Low Back Pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit doctors in America today. The funny thing is that doctors and even physical therapists are not able to offer long term help. While immediate and short term relief are readily available, Yoga is the best way to prevent and relieve back pain for good, as it has the potential to repair overall posture and rebuild patterns of movement necessary for a healthy spine.
The primary cause of these challenges are posture habits. In our world today it becomes almost impossible to avoid common deteriorations of the spine through our everyday movements like driving, interacting with electronics, sitting on sofas and chairs. Our daily movement patterns have not caught up with the evolutions of working and social needs.
Daily group Yoga classes are excellent ways to counter these challenges and avoid initial or reoccurring back pain. The primary benefit to a yoga practice is that the posterior chain -- the back body running from the backs of your heels to the back of your neck -- is activated. Actions like stretching and opening the hamstrings will be huge for finding relief and beginning to create healthy movement patters.
If you have struggled with back pain in the past, or teachers, if you have a student who you know needs extra help here, be sure to avoid lumbar (low back) twisting actions and any rounded back movements, especially during forward folds. Anytime weight or rotation is being asked of your back, you will want to ensure that you are able to fully engage your core, keep your hips level and avoid adding additional strain to the lumbar spine.
If you currently have an injury or are experiencing pain, you will need to see a Certified Yoga Therapist. Learn more about scheduling a session at www.yogadeza.com/yoga-therapy.
I have always been drawn to yoga. I never wanted to go to a class. Not once in the first 7 years that I practiced. It took that long for me to find the courage to practice with others. I had all kinds of preconceived notions on what a studio would be like, who I had to be to go to class, and that somehow I would fail. I was never an athletic kid growing up. In fact, I was overweight and generally ate typical food for a teenager in the 90’s (read junk....). Practicing in front of others would show my weakness. Or so I thought. In one year alone my yoga practice, as well as my practice of self-inquiry, I developed far more than I ever could have thought possible. It is just what it says it is, a practice. I have realized that I don’t have to be perfect all the time, that the moment is what matters most, and that I cannot control anything but my reactions to the world around me. It is the detail and the moment to moment that makes us human. - Rachel McDonald, 200hr RYT
Anxiety can be a dirty little secret in our society. When we have it, we don't want to show it. And because of that cycle, it only gets worse. People deal with it differently -- some shut down and shy away, others lash out and control their environment to feel safe. Think this isn't happening to you? Or that you are the only one? Never. Even if it's on a small scale, these energies affect us daily whether the originate from your own processing of the world or others around you. With the practice of Yoga, we study this. Through that study, lives change.
Rachel is now a teacher at Deza and her love for her practices shines through her like a bright warm light. Through the exercises of teacher training, in a safe and grounded environment, she was able to break free from many old patterns of anxiety and stress. Identifying the things that were holding her back in her mind and in her life and choosing to reframe, reapproach and redesign.
This is the most rewarding part of our programs. Not only will you experience massive growth as an individiual, you will get to witness it in others as well. After program, you will go on to create an environment of empowerment for others in your world. Life is short and we need more people doing this work.
If you're experiencing anxiety about taking a deeper step, take it as a sign of the things you are about to release. Unsure if you can do teacher training or if you're even ready? The first step is the hardest. For teachers in training, once you get yourself in program on the first day, the hardest work you will do is done! The process is set in motion and you're then just along for an amazing, life changing ride. What's next for you?
I thought I wasn't ready. Musings of a Teacher Trainee by Rebecca Lange
"Emotion is your mind working out the difference between what you expected and what you're experiencing."
I can't think of another set of 16 words that resonates with me more regarding my experience as a yoga teacher trainee and along the path I've taken to get here. Fear, joy, disappointment, elation, confidence, insecurity, struggle, and flow - I've felt it all while on my mat and not to mention while upside down, balancing on one arm, and bending my body along planes I didn't even know existed.
And I wouldn't change a thing. Yoga Deza entered my life five plus years into my yoga journey, but as the name suggests, it found me in the right place at the right time. Although my ego would like to claim credit for having this whole thing planned out, I'm learning that there's so much more at play than that. I thought I wasn't ready for teacher training because I hadn't yet measured up to the physical standard and the image of who I was supposed to be in my mind. I needed the right community and, honestly, the right context in my personal life to realize that I was ready. And I was ready not because of physical ability level, but because that's all I was thinking about. I realize now that yoga is so much more than the physical asanas (though I AM stronger and have found my spine!). I have found the ability to meet myself where I'm at, be so grateful it's at Yoga Deza, and I am ready to free myself from the expectation of what comes next. Whatever it is, I'm grateful. Thank you, Deza Family.
Rebecca's words are some we hear so often. Reconciling the differences between what you are expecting of yourself and what is available to you, right now in this moment -- that is Yoga. You will never be more ready than you are today. If you wait until "next year" when you have more strength, more money, more time, or whatever else your mind tells you you need, you'll be missing the point of life. To be fully in the flow of life, to create what you're looking for, that is what is here and real now. What makes the best teacher trainee is the ability to learn! Do you want to know more? Do you love what your practice offers you? Are you willing to be teachable? If you answered yes to those three questions, you are absolutely ready.
Read more on the 200hr training and get started with registration today. www.yogadezainstitute.com/200hr
There's something different about a Yoga class, no doubt.
You felt it the first time you practiced, no?
How was that cultivated? What is it and why do we need it?
In today's society ritual has become a long-forgotten art. From meals to self-care, instant access to information matched with longer work days and less outdoor connection leave us with a dissonance to the rhythms of every day life. We can easily find ourselves searching for the present moment online; looking up recipes to eat healthier and then forgetting what went into our mouth last. A short 100 years ago our ancestors lived by the sun and the moon. School summers and daylight savings times were established to protect routines of the farmers as time began to rule. Everyone did the same thing every Sunday. Those who practice Ayurveda begin to consciously invite in the return of ritual through Dinacharya, the daily routine.
A Yoga class is often our only link to ritual each day. We unroll our mat, we collect our props, we focus on our breath, we move our body in conscious rhythm.
As a teacher and a student, a Sacred Space begins to unfold through this ritual. LIke Pavlov's dogs, our body knows what to do the moment we enter a room for practice. The more structured the routine, the faster your body will begin to respond. Here, the unwinding and subsequently recreation of yourself begins; physically, mentally, spiritually.
So whether you find yourself chanting Sanskrit or simply arranging your blocks and props, the intentionality behind your setup for practice begins the process in itself. There's a big difference between doing this consciously, with presence, and on auto-pilot. The whole basis for your practice is centered around fostering the former, whether you realize it or not. Yoga is the union of self to the conscious, present moment.
Adapted from the Structure of Vinyasa, 200hr Manual, Creating Sacred Space
Om Namah Shivaya Gurave
Do I have to be certified to teach?
What are the different levels of trainings?
How do I find the right training for me?
Who should teach Yoga?
Have you been curious about the answers to any of these questions? This blog post is for you.
Do I have to be certified to teach?
Technically and legally, no, you do not have to be certified in order to advertise to teach Yoga. While the term "yoga teacher" does imply a trained individual, there are still some people in gyms and private audiences that begin offering classes without completing a certified training. Years of practice and passionate self-study does not make a competent teacher, however. Yoga is an oral tradition, meaning it has been passed down primarily through the relationship of student-teacher. Without studying with teachers who studied with other teachers of this direct lineage, an individual is unable to offer the foundations of a traditional Yoga practice. While beginning students may not know the difference, those with exposure to the practice will be able to tell a major difference in trained vs. untrained individuals.
What are the different levels of training?
There are currently three most prominently recognized levels of training standards, outlined and briefly described here;
1. 200hr Trainings, Yoga Alliance - the majority of these programs focus on a foundational understanding of practice that will leave you capable of teaching group-based yoga classes to a variety of individuals. Trainings often emphasize a style of yoga from Power to Flow and Hatha lineages.
2. 300hr Trainings, Yoga Alliance - offered after a 200hr, these programs will focus on specialty offerings, often including advanced asanas or subtle body techniques. A 500hr level teacher (200 + 300) is more qualified to work with individuals and help students progress to establish regular practices.
3. 1,000hr Yoga Therapist, IAYT - these trainings will qualify you to work with individuals that are seeking healing from injuries, trauma and disease. With specific understandings of how Yoga can heal the mind, body and spirit, teachers at this level of able to both identify and teach practices that will help individuals create and restore lasting health and optimize their quality of life.
How do I find the right training for me?
First off, look at where the teachers you like most have trained. Ask them about their experiences and gather feedback from others. Look for a school with strong graduate references and most importantly, are their graduates doing what you want to do? Many programs have strengths in personal development vs. knowledge and experience actually teaching. Does the school you are interested in have a strong reputation for developing teachers? Consider the community that you will be plugged into after graduation. Building lasting relationships with other teachers will be key to your development and evolution both during and after training.
Who should teach Yoga?
With respect to the above levels of qualifications and understandings, anyone who has completed trainings and can offer a system of knowledge and experience that works should teach. There is a great need for more teachers. In more settings from inside to outside studios and with individuals passionate about different aspects of the practice. In the end it will be those who have had their own transformative changes through the practice that will make the best possible teachers. You end up teaching what you know to be true and real, for which there is no substitute for personal experience.
More than anything, congratulations on pursing this path. It is life changing and you are needed on it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and connect further.