“The body tells its story. The mind supports and questions and encourage. The mind has to agree to be the compassionate listener without judgement or expectation. We want to find a deeper meaning in the asanas, to take us to a higher level of consciousness, expect depth, reflection, clarity and support for the Light within.”
I’ve been teaching yoga since 2004. Over the year my teaching style has changed a lot. I used to plan and then just improvise, have an idea for a series or peak poses. Sometime I thought I had just taught an amazing class but did not write it down and then would not be able to repeat it. I’ve also spend lot of time, researching, reading, preparing and know how much can go into planing the “perfect” class. I’ve decided to share with you some of the classes program I prepared for the Yoga teacher training. There are 18 lessons plans that build on each other. The first few classes are more gentle classes, until we move toward more advanced poses and sequencing. Where ever you are on your journey its important to remind yourself that it’s more important to have awareness than to do an asana perfectly. I hope you enjoy me sharing theses with you and would appreciate your feedback to keep improving them. I’ve used 2 books to help me build theses classes, they are the Golden Present book by Sri Swami Satchidananda and the Hidden Language of Hatha Yoga by Swami Sivananda Radha.
“In Hatha Yoga we confront our fears as well as our potentials by balancing attention between the body and the mind. Because human beings are so complex, various branches of yoga must be practised in proper combination to help people become harmonious being. Asanas are a discipline of the body, but they are not without an effect on the mind, and in turn the mind affects the body. We create an intuitive space for deepening our understanding about ourselves, uncovering our obstacles and potential. We are the masters of our own destiny.”
Class 1: Yin/Yang sequence, deep belly breath, I am breathing mantra
Yoga seeks to join all opposites and dissolve any illusion of separateness that and allow all our energy to be unified. The goal is a feeling of true balance within the body and mind; to rest in the center of our heart. To feel more within and think less.
Deep belly breath lying down: Practice deep belly breath lying on your back in constructive rest pose. Also incomplete rabbit and child pose.
Hand in prayer pose, also called Anjali Mudra. A Mudra is an energetic seal. Prayer pose symbolizes the belief that whatever one is praying for will soon arrive. This gesture is a strong pulsation of faith. Faith is what is required to be able to make great leaps and receive great blessing.
Tadasana/Mountain pose: Steady and still like a mountain. “I am standing still.” The mountain is a symbol of the aspiration to transcend one’s self. Returning to inner stillness that gives one the power to climb beyond the ego.
Classical Sun Salutations with lunge
Plank pose/ Kumbhakasana: What is strength? What does it mean to you to be strong? Where in your body do you feel weakness? Weakness in your body is an opportunity to get strong. Through discipline and dedication, you can become stronger. We will also cultivate a strong, steady and equanimous mind. The journey to strength is cultivated through every day of your life.
From all 4 positions, start with a strong base, fingers spread, wrapping triceps around, straight arms, shoulder above palm, protract the shoulders blades, engage the core, look in front of the hands, hold for 5 breaths.
Lift the knee off the floor, hold for 5 breaths
Move to Plank hold Plank for 5 breaths
- Low Squat/ Malasana
- Bridge pose/ Setu Bandhasana
- Reclining Figure 4 pose/ Supta eka pada galavasana (Glutes stretch lying down)
- Lying spinal twist/ Supta Matsyendrasana
The meaning of Om: Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” The very foundations of our Universe, of matter and thought, appear to lie in sound vibration. At first there was nothing, the very first thing was a sound vibration, and from there everything sprang into existence and the material world was born. The entire cosmos vibrates. Every cell vibrates. In fact, the whole universe is nothing but sound vibrations. OM is the sound of the Cosmic Vibration, considered the most sacred mantra in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Mantra repetition is a direct way to tune yourself to that cosmic vibration.
Namaste: “I honour the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you of love, of truth, of peace, and of light. And when you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”
Mantra: Om Mani Padme hum/ Alexia Chelun
Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of compassion. It is said that all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum can not really be translated into a simple phrase or sentence.
All of the Dharma is based on Buddha’s discovery that suffering is unnecessary: Like a disease, once we really face the fact that suffering exists, we can look more deeply and discover it’s cause; and when we discover that the cause is dependent on certain conditions, we can explore the possibility of removing those conditions. In visualization practice we imagine ourselves to be a Buddha, in this case the Buddha of Compassion. By replacing the thought of yourself as you with the thought of yourself as Buddha of Compassion, you gradually reduce and eventually remove the fixation on your personal self, which expands your loving kindness and compassion, toward yourself and toward others, and your intelligence and wisdom becomes enhanced, allowing you to see clearly what someone really needs and to communicate with them clearly and accurately.
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 1: Yin/Yang sequence, deep belly breath, I am breathing mantra
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 2: Tree pose, 3-part breath
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 3: Ujjaya breath, I am calm
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 4: Strength intelligence, I am focus
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 5: Sun salutation A, Dancing Warrior, I am strong
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 6: Sun Salutation A, move like a snake, I am healthy