoga asanas, pranayamas and meditation. It should also be repeated sometimes during the day, particularly any time a negative thought or a temptation to smoke invades the conscious mind.

Self-hypnosis practice (10-15 minutes):

After completing yoga asanas, lie down in the shavasana posture, allowing the back to fully rest on the ground, legs apart, hands slightly away from the body, palm facing the sky, eyes gently closed and face smiling.

Now start relaxing the entire body for about five minutes. Start from the toes, directing the mind to different parts of the body and so propagating a feeling of relaxation.

Please bring your awareness to your toes; slightly move them and let them relax. Relax the feet … relax the calf muscles … relax the knee joints … relax the thigh muscles … relax the buttocks and pelvic region.

Relax the muscles of the abdomen and let all the organs in the abdomen relax and function nicely in harmony.

Relax the chest muscles and let all the organs in the chest relax and function nicely in harmony.

Relax the muscles, nerves and bones in the lower back region … relax the muscles, nerves and bones in the middle back region … relax the muscles, nerves and bones in the upper back and shoulder region.

Relax the arms … relax the elbows … relax the forearms … relax the hands and fingers. Relax the throat … relax the neck muscles … relax the back of the head … relax the top of the head … relax the forehead … relax the eyes … relax the nose. Relax the ears … relax the face muscles, chin, lips, tongue and teeth.

Tell your mind to relax your whole body and mind.

Now bring your awareness to your abdomen, feel the abdominal muscles moving up and down … as you inhale, feel the upward movement and as you exhale, feel the downward movement of your abdominal muscles. Feel your breathing become slow, smooth, calm and rhythmic.

One inhalation and one exhalation forms one round. Keep observing your breathing for 20 rounds by counting each breath down from 20 to 1.

After 20, follow the three steps of self-hypnosis:

1) Mentally repeat to yourself 10 times: “Positive thinking brings me what I wish.”

2) Imagine yourself in situations as a nonsmoker.

3) Mentally repeat to yourself 10 times: “I am always healthy, and I am a nonsmoker.”

Now gently move your whole body, your toes and fingers, your head. Count from 1-5 and by the count of 5, open your eyes and feel fresh and wonderful.

Auto suggestions and imaginations during asanas and after pranayama and meditation:

Auto suggestions and imaginations can also be dropped easily into the subconscious mind during asanas and after pranayama and meditation.

While practicing asanas, as you come to the final position of a particular asana, concentrate on the point of stretch for 20-30 seconds and then, holding that position, mentally repeat three times either “Positive thinking brings me what I wish” or “I am always healthy, and I am a nonsmoker”. After three repetitions, slowly return to the relaxing position.

First observe your body, breathing and mind and then imagine yourself in a situation where

you are a nonsmoker. Then continue with the next asana and while in the final position, repeat three times another auto suggestion and as you come back to the relaxing asana imagine yourself in another situation where you are a nonsmoker. And so on. Continue like this.

After completing your pranayama or meditation, follow the three steps of self-hypnosis:

1) Mentally repeat to yourself 10 times: “Positive thinking brings me what I wish.”

2) Imagine yourself in situations where you are a nonsmoker.

3) Mentally repeat to yourself 10 times: “I am always healthy, and I am a nonsmoker.”

Then count 1-5, open your eyes and feel fresh and wonderful.

Wishing you all a better, healthier and happier life,

Dr. Sohail Ebady

About the author:

how to stop smoking with yogaDr. Sohail Ebady, M.D. has been a yoga teacher for 21 years and hypnotherapist for 20 years. He immediately recognized the need for these seemingly separate sciences to be intertwined. He created the Patanjali Institute to impart Yoga Teacher Training in combination with Hypnotherapy training to students who wish to become effective healers. The courses take part in Thailand or Bali.