Tag Archives: Viniyoga

Making the Case for Slowing it Down

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Teaching yoga in Central America means that I have few regular students. Most students are tourists in town for a week or two who decide to pop in for some yoga classes.  I’ll ask people a little about their practice prior to our first class together to gauge their experience.  I’ve found that I’m often then surprised by what I see on the yoga mat.

Many students tell me they’ve got a regular practice in power yoga or hot yoga and then appear to be beginner students as we move through our flow.  My yoga background includes lots of viniyoga and anusara yoga, which are both practices with a strong focus on alignment and on keeping the body safe.

Photo from The New York Times

Photo from The New York Times

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Baby Steps

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When I was a brand spanking new teacher, the first class I was given to teach was called Hatha Star, which meant yoga for beginners.  Talk about a challenge!  I felt then, and still feel that it takes an advanced teacher to be able to break the practice of yoga down for beginners.  The class was a wonderful tool for me as a student of yoga and a teacher, as it forced me very quickly to find my voice as a teacher, to be extremely specific in what I was asking of my students, and to break down my own yoga practice to allow me to serve it in bite-sized pieces to the students coming to my classes.  While I enjoyed the challenge of teaching new students,  I also welcomed the opportunity to teach classes that moved a little faster.  When that opportunity arose, I took it and left behind my Hatha Star class, so I was only a teacher of beginner’s yoga for a short while.

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