No One Was Really Paying Attention

Actors on stage can be heard in the back rows of the audience. As professional yoga teachers, we need to be able to put energy into our voices.

From Casino Gangsters to Yoga Students

It’s 1994. I’m sitting at a large table, surrounded by six other men. They’re tall, olive-skinned, looking very handsome and each in a luxurious suit. Their usual business is an active life of crime, but not tonight…

Eye Contact?

Completely ignore any advice which tells you to avoid direct eye contact with your yoga students. When it comes to speaking to a person or group, whether in a yoga class, workshop, teacher training, a seminar, or simply a conversation with friends over lunch, a good eye contact signals that the communicator is: skilled caring trustworthy committed In the Western culture, if I am speaking to you without looking at you, it suggests dishonesty. If I am shifting my eye gaze from person to person quickly, if I am spraying the group with my eye gaze, or if I am not looking at anyone at all—people may feel ignored, left out, unimportant, or even feel as if they’re being cheated. In my approach to teaching yoga, called the Hot Yoga Evolution, when I am leading my yoga class, I am looking at the person or the people that I am talking to. How to make eye contact when teaching a group class? This will depend on the size of the group. In a class of less than 25 students, it should be quite easy to make eye contact with one student at a time, without leaving anyone out over the course of the class. If your regular classes have over 25 students, it may be a good idea to speak left/center/right. You would be either looking at a person directly for each side, or you’d want to appear to be looking at one person at a time. Your ability to keep the eye contact depends on: Practice Concentration Lack of nervousness Having “internalized” the instructions and flow of the...

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is the enemy of people. It will keep you insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and teaching a good yoga class. It will ruin your teaching. Perfectionism blocks playfulness, it blocks your ability to solve problems, it blocks the flow of prana. Perfectionism means that you are desperately trying not to mess things up. But the people who come to your class are a mess (I say that respectfully). They don’t want a perfect teacher. They want a helpful one. Your perfectionism makes them hold their breath, but you know that’s not what they need. They need to breathe. So… relax, breathe. Be present. Be engaged. And let things go as they need to go. Your teaching will then flourish, and you will know it. HOT YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Nyon, Switzerland 2017 SEE DETAILS ← Hot Yoga: Spine Twist Eye Contact?...
Hot Yoga: Spine Twist

Hot Yoga: Spine Twist

The Spine Twist Pose, Ardha Matsyendrasana Hot Yoga twists assist in releasing huge amounts of tension, deeply cleanse and nourish the body, especially the spine. Spine twists should feel good, the body should enjoy them. When an average person’s spine is compressed, undernourished, and lacks flexibility - they feel their mobility is impaired; the body feels dried up and stiff. Twists bring in youthfulness, hydration, strength, lightness and vitality… Enjoy! As for this particular Hot Yoga asana, we get an active, intense spinal twisting pose. Not only the Spine Twist benefits the restoration of a healthy spine, it can also be beneficial as a hip-opener, especially if the hips are set level to the floor. That way the traction is achieved between the hips and torso. Modifications: If there’s a serious lower back injury, be VERY careful not to go far into the posture. When proper alignment is applied, this can be a VERY forceful, deep twist which may inflame and aggravate the injury further. Only the gentle twist would be advised, and only under the Teacher’s watchful eye. If there’s a knee injury, keep a STRAIGHT leg in front of you. First, the left leg straight, and you’re twisting to the right. Then, the right leg straight, when you’re twisting over the left shoulder. The straight leg modification is also great for any Student with “tight hips”, as it allows both hips (“sits bones”) stay on the floor evenly, for a more efficient twist. Hints for practice and teaching: Always lengthen the spine before twisting. Sit up straight. Only twist further, if you’re able to breathe. The breath comes first, depth /...
Hot Yoga: Standing Bow Tutorial

Hot Yoga: Standing Bow Tutorial

How to do it Turn your right hand, palm facing out, thumb toward the back wall and elbow touching the side of your body (palm out, thumb back, elbow in). Pick up your right foot by the ankle, raise your left arm up to the ceiling, fingers together, and palm facing the front. Stand tall with your shoulders and hips square to the mirror. Beginners, extend your right shoulder and arm away from your side. Squeeze your grip. Lower the body down and reach your arm forward toward the front mirror. Kick ‘BACK’ not ‘UP’ as you let your right shoulder go back. Keep your right knee behind your right hip. Your right hip turns slightly back (in the Hot Yoga Evolution, the hips are not parallel to the floor, and not square to the front mirror – the hip turns out half-way back) and your foot should eventually grow out of the top of your head, as you look into the front mirror. Lower your upper body down far enough, so that the stomach is parallel to the floor. Keep your chest slightly higher, than your stomach and your left arm higher, than your chest – completing the back bend. Use the first set to focus on balance and alignment, use the second set as a “kicking” set. How to teach Beginners (for teachers) Make sure they’re holding the foot properly; palm out, thumb back, elbow in. About 50% of the time, a beginner will have a wrong grip. However, for someone with very tight hamstrings, knee problems, or overweight with short arms – I’d let them grab overhand with a ‘wrong’ grip. Don’t kick...