When you spend 200 to 500 hours, or more, on training during a yoga certification course, you might envision a class full of students. One point each of us forgets after Yoga School in rishikesh is over is to envision how much time we will spend teaching beginner sessions. Unless you own your own studio, most activity coordinators will have us teach beginners for a few years before we teach intermediate classes. If we are lucky, we may also spend time with a mentor who has been teaching for decades.
As yoga gains popularity on the Western front, many people are curious about it. Along with this curiosity comes a healthy dose of skepticism. Most people don’t realize that yoga can truly benefit a diverse group of people from old to young, thin to wide or healthy to unhealthy. Yoga training for beginners should always take into account the varying levels of background knowledge and preconceptions of new students. A series of basic poses in beginners yoga training is usually best.
Seated postures are a gentle, easy way to begin with someone who has never tried yoga before. Butterfly pose will open up the hips and give the hamstrings a nice stretch. This asana is calming and restorative. Beginners can push the heels slightly away from the pelvis or raise the knees slightly.
Straighten the legs out from butterfly pose to perform a seated forward bend. This asana opens the back of the legs, from hips to toes. The seated forward bend encourages patience. Beginners can always keep a slight bend in the knees.
Standing poses bring a bit of energy into the routine and show beginners that yoga training involves strength, stamina and endurance. Downward dog is possibly the most common image associated with asana, most likely because it a common pose in many routines. This asana opens up the back of the legs and allows the spine to release. It has a calming nature, as blood flow is re-routed to the brain.
Warrior I and II are both basic poses that strengthen the legs while opening the thighs and hips. Transition easily from the warrior poses to triangle pose to continue to open the hips and thighs. Beginners can use a block to achieve the pose.
Supine Floor Asanas
Floor poses allow students to relax and focus at the end of an asana session. Floor postures are simple enough to let beginners focus on breathing instead of worrying about proper form. Child’s pose is a wonderful calming posture to teach beginners.
Happy baby posture will release the hips. This asana also brings with it a sense of silliness and freedom that sometimes escapes adults as we trudge through life.
Reclining knee to shoulder is another simple asana that opens the hips and stretches the tops of the thighs.
Many yoga classes end with corpse posture as a way to disconnect from the world for several minutes. Beginners can learn to listen to their breath and release each muscle of the body to achieve total relaxation.
Side Notes for Yoga Instructors
The time each of us spends as a new or substitute teacher should be relished. Depending on the studios you become affiliated with, you might receive free yoga instructor training for advanced teachers, free classes, or free access to master’s workshops. Depending on the generosity of the Guru or studio owner, the potential list of benefits for teachers is endless. Make sure you look around, enjoy teaching beginners and you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that come your way.