Hi, I want to start out my blog today by giving my opinion and insight on yoga training certification programs. Some yogis that want to start their journey and become a yoga instructor are sometimes not sure what studio to go to for the yoga certification. Let’s face it, many studio’s are popping up with 200 hour yoga teacher certifications in 2017, confusing many of what to look for in a yoga training, that being said, let me give you a few tips. First tip, is to choose a yoga teacher training program the style of yoga that has your interest and offers certification through that studio. Take classes from that studio to make sure this style appeals to you and this is the style of yoga you want to teach. While it may be appealing to earn your yoga teaching certificate in a short time frame, my opinion of this is, simply it’s not enough time to complete the necessary 200 hours of training required. Or do I believe you can master the art of teaching, understanding anatomy, yoga philosophy, how to sequence a class and lots more in such a short period of time. All studio’s that offer teacher training should have an itinerary for the training program. Find out the duration of the training, this will be very helpful. Another helpful hint is to invest sometime in learning where your favorite teacher or teacher’s were trained, this will instantly give you some insight to where you should go for your yoga teacher training. Know that every yoga teacher training program has a primary teacher of training. Remember the saying ” a training is only as good as the teacher teaching it”. My opinion, I believe the primary teacher training should have at least seven to ten years of teaching experience. Reason being, you want to make sure the trainer has experienced thousands of classroom settings on different levels of students, has the knowledge in yoga alignment, philosophy, and the correct teaching tools that you must have to become a successful and safe yoga instructor. Check over the curriculum materials before signing up for the training, this will tell you a lot of information. Investigate the primary teacher by attending the teacher’s class, this will give you an insight and you will see the teacher work first hand with students. Take notice of her/his alignment, breathing cues, and how they accommodate all levels in a class. After the class ask yourself, did you feel like you were taught, aligned correctly, and did that teacher inspire you? Know you will be spending a lot of time with the primary teacher, you want to make sure that you are comfortable and feel you could learn from her/him. Let me touch a little on yoga training cost, an average 200 hour certification can range anywhere from $2500 to $4000, with some offering discounts for early sign-up, paid in full ,etc. Be warned sometimes you may find yoga certification trainings priced lower, while that sounds like a great price, the quality of the training may not be great. I hope this will help any yogi on their journey, that want to become a certified yoga instructor or further their practice. Have a cheerful and peaceful day! Namaste’ Connie
Balasana is a deeply nurturing pose allowing us to protect ourselves. Think of a young child not fully grown or developed yet. There are several different variations to do this pose, using it as a resting pose or an active one. In child’s pose gravity draws the body deeper, knowing the goal of this pose is to bring the sitting bones to the heels and your forehead to the mat. In order to do this many muscles need to lengthen which would be the extensors of your spine, gluteus maximus, your hamstrings and many others. So in plain English, make your way up onto all fours on your mat, arms, hands are shoulder distance apart (thumbs appox five to six inches apart is usually shoulder distance), start to spread the fingers wide, index finger forward, planting the whole palm and fingers into the mat, feeling the grounding sensation. Let us start with wide knees first, (wider apart creates an easier release through the hips, easing any pressure in the lower back, knees, and making room for the belly) bring your knees to the edge of your mat on each side, tops of feet are flat on the mat, bring the big toes to touch let the heels open, now gently sit back towards your heels using equal weight in your hips. Do not pull the body down towards the thighs let gravity create this action, now let your chest drape in between the thighs/knees. If you need to walk your hands more forward never losing the grounding of the hands and fingers walk them forward leaving arms shoulder distance apart. For active arms leave your forearms lifted, or for more of a resting pose release forearms to the mat having soft shoulder’s. Place your forehead on the mat or a block resting comfortable allowing your body to melt. Another variation is bringing the legs together draping the body over the thighs. Your arms,hands, and fingers as above or bring arms along side your body turning the palms up to the sky. Use this posture towards your benefit allowing your own body to rest as it is needed. Always remembering to breathe slow and steady breaths in and out through the nose. Relax, know the most important thing you could ever do for yourself, is honor your body completely and fully. Have a blissful and peaceful day! Namaste’
I have to start out today’s blog by saying, take advantage of outdoor free yoga happening in Pittsburgh Market Square, now through September 24th at 10:00 am Sunday’s. Take one hour classes from amazing yoga instructors from all over the Pittsburgh area. Enjoy the great sunny mornings alongside fellow yogis, breathing in the fresh outdoor air and flowing to the sound of yoga music. This is a great place to do yoga outdoors in the summer time, just make sure you bring your yoga mat and water. My experience here were all good vibes, fellow yogis were very friendly and also the yoga instructors I flowed along side with. Feeling lots of energy across our mats, you definitely have to give this a try. You will enjoy every breath you take in as every exhale you breathe out. Today’s credit 10:00 am class goes to Dominique from Yoga Flow, she pulled off a great flow class on the square. She made us all feel relaxed as her spiritual energy was shooting across our yoga mats, you could also feel the energy around us in the square as she had us all breathing together as one. We started out with a neck stretch which really felt good, she flowed sun salutations as well as other poses, towards the end we did a hip opener, bridge and inversion. I give thumbs up to give a yoga class a try on the square, it’s a wonderful experience, you will enjoy it just as I did and many others. Have a peaceful and positive day! Namaste’ Connie
Tadasana, (Mountain Pose) is the foundational asana for all other standing asanas. You want all four corners of your feet connecting with the earth creating equal weight from the front, back, inside and outside of the feet. How you do this is bring the feet together putting a natural separation in the heels, lift up the toes, spread the toes and place them back down onto the mat. Next start to straighten the legs making contraction of the quadriceps along with the slight internal rotation of the femurs while pressing the femurs back. Tightening in the Mula Bandha ,(or Root Lock: performed by tightening the muscles around the pelvic and perineum area) next bring the navel to the base of the spine and slightly tuck it up and under the rib cage. This is called the uddiyana bandha , this bandha is a contraction of the muscles of the lower abdominal area. The uddiyana bandha is considered the most important bandha, as it supports our breathing and encourages the development of a strong core. Arms are along side your body, palms facing forward and fingers reaching for the floor. Lift and broaden the sternum from inside while allowing the shoulder blades to draw lightly down against the back ribs, furthering an expansive heart center while creating ease in the neck. Next, roll the shoulders up by your ears, then draw them back and down without losing the alignment of the spine. Reach through the crown of your head, relaxing your jaw, keeping a natural space between the teeth closing the lips down, breathing through the nose. If you feel comfortable, close your eyes focusing your drishti past your third eye, or gaze past the tip of your nose. I hope you find this helpful either for a beginner to yoga, or to further your own practice. I enjoy being able to share my passion for yoga with you. Have a wonderful, peaceful and positive day. Namaste’
Today I want to give you my own opinion on some yoga mats that I have personally tried myself. If you are doing unheated yoga a cheap mat would definitely work for you. You can purchase these mats just about anywhere, including Target and Five Below. If you are doing heated or hot yoga you will need a better mat to keep you from slipping and sliding all over. Continue reading “My Personal Opinion on My Top Three Yoga Mats”
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Today I want to welcome you to my blog and just give you a little detail about me. I am a mother, grandmother and a E-RYT 200 hr yoga instructor whom loves everything about yoga day and night. I began practicing yoga in 2007 to add variety into my exercise routine. I quickly became passionate about yoga and fully dedicated to my practice. Yoga has completely transformed my mind, body, soul and allowed for self discovery. I furthered my practice over the years through countless hours of classes and workshops from teachers across the country. After so many years of practicing yoga I wanted to share my passion with others, that is when I received my 200 hour certification through Yoga Flow in Pittsburgh PA. I went on to teach students the love I have for yoga. I started this blog to help others embark on the journey of yoga, to give everyone a chance to fall in love with the art, no matter what age or body shape you are. I want to spread my knowledge on safe alignment in yoga poses by posting a yoga pose and breaking it down for you, maybe for you to try or to further your practice. I want to share my true passion that I deeply hold for yoga and to help yogis with my own personal opinions of yoga products that work for me or that don’t. After today I will start with a review or a pose to help your yoga journey.