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Yoga topics: 25 Yoga Class Theme Ideas (to inspire your teaching)

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25 Yoga Class Theme Ideas (to inspire your teaching)

Undoubtedly, you’ve been touched by yoga. Something about the practice keeps you coming back to your mat day after day.

It started in your physical body. You began by noticing a difference in mobility and flexibility. Perhaps you also gained more strength and muscle definition.

These positive changes drove you to continue to test the boundaries of your physical form on your mat.

Then like magic, over time yoga seeped through to your mental body. The opening you began to feel in your body transcended to your mind.

This mental openness helped you move throughout your days with more peace and clarity… more grace with every step.

To reach these heightened states of awareness, you sought out the instructors who took you to those places with ease. The ones who were able to deliver a thought-provoking theme for you to ponder during and well after the class ended.

As yoga instructors, we all wish to be that teacher who has made a significant impact on our students. The one who is able to deliver yoga themes so eloquently, it reaches the masses and infects them with learning and discovery. The one who keeps the students coming back for more.

Choosing yoga class themes should be the heart of building a yoga sequence. It is arguably the most difficult element of guiding a yoga class.

I’ve provided 25+ theme ideas for you to choose from below. Then, read how to apply a theme to a yoga class.

 

Pin now, read later! 🙂

 

Get started by choosing one of the 25 themes below to incorporate into your next class. Consider what it means to you and how you can tie in your own life experience. Be vulnerable. Vulnerability helps connect you more deeply to your students.

After covering these general themes, we’ll also share some more niche ideas such as class things for Spring, themes for holidays, etc.

25 Yoga Class Themes

  1. Letting Go
  2. Heart Centered / Love
  3. Gratitude
  4. Beginner’s Mind
  5. Non-Attachment
  6. Non-Judgment
  7. Alignment
  8. Unity
  9. Breath
  10. Benefits of stillness
  11. Quieting the mind
  12. Devotion to something else
  13. Surrender
  14. Creating Space
  15. Expansion
  16. Exploration
  17. Duality / Light & Dark
  18. Self-discovery/study
  19. Refinement
  20. Reflection
  21. Cultivating Peace
  22. Grounding
  23. Energizing
  24. Opening
  25. Working with Resistance

Alright lets jump into some more “niche” theme ideas for your next yoga class!

Spring yoga themes:

  • Spring cleaning detox class
  • Focus on mindful transitions between poses

Autumn yoga themes:

  • Letting go – releasing your carefree summer attitude in favor of grounding
  • Focus inward to prepare for winter
  • Balancing Vata theme (Autumn is a season dominated by Vata energy)

Winter yoga themes:

  • Worship the sun – focus on asana/pranayama that builds heat in the body
  • Winter solstice class – shortest day of the year

Yoga themes for Summer:

  • Cool down your Pita – prevent burnout of summer chaos with self care and cooling
  • Summer solstice class – worship the sun on the longest day of the year

Christmas themed yoga class:

  • Gratitude – instead of “getting gifts,” focus on feeling gratitude for what you have
  • Digestion, Detox, and Deep core – counteract unhealthy holiday lifestyle
  • Heart opening to counteract the hunched over body position cold weather puts us in

Now that you have some good yoga theme ideas, it’s time to learn how to build a yoga class that incorporates the themes!

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50 Yoga Class Themes for Yoga Teachers

Have you ever left a class room where a yoga teacher began class by presenting a theme and then elegantly wove it into your body through asana instruction? The beauty of a synchronized combination of breath, asana, and intention is something to look forward to each time you revisit your mat. A good theme has the ability to inspire, generate insight, provide fodder for reflection, and even provoke!

Becoming a successful yoga teacher means being able to give concise and clear-cut cues to allow students to float smoothly between asanas (or poses). But the theme you present during class sets you apart and shows your individuality as a teacher. It’s a great way to letting your students know that yes, you’re human and that we’re all walking along this path together. What you say in class and how your message resonates long after your students step off their mat and out the door, is the other instruction of yoga, the reasons why you teach yoga.

There have been many moments where I am at a loss for words and what to say in my classes. Having a theme will not only help guide you through practice, but will allow you to do so with intention and clarity. Writers block is hard especially if you’re new to teaching yoga.

We’ve curated a list of 50 yoga class themes for you to use. For students – when your teacher asks you to set your intention, use these themes to help guide your practice. Don’t limit yourself to using these only on the mat while in the yoga studio, many of these themes are relevant in other parts of our lives too! The themes are accumulated from life, books, music and through taking other yoga classes. I’m thankful to all my teachers who have inspired me to create this list.

Create An Experience

  1. Leaving your comfort zone and finding new comfort zones.  Have students think about their limits and find ways to safely move beyond them. This lesson resonates with me the most, especially when I was learning handstands using the wall. It took me years of practice to get away from the wall. By getting out my comfort zone, I ended up finding a new norm! Approaching things in a different manner can be scary, but overcoming your own limitations will open doors to more challenges that you can achieve.
  2. Link movement with breath. This can be a challenge, especially when we are faced with postures and moments that force us to lose the concentration of our breath. Finding that synchronicity between body and breath will make for a meditative practice. Don’t rush the breath, fall in line with it.
  3. Let go of anything that no longer serves you. Yoga is all about getting rid of the negative and embracing the positive. At the beginning of class, I remind students to let go of something that they come to yoga to get out of the mind. As students are taking their first few ujjayi breaths, I offer them three opportunities to exhale what no longer serves them at this moment, on the mat.
  4. Express gratitude for your body, exactly as it is right now. At the end of each class, remind students to be grateful to have a body that’s capable of doing yoga.
  5. Use Mudras. I often teach multiple mudras in class and explain how they are an extension of our intentions. Teach and allow your students to express themselves through the use of mudras during flow and meditation.
  6. Celebrate the small wins. Did you hold bakasana (crow pose) for half a second? Maybe you’re a few inches farther from the wall in your headstand? That’s a cause for celebration! The small wins will eventually add up.
  7. Practice non-attachment. Why get attached to beating yourself up over a pose that’s challenging? Similarly, why get attached to certain situations, things or ideas about life? Practicing non-attachment is a big part of yoga that I’m working on bringing into my daily routine.
  8. Opposite Sensations. Begin by cultivating the feeling of being light. Light enough that you float away. Then bring the body back to groundedness. Make the body feel heavy and immovable. Appreciate how the mind can really take the body into any adventure you put your mind to.
  9. Outer Body Experience. Imagine you are out of your body and can see the body from every angle. Notice the back, front, sides, top and bottom. Repeat this process and practice observation without judgement.
  10. Make Friends, Cultivate Sangha! Yoga is a personal practice but it can also be filled with community. Create flows where students lock hands, support each others limbs and breathe so loud that it reminds their neighbors to breathe too. Don’t be afraid to talk to people before or after class. You clearly share similar interests, so you may have more in common than you think.
  11. Practice Non-Judgement. Are there poses that you simply hate getting into because of how it makes the body feel? Instead of attaching a feeling or label to that sensation, approach it with non-judgement. Just see it as a sensation without labeling it.
  12. You Are Different! Encourage students to find their fullest expression of a pose. If it requires a block, a bind, an inversion, let that be their fullest expression! Remind your students that they are different, and they were meant to stand out.
  13. Dedicate your practice to someone else. If you aren’t interested in setting a personal intention, dedicate your practice to someone else.
  14. Weather Yoga. Choose poses and create energy that’s opposite of the day’s weather. If it’s dark and gloomy outside, build a sequence that will energize the class. If it’s sweltering, cool down with restorative poses and shitali pranayama (cooling breath).
  15. You Are Your Own Teacher. Encourage students to add or subtract what they need to in their practice. Allow them to practice being their own teachers. I usually allow students to flow through flows on their own after showing them the progression and then talking them through it. By the third round, I encourage mistakes and for students to add or take out what does not serve them.
  16. Timelessness. Imagine that your yoga class does not have a start or end. It is timeless. If you had all the time in the world to explore poses on the mat, how would you do it? Make every movement purposeful and deliberate.
  17. You Feel You Now? Instead of envisioning what a pose looks like, envision what it feels like. Continue that practice from start to your savansana.
  18. Back to Basics. Ask students to think back to their first yoga class – how every movement felt new and different. Have them relive that feeling in each pose.
  19. Breath is Music. Turn off the music and encourage your students to focus on the harmony and cadence of their breath. Hearing them self move is a tribute to being alive.
  20. I Love Me! Offer students an intention to love one of their traits that they wouldn’t think to immediately self love. This trait could be physical, mental or emotional. Reaffirm that love throughout practice.
  21. Get Deeper in the Pose. Encourage students to take the pose to a deeper place, the spot where you feel the most challenged. What doesn’t challenge you won’t change you. Going deeper may also promote opportunities to advance your practice!
  22. Be Real. Contrary to what we see on social media, yoga isn’t supposed to be pretty. It’s suppose to be intangible. There are moments were we fall, make weird noises and look tragic. Embrace the imperfections of yoga and know that you’re working towards something that no one but you can see.
  23. Free Time. Give students time to practice whatever is calling to them at that moment. Remind them at what they do with their free time does not have to be asana, it could be spent in meditation too!

    Get Into the Body

  24. Root to Rise. Remind students to ground everything from the belly button down and find EXPANSION from the belly up! I equate the bottom half of the body to being filled with lead while the upper half are like light rays shining in every direction.
  25. Align the Bones. Identify the poses where students usually misalign their hips and shoulders (such as dancer/Natarajasana and crescent lunge/Anjaneyasana). Work on getting students to get their hips and shoulders in one plane.
  26. Feel it in your bones. Focus on feeling yoga physically and internally. Spend class appreciating every movement as it radiates outwards and inwards. Make every movement purposeful and deliberate.
  27. Umpada Drishti (Inward Gaze). Encourage your students to flow through asanas with eyes closed. Have them experience what yoga feels like, rather than what it looks like. Encourage them to practice this at various times throughout the practice. This will give them the opportunity build self-trust.
  28. You Aren’t As Sama As You Thought You Were. In yoga we practice the posture on each side to feel sama or “sameness.” No matter how many times we practice, one side of your body is always different than the other due to genetics or injury – we are not perfectly balanced and that’s okay!
  29. We Meet Again. Choose a specific pose to come back to throughout class. Build a progression of that pose with cues to hold the pose longer each time or increase the challenge by transitioning the pose to the next level (i.e. twisted chair to side crow).
  30. Lengthen to Twist. Guide students to lengthen on their inhales and twist on their exhales. Eventually by the end of class, students will walk bout 1mm taller than they entered. Quoting one of my teachers, Tina Templeman, “Yoga will make you taller!”
  31. Get Twisted! Incorporate twisting in standing, seated and supine asanas. Focus on twisting the four areas of the spine either together or separately: cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral.
  32. Move With Your Core. Offer exercises to wake up the uddiyana bandha and keep it active throughout class. Use the exhalation to re-engage the uddiyana bandha. Many twisting and forward bending poses will benefit from an active core, allowing students to twist and fold forward with more intention and depth.
  33. Make Noise! Make a noise whenever and however you feel like! I recently taught a class of to 50+ year old yoga students and the noises they made were exhilarating. Their expressiveness reminded me that there’s more to the fullest expression of a pose than the pose. Even chanting “om” just feels good. I absolutely love the feeling of “om’ing” and look forward to it at ever class.
  34. Take a Step Back. Is your intention of coming to yoga to make the body feel better? If there is a pose that causes pain, discomfort, or you’re just not ready, don’t be afraid to take a step back and just observe and practice Ahimsa. Do this to promote a long and healthy practice.
  35. Be still. Sometimes in class, we simply sit quietly with our eyes closed. Students will start to realize that being still is not easy, but it’s beneficial when we are able to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Motivational Quotes

  1. “It’s all about the journey, not the destination. The perfect metaphor for life. In yoga, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. It’s about what happens at each step along the way and how it changes and moves you.
  2. “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
  3. “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
  4. “Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” – Bhagavad Gita
  5. “The highest spiritual practice is self-observation without judgment.” – Swami Kripalu
  6. “Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” –Rumi
  7. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubien
  8. “Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent. –Sutra 2.5, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda
  9. “Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk
  10. “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – Carl Jung
  11. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you someone else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  12. “Perfect courage is to do without witnesses what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  13. “Yoga is the journey of the self. Through the self. To the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita

Last Theme (and probably the most important)

50. Yoga Has NO END. You will never be PERFECT at yoga. There is no end and there is always room for continuous improvement and progress. With this in mind, always approach the impossible with hope and maybe one day when you least expect it, what you were tirelessly looking for will meet you where you are. There is so much hope in yoga and the possibilities are endless.

Embrace the journey!

[Photo by Matt Madd | CC BY]


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Published on Mar 4, 2020

How To Create A Yoga Class Theme (+39 Yoga Themes) – Brett Larkin Yoga

Whether you’ve been teaching yoga for years or fresh out of a yoga teacher training course, it is inevitable that at some point in your yoga teaching career you may become stuck in a rut and in need of inspiration.

One of my favorite ways to freshen up my yoga classes and get my creative juices flowing is by incorporating a class theme.

It could be something as simple as weaving an intention or inspirational reading throughout class or creating a sequence themed around a specific area of the body to a more in-depth class theme like a 7-week chakra series.

In this way, being a yoga teacher is a lot like being a tour guide, where you lead your student inward through their yoga practice.

And since so many of my yoga students from my teacher training course ask me about how to incorporate a theme into their yoga sequence, I thought I’d write a blog post about how I do it when I create my own class plan.

While there are infinite possibilities when it comes to yoga class themes, I generally stick to these 5 types of themes.

1. Intention Themed Class

Setting an intention is a really nice way to give your students something to recall or come back to throughout the yoga class. I find it especially powerful because it helps students practice coming back to the present moment, which is at the core of yoga philosophy.

As part of your opening meditation, offer your students a simple intention that will be easy to recall as you move through class. For example, “to invite in softness”.

You can then weave this theme “to invite in softness” throughout your class by choosing cues for each yoga posture that encourages softness.

With this yoga theme, you can remind students to soften places in the body where we habitually hold tension, like the jaw, face, back, neck and shoulders. As you move through each yoga pose, bring awareness back to softening in that pose.

Softening cues work well in active classes as well, like Hatha yoga or Vinyasa yoga, as well as more passive classes, like restorative yoga or Yin yoga.

How To Do It

With an intention-setting yoga class theme, it helps to move slowly through the postures so that you can allow time and space for the intention to take hold with the student.

Restorative poses are perfect for this because they don’t require much physical effort, which provides space for the yoga student to go inward and connect with the intention set at the beginning of class.

A really nice time to offer your students to recall this intention would be in a resting pose like child’s pose (Balasana) or mountain pose (Tadasana). Use this pause to encourage them to use the breath to soften tight places and release tension.

For more active styles of yoga, like Hatha yoga or Vinyasa yoga, you can hold challenging yoga postures for a little longer than usual and invite students to scan the body for tension to release. In warrior pose, for example, allow students to ground themselves into the yoga mat through strong legs. On the inhale, bring in the intention to invite softness and, on the exhale, release tension.

With both standing poses and seated poses, use the breath to come back to the intention.

To close your class and weave it all together, offer your intention one final time and invite them to bring this intention with them beyond their yoga mat and into their day.

Intentions For Yoga Class Theme Examples

  • Affirmations
  • Gratitude
  • Release and Letting Go
  • Acceptance
  • Heart-Opening
  • Cultivate Peace
  • Non-Judgment
  • Hope
  • Healing

2.

Inspirational Reading Themed Class

I love incorporating inspirational readings in my yoga classes. Some of my favorite readings are from Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hahn, and Sri Swami Satchidananda. Their writings are compassionate, relatable, and concise. I have also found many lovely readings and poems online by various authors.

When using a reading for my class theme, I introduce it at the beginning of class. You can choose whether you would like to do this at the very start of class or as part of your opening guided meditation.

You could even share your reading throughout the class as students hold poses for a few breaths. (I recommend saving your longer readings for seated poses or restorative poses)

How To Do It

Depending on the reading you choose, you can plan your sequence based on the overall theme. For example, with a theme/reading of compassion, you may choose poses that promote opening both the front and back gate of the heart. Gentle backbends and forward folds are great poses to choose for this theme.

As you move through your yoga sequence, and in addition to your alignment cues, you can also weave ideas or thoughts from your reading into your teaching. Remind them to be compassionate to themselves within the pose and to trust the process of their yoga practice.

When it is time for Savasana, you can recall the theme and offer them to use their time in Savasana to reflect upon or use the theme as something for the mind to lean on if that would serve them.

To close practice, you could read the opening reading again or write your own closing to share along the same theme (I love writing my own closings). It would also be really nice to incorporate a pranayama breathing exercise or guided meditation inline with your theme if time allows.

Inspirational Authors Class Theme Examples

3. Area of the Body Themed Class

You can really get creative with this yoga theme as you can choose any part of the body, from a very specific area (the heart center) to larger areas (core/upper body). You can incorporate an intention specific to the area you are working on or poem that correlates with it.

For example, if you were doing a heart-opening theme, you may choose a reading about opening, releasing or something specific to the heart. You could even weave in the chakra that correlates to the area of the body your class is themed around.

Get creative, your students will appreciate the thought and creativity!

When creating your sequence you want to take care that the poses you choose correlate to your theme. Of course, you will also need to incorporate thoughtful warm-ups and counterposes as well, but the core poses should be inline with your theme.

How To Do It

If you are weaving through an intention or chakra associated with the area of the body, then recall the intention or share your teachings about the chakra as you move through class.

As part of the closing sequence of your area of the body themed class, it is nice to incorporate one or two restorative poses specific to your theme.

When it is time for Savasana, you can offer variations and props to support the area of the body you chose for your theme. For example, if you were working with the legs, particularly the hamstrings, a bolster under the knees would help to support and release the muscles allowing for deeper relaxation.

As you close the class, weave the theme, intention, reading, or chakra together in one final closing statement.

Area Of The Body Class Theme Examples

  • Spine, Shoulders, and Neck
  • The Core
  • The Hips
  • The Legs
  • Proper Alignment
  • Strength in the Body
  • Release in the Body
  • Building Energy Through The Body

4. Yoga Philosophy Themed Class

The Yoga Sutra is a treasure trove of themes! With so many translations and interpretations available, the possibilities are endless for Yoga Sutra inspired themes. You could choose an individual sutra, a passage that resonates with you, or one of the eight limbs.

Or, it could be something like a single concept like sthira and sukha.

For example, if you were using Sthira (foundation or strength) and Sukha (sweetness or ease), you could introduce the concept at the beginning of class. In your opening guided meditation, invite students to notice the structure and foundation of their seat and ease or softness in the breath.

How To Do It

As you move through your sequence, choose cues that encourage a balance of sthira and sukha within each posture. Hatha style poses would be great to use as part of this theme to really invite your students to settle into each yoga posture and feel the balance of sthira and sukha.

When it comes time for Savasana, you can invite them to find the balance by releasing and softening into the foundation of the earth beneath them.

As you close your practice, recall the Sutra theme you chose and remind your students that the work that they did translates beyond their practice and into their lives.

Yoga Philosophy Theme Examples

  • Yamas and Niyamas
  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • Sthira and Sukha
  • Purusha and Prakriti
  • Practicing Non-Attachment

5. Chakra Themed Class

I love teaching chakra themed classes so much that I’ve even created an entire chakra challenge! I especially love working with chakras as a theme because it can develop into a multipurpose theme, targeting both areas of the physical body as well as the spiritual body.

You can choose an individual chakra or multiple chakras to create your theme. For example, your class could be themed on the lower three chakras or upper three chakras. Focusing on multiple chakras at a time allows yoga practitioners to explore how they relate to and affect one another.

You could even create a 7-week series, working with one chakra each week.

How To Do It

There are so many great references available on the chakras, but my very favorite is Anodea Judith’s Chakra Yoga. This book goes into great detail about each chakra, how the chakras relate to one another, how the chakra system works and provides yoga poses and sequences for each chakra. Each pose is broken down with detailed alignment, benefits, and contraindications, along with a beautiful color photo.

Chakra Yoga is an all-in-one reference for sequencing, meditations, language to use as part of your theme and practices to help your students experience and work with subtle energy.

Chakra Yoga Theme Examples

Workshop Topics | Mark Stephens Yoga

This is a sampling of my offerings. Please feel free to propose other topics  – specific topics in yoga philosophy, history, asana, pranayama, or mediation – or propose a custom offering by combining elements of these, especially as related to teaching yoga.

Making Yoga – and Life – More Meaningful

Description: The heart of this workshop is about becoming more self-aware, self-accepting, and self-actualized, on the mat, off mat, in practicing and in teaching. It’s about becoming clearer about one’s life path, what the yogis and spiritual philosophers call dharma. We go deeply into self-exploration to discover our deepest longings and inhibitions, fears and joys, obstacles and possibilities. We use breath work, guided meditations, visualization practices, reflective writing, one-on-one sharing and other tools rooted in ancient to modern yoga and other self-transformation traditions to reveal our hidden truths, passions, and potential for living the most extraordinary lives in the here and now. Rather than suggesting that everyone should take a particular path or adopt a given philosophy of life and action in the world, here we allow these insights to emerge from the inner reality of each and every unique being. 

Format Options: How deep to you want to go? Lighter fare in a 3-5 hour workshop, pretty deep in a 1-2 day intensive, or as deep as it gets in a  5-7 day retreat. 

The Art & Science of Sequencing

Description: This workshop builds on prior learning about all the families of poses (standing poses, backbends, inversions, etc.). Here we focus on how to design complete classes based on the informed ordering of poses. The basic question we address is, “why this pose before or after that pose?” Rather than random or excessively creative sequencing, this workshop is based on how the body works (in terms of functional anatomy, biomechanics, and subtle energetics) and how to make the practice of asanas as safe, accessible, and yet as deep as possible. Includes a two-hour lecture on the essential principles of sequencing and in-depth presentations on how to link poses within and between families of poses. Participants collaborate in small groups to craft a variety of classes for different levels of students, styles of yoga, and class intentions; these are presented to the entire workshop for discussion, critique, and refinement. Applies and expands prior learning about functional anatomy, bio-mechanics, kinesiology and other elements of the practice.

Format Options: 20–40 hour workshop, or 10–12–hour workshop on selected families of poses

Hands-On Adjustments & Refined Teaching of Asanas

Description: Skillful, appropriate, and informed touch and clear verbal cues have the potential to transport students to a more conscious awareness and self-refinement in their yoga practice. But before we touch and speak we must first see and understand the unique qualities present in an individual student’s practice. In this workshop, we further develop postural observation skills; learn and practice effective hands-on adjustments that both address common misalignments and encourage inner guidance in a variety of poses; enhance the skill of linking clear verbal cues with tactile cues; and deepen confidence in the practice of giving and receiving as participants learn to better help students find joy and ease amidst the challenges in their practice.

Format Options: 20–40 hour comprehensive workshop

Alignment, Energetic Action, and Transitioning in Flowing Sequences of Poses

Description: Here we look closely at transitions into and out of poses as well as the fundamental alignment principles, risks and contraindications, energetic actions, modifications, and variations for each of the constituent postures found in dynamic sequences. Detailed breakdown of classical sun salutations, surya namaskara A & B, dancing warrior variations, lasya vinyasa, and sirsasana II arm balance vinyasas.

Format Options: 25–40 hour workshop, or 12–hour workshop on selected sequences

 

Standing Pose Details

Description: Detailed exploration of the major standing poses. After close study of Mountain Pose (Tadasana), the foundational asana for all other standing poses, we look in detail at up to twenty-five of the primary standing poses. With each pose, we step into the Yoga Lab to learn how to look at, see, understand, and relate in a meaningful way with effective verbal and hands–on cues to students who exhibit different challenges and tendencies in that particular pose. Also covers how and from what vantage point to best observe and demonstrate, helpful modifications and use of props, and variations for students who can go farther.

Format Options: 25–40 hour workshop, or 12–hour workshop on selected poses

The Inter-Relations of Core, Arm Balances, and Inversions

Description: Detailed breakdown seven core strengthening and opening practices and application of an awakened core to up to fifteen arm balances and inversion poses. Standing poses are explored in their sub-families: internal rotation, external rotation, and standing balance. With each pose, we step into the Yoga Lab to learn how to look at, see, understand, and relate in a meaningful way with effective verbal and hands–on cues to students who exhibit different challenges and tendencies in that particular pose. Covers benefits, risks and contraindications, alignment principles and energetic actions. Also covers how and from what vantage point to best observe and demonstrate, helpful modifications and use of props, and variations for students who can go farther.

Format Options: 25–40 hour workshop, or 12–hour workshop on selected inter-related poses

Fundamentals and Details of Backbends & Twists

Description: Detailed breakdown of up to seventeen backbends and seven seated and supine twisting poses. These two families are covered together because twists offer the essential counterposes to a sustained backbend practice. With each pose, we step into the Yoga Lab to learn how to look at, see, understand, and relate in a meaningful way with effective verbal and hands–on cues to students who exhibit different challenges and tendencies in that particular pose. Covers benefits, risks and contraindications, alignment principles and energetic actions. Also covers how and from what vantage point to best observe and demonstrate, helpful modifications and use of props, and variations for students who can go farther.

Format Options: 25–40 hour workshop, or 12–hour workshop on selected poses

Seated & Supine Forward Bends & Hip Openers

Description: Detailed breakdown of up to fifteen forward bends and hip openers. These two families are covered together because they a) share many basic forms and energetic elements, and b) are ideally sequenced close together as part of the more calming and integrative part of a practice. With each pose, we step into the Yoga Lab to learn how to look at, see, understand, and relate in a meaningful way with effective verbal and hands–on cues to students who exhibit different challenges and tendencies in that particular pose. Covers benefits, risks and contraindications, alignment principles and energetic actions. Also covers how and from what vantage point to best observe and demonstrate, helpful modifications and use of props, and variations for students who can go farther.

Format Options: 25–40 hour workshop, or 12–hour workshop on selected poses

Teaching Pranayama, Bandhas, and Subtle Energy

Description: This workshop draws from and integrates both the western anatomy and physiology of respiration and the esoteric anatomy and physiology of subtle energy found in ancient yoga practices. We cover the fundamentals of basic yoga breathing (ujjayi pranayama) and how to refine the pranayama experience through several specific ancient breathing practices, including viloma, kumbhaka, kapalabhati, nadi shodana and more recent forms such as holotropic breathing. Covers basic concepts of subtle energy (koshas, prana vayus, chakras, nadis) and how to guide students in cultivating awareness of the principal bandhas in asana and pranayama practices.

Format Options: 25–40 hour workshop, or 2–12–hour workshop on selected pranayama techniques.

The Traditional Energetics of Sequencing 

Description: This sequencing workshop focuses on the cultivation of subtle energy. We explore and apply the concepts of koshas, prana vayus, chakras, nadis, gunas and doshic constitution to crafting a variety of classes designed for different specific students, intentions, seasons and settings. We also explore the relationship between traditional energetics and western medical models of the body in understanding the effects of different sequences

Format Options: 25–40 hour workshop, or 10–hour workshop on selected topics

Teaching Yoga to Pregnant Students

Description: This workshop provides a solid foundation for safely practicing yoga while pregnant and for teachers in safely guiding students in yoga classes, whether in dedicated pre-natal classes or with students in regular public yoga classes. Topics include basic maternal anatomy and physiology; guidelines for asanas specific to each trimester and various pre-natal conditions; adaptations and contraindications for a variety of asana and pranayama techniques; what to expect and how to support emotional changes throughout pregnancy; the creative use of yoga props and hands-on adjustments to ensure safety and support; pelvic floor practices designed to ease delivery and recovery; and breathing and relaxation techniques designed to create more comfort during pregnancy, labor and early mothering.

Format Options: 25–40 hour comprehensive workshop, or 10–hour workshop on basic elements of prenatal yoga. 

Working with Injuries

Description: Yoga teachers commonly encounter injuries and other special conditions in their students. ACL repairs, strained medial collateral ligaments, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff strain or weakness, various spinal conditions such as lordosis, kyphosis, scoliosis and spondalolysthesis, recent ankle sprains and strained hamstrings are just some of the conditions that teachers are likely to find in practically every class. In this workshop, we will start with the perspective embedded in the Chinese character for “crisis,” which has the dual meaning of “danger” and “opportunity.” We will learn how to work with a variety of student challenges, exploring how to turn them into opportunities for deepening the overall practice. We will look closely at specific accommodations for different injuries and challenges, including alternative alignment, energetic actions, use of props, verbal cues and hands-on adjustments. Close examination of how to craft individualized therapeutic practices that support physical therapy protocols and various alternative healing modalities.

Format Options: 25–40 hour comprehensive workshop, or 12–hour workshop on selected injuries

Yoga Philosophy & History

Description: Subjects cover ancient and contemporary yoga philosophy, including the earliest writings on yoga from the Vedic and Upanishadic periods of Indian history, in-depth exploration of the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the rise of Tantra and the relationship between Tantra and the early evolution of Hatha yoga between the 9th and 14th centuries CE, the origins and evolutionary development of yoga in the West in the 20th century, and contemporary yoga philosophy. Lecture and discussion format.

Format Options: 25–40 hour in-depth coverage of topics, or  2–12–hour lecture/discussions on selected topics

Teaching Meditation

Description: This workshop offers several approaches to guiding meditation in ways that make the practice more accessible and joyful to all who open to it. Covers several techniques, including basic breath-as-mantra, heart-centered, classical mantra, tantric micro-practice, counting, visualization, and traditional methods informed by the insights of classical (raja) yoga. Lecture, discussion, and practice format.

Format Options: 25–40 hour in-depth exploration, or  2–12–hour lecture/discussions/practice  with selected techniques

The Profession & Business of Yoga

Description: This workshop can focus on the profession and/or the business of yoga. The focus on profession covers the practice of teaching as a professional yoga teacher, professional ethics, yoga teacher lifestyle and livelihood, crafting a yoga resume, understanding teacher compensation, and various aspects of marketing oneself as a yoga teacher. The focus on business covers developing a yoga business plan, the nuts and bolts of developing and operating a yoga studio, human resources, financial management, and how to effectively position and market a yoga studio. A third focus on developing a non-profit yoga organization covers strategic planning for specific non-profit missions, setting up and managing a non-profit organization, grant procurement and other forms of resource development, process and performance evaluation, and marketing.

Format Options: 2–12–hours lecture/discussions/practical exercises on selected topics

Practical Anatomy and Kinesiology for Teaching Yoga

Description: A hands-on introduction to functional anatomy, bio-mechanics and the kinesiology of movement as applied to seeing students in their practice and guiding them in a meaningful, safe, and effective way. Covers the basic language of anatomy, anatomical position, gravitational line, major joints and muscles, innervation, and movement. Detailed coverage of the feet, ankles, knees, hips/pelvis, spine, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands.

Hips and Arm Balances: Integrating Body, Mind and Spirit

Description: Arm balances simultaneously require and help us to develop strength, flexibility, focus and openness. These qualities are heightened when movement into the pose involves hip rotation or flexion – poses like Bakasana (Crane Pose), Astavakrasana (Eight Crooks Pose) or the Mukta Hasta Sirsana Vinyasa (a sustained series of interconnected arm balances initiated from Tripod Headsdtand). More concentrated mental focus is harnessed when then moving into poses involve steadier balance, such as Adho Mukha Svanasana (Handstand) and Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance). Practicing these asana sequences safely and consciously leads to equanimity, confidence and personal freedom well beyond the mat.

In this workshop we explore how to approach hip-intensive arm balances with proper preparation, patience, intelligence, compassion and integration. We will look closely at the basic elements of each asana and work on cultivating the integrity of these elements as we integrate them into the fuller asana. We will also look at specific wrist and shoulder therapies to better sustain these practices. Along the way we will practice being present to the whole experience of the practice, consciously connecting the breath and bodymind moment by conscious moment.

Format options: 2-4 hours

 

Refining the Sun Salutations

Description: The entire foundation of all Flow-Styles of Yoga is rooted in the dynamic movement of Surya Namaskara, the greeting of the sun and the universe within each of us. It is here that we set the rhythm and mood for all that follows, connecting breath and bodymind in the gradual opening and refinement of the overall practice.

In this workshop we will look closely at each of the 12 asanas in Classical Surya Namaskara and Surya Namaskara A & B, exploring their various alignment principles and energetic actions, how the transitions between them can be approached to make them simpler, deeper and more sustainable, and what to be most aware of in guiding others in these movements and asanas. This workshop is designed for all levels of students and teachers, including beginners and advanced practitioners open to practicing beginners mind.

Format options: 2-4 hours

 

Healthy Back, Open Heart

Description: Fear of moving into the unknown is just one of the many challenges of backbending. Restriction in the spine, tightness in the shoulders, hips and groins, and weakness in the arms, legs and abdominal core all contribute to the difficulties one might encounter in stretching and opening the front of the body. At the heart of it all is the heart and a lifetime of embodied experience – every joy, trauma, hope and dream from childhood to the present moment pulsating inside to the rhythm of the heartbeat.

This workshop will utilize a variety of techniques – including heart-centered guided meditation, core integration, hip & groin openers, shoulder openers and spinal twists – to help you move safely and joyfully into a deeper backbending, heart opening practice. We will discuss the functional anatomy and biomechanics of movement and positioning that most lend to stability, ease, and opening more deeply to it all.

Format options: 2-4 hours

 

 

Themes for Teaching Kids Yoga

Yes I know, yoga is calming and fun… but kids are not inherently calm so the disconnect is sometimes very real.

Flashback to four years ago, when I first started teaching Movement (Yoga in public schools is becoming more common!).

I was at a total loss to figure out how to come up with innovative and exciting kids yoga lessons every day.

My first year of teaching I spent HOURS writing, re-writing, and failing at lesson planning.

I spent every day after school analyzing what went well, and what didn’t.

I searched every site on the web looking for tips and tricks on how to teach better kids yoga classes.

How do you avoid this???

One simple way to come up with plans for kids yoga classes is to have a well thought out THEME. 

Pick a theme that you can stretch out to fit several classes, with

books, games, and activities.

Choose something that you are interested in, so you can let your passion shine through!

Themes help keep kids engaged because it’s often something they can relate to and feel connected to.  They contribute and have good ideas when they know the topic, too! 

Themes also help ME when I teach because I remember the “plotline” of the story better, or I just generally stay on task better.  #winning

What are some easy and relatable themes for teaching kids yoga classes?

Here I’ve compiled a few go-to themes that I have used in my teaching. I have a few links to related books and tools that I use and love as well.  Bolded and italicized  are poses (if you can’t figure out which pose it’s supposed to be please comment below and I’ll let you know!)

If you want the FULL list of over 40 themes, get it here!

Animals

There are TONS of yoga poses that are animals, and so many more that can be invented.  I spend about half the year teaching yoga to kindergarten classes  just using animal themes.

We start with animal movements on our mats: move like a bear, move like a bunny, move like a frog, etc.  Then we focus on how a pose is different from a movement.  When we POSE we hold our body in the shape of an animal.

Freeze dance works well for this, and a game called Museum, directions found here. 

Check out some additional fun yoga games in this post: 

5 Active Kid’s Yoga Games to Have Fun in a Group

My favorite way to show animal poses is with pose cards. 

These adorable game cards are my favorite animal ones, and this cute book, Zoo Zen, is really fun for learning some different animal poses with a trip to the zoo!

Animal ABC’s

This is a great addition to the animal theme above, and I use my adorable deck of ABC Yoga cards to go through a lot of them.  This ABC Kids Yoga book is also awesome and my students LOVE both!  We try all the poses, sometimes using sounds.

Then we write the ABC’s on a big chart and write an animal for each letter. This way they can review ones they know, and also create new ones! They love using their imaginations.

This post is ALL about Animal Yoga ABC’s! Get a free download on the page as well.

One other awesome set of ABC yoga cards is here. I love these as well because there are duplicates and you can play “Yoga Memory,” if you flip them over and pretend not to see the letters 🙂

A newer ABC yoga book is here, and I just adore the sweet illustrations and hefty style of the book. It is durable and appealing to all ages so far!

Check out the Animal Yoga ABC Cards Here!

Animal Safari

Building again on the animal theme I often use safari-type exploration stories to get lots of poses into a short time frame.

We pick a location (desert, jungle, forest, plains, mountains, ocean) and start off on a hike.  I usually pretend to march in place and then hold my thumb and finger up to my eyes as binoculars to look for animals. I let the kids raise a hand to tell me what they see. As we see more and more animals we often have to get into a boat to go down a river or a climb a tree and look for birds.

Lots of versatility with this one and you can also learn about topography and geography if they are older kiddos!

These books, by Kid’s Yoga Stories, are wonderful books that take kiddos on animal adventures.  They take up a little more time to read the whole story, but I find they work well for small groups.

Here’s a fun animal yoga safari adventure to Kenya!

Seasons/Weather

The seasons and weather themes are great for a last minute class. Weather is always changing, as are the seasons if you live in the north like me!

The Giving Tree is a great book for the changing of the seasons, and the years, as well as teaching about kindness.

It’s very fun to pretend to be a tree in different seasons

Start as a small seed, grow up into a tree in the spring.  Flowers grow on the tree, bees start to buzz, and fly around.  In the summer there are thunderstorms and rain (lightning bolt pose, patter hands on knees).

Trees move a lot in the wind (star pose: opposite hand to foot, come back up, then the other side). You also start to see apples  (crouch and curl).  You can go on a long tangent or a separate lesson to make applesauce. In autumn the leaves fall, the animals start to gather food, then the snow comes, and the trees are still.

Transportation

Lots of poses can be made transportation-related! Boat and airplane are good places to start. Again, we often go on a journey and use our vehicle poses to get us from place to place.

If you want a few classes in this theme, here are some ideas:

  •  Make a list of different vehicles and practice them all the first day. Commonly created poses include car, airplane, rocket, boat, submarine, motorcycle, bicycle, train, excavator… and so many more!
  •  The next class you can choose one to start to tell a story traveling with their vehicle in between other poses.
  • The following class they could create their own stories with poses or use partner poses to create new vehicles.
  • Play a game with especially active kiddos: try a move-and-freeze game, changing vehicles every time you freeze.
  • Or you can play “Red light, Green light” and use the red light for posing, yellow light for walking, and green light for moving fast.
  • I love The Little Blue Truck, about a truck and all its animal friends. Good for transportation, animal, and friendship themes!

Kindness/Friendship

I often start this theme with kindness towards ourselves. That means a slow sun salutation with deep breaths to help our bodies. I usually add on heart opening poses at the end, reminding them to go slow and take deep breaths to protect their heart.

Check out this post on Gratitude for a more in-depth guide to gratitude yoga, kindness, and partner poses.

After kindness to ourselves, we practice some trust games and activities:

  • Walk on blocks with a blindfold: with a partner to talk you through it and hold your hand
  • Trust falls for older kids
  • Blindfolded mat maze: kids that will be blindfolded don’t watch while the others create a maze using the mats, then everyone talks them through the maze, either on top of or in-between the mats (think, “Floor is Lava” but the mats are connected)
  • Partner poses: elevator (chair pose holding partner’s arm), double boat, double down dog, back to back chair, etc.  Yoga Pretzels has all of these partner poses, and more!

Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc., are great for so many themes. I almost never use them in my school, since I teach at a public school and students celebrate a variety of different holidays. It’s pretty hard to do them all or find culturally relevant texts for all of them.

However, holidays may be a perfect theme for you and your kids or class!

This Winter Themed yoga class plan has some great ideas for winter holidays as well.

Halloween themed yoga is perfect for anytime in the fall!

St Patricks Day Yoga is a great theme for mid-March!

  • Tell a story of the holiday with poses
  • Create new poses for holiday characters or objects
  • Take some time for students to share what their favorite part of holiday traditions are
  • Read a book and create poses as you go

Check out my Halloween Yoga Poses video here:

I love talking about feelings and emotions with yoga. There are so many ways to teach about how we are feeling and tie it in with poses that can help. 

Mindfulness always ties in nicely, too.

This is a theme I frequently use for several weeks with my older kiddos (ages 8-11).  They love learning about balance and flexibility. I talk more about the benefits these have on our bodies, and then we work on building strength and flexibility.

It’s a great theme to give them some good challenges, and also to build on sequences linked with breath. Since breath is inexorably linked with gaining flexibility, you can make sure to cue them to inhale and exhale slowly with each new pose.

The Giving Tree is, again, a good book to use here because they can hold tree pose for a long time.  Also, boat and chair (for the old stump) are good balances.

I have a specific sequence of poses that I call a Yoga Flow that works really well for themes on balance and flexibility.

Check out the pose images and the Kids Yoga Flow sequence here!

I hope you enjoyed my themes and ideas for kids yoga lesson planning!

Don’t forget to grab the extended list of 40 kids yoga classes theme ideas right here!

(Post updated January 2021)

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Yoga – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Yoga

Yoga is becoming an increasingly popular activity in the Western world. Many celebrities have promoted it for various purposes from its relaxation effects to maintaining or gaining physical fitness. For many in this country, yoga is thought of as simply an alternative form of physical exercise. Yoga classes are now available at most fitness facilities. However, yoga involves more than physical positions or ‘postures’, but rather is a philosophy that originated about 5000 years ago in India. The word yoga literally translates to mean ‘yoke’ or ‘unity’, meaning the union of mind, body and soul. The practice of yoga combines techniques that include not only the physical postures, or Hatha yoga, but also breathing exercises, meditation, and principles of living such as non-violence, truthfulness, purity and service that helps its practitioners to reach optimal levels of physical, mental and spiritual well-being.61 Therefore, yoga can be thought of not only as an exercise for the physical body, but for the mind and spirit, as well, and its beneficial effects may overlap with those in the section on mind–body treatments discussed above.

There are many styles of yoga that exist and a complete review of these exceeds the scope of this chapter. There are several, however, which will be reviewed here in brief. Iyengar yoga is a form of yoga that places particular emphasis on the precision and accuracy of the poses and how to use them to achieve balance, symmetry and calm. For this reason, Iyengar yoga has been suggested by some experts to be particularly well-suited to those with back pain and other musculoskeletal problems.61 Ashtanga yoga is a vigorous form of yoga in which a serious of postures are performed in relatively quick succession while synchronizing the breath. This form of yoga has been promoted as improving aerobic capacity as well as strength and flexibility. Viniyoga is a less well-known form as it is often taught in private session rather than large classes. In viniyoga, the concentration is on the individual’s quest for self-realization, which is attained through poses, meditation, ritual and prayer. Bikram yoga is an additional form of yoga that has become extremely popular recently. Bikram is done in a heated room at approximately 100°F with the goal of warming the muscles to increase their flexibility. This form is generally not recommended for pregnant women or individuals with medical conditions aggravated by heat.

There is, unfortunately, a dearth of scientific medical literature available in western journals on the health benefits of yoga. A number of studies have been published in the Indian medical literature. However, there is evidence that interest in the healing power of yoga among western medical professionals is growing, but it is fair to say that the research on yoga and its potential uses for health and fitness is in its infancy in the west. Moreover, although yoga is being promoted as beneficial for athletes and is certainly being used by them, the specific effects that yoga practice may have on athletic performance remains to be shown in controlled studies. Among those promoting yoga for its benefits to athletic performance are Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Orlando Ruff, who attributes improvements in his balance, flexibility and ability to concentrate on the game to his practice of Bikram yoga.

There is some evidence that yoga may be effective in treating certain painful medical conditions such as osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. In a study evaluating a yoga regimen in patients with OA of the hands, patients were randomly assigned to receive either a yoga program performed once a week for 8 weeks or no treatment. The yoga group improved significantly more than the control group in pain during activity, tenderness and finger range of motion. Other trends also favored the yoga program.62 It is unfortunate that an educational control group was not chosen for this study, as this would have controlled for attention effects and allowed more specific benefits to be attributed to yoga exercises.

In another study of 42 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, subjects were randomized to either a yoga-based regimen of 11 upper body yoga postures and relaxation or wrist splinting. The yoga group performed their regimen twice weekly for 8 weeks. Subjects randomized to yoga had significant improvements noted in grip strength, pain intensity, and Phalen sign than subjects in the splinting group. No significant differences were noted between groups for sleep disturbance, Tinel’s sign and median motor and sensory nerve conduction velocities.63

Benefits, Intensity Level, and More

How It Works


Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. It’s been around for more than 5,000 years.


Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Examples of different yoga forms include:


  • Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.

  • Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.

  • Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.

  • Ashtanga. A series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.

  • Bikram. Also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.

  • Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

 

Intensity Level: Varies with Type

The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like hatha and iyengar yoga are gentle and slow. Bikram and power yoga are faster and more challenging.

Areas It Targets


Core: Yes. There are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. Want to tighten those love handles? Then prop yourself up on one arm and do a side plank. To really burn out the middle of your abs, you can do boat pose, in which you balance on your “sit bones” (the bony prominences at the base of your pelvic bones) and hold your legs up in the air.


Arms: Yes. With yoga, you don’t build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body. Some poses, like the plank, spread your weight equally between your arms and legs. Others, like the crane and crow poses, challenge your arms even more by making them support your full body weight.


Legs: Yes. Yoga poses work all sides of the legs, including your quadriceps, hips, and thighs.


Glutes: Yes. Yoga squats, bridges, and warrior poses involve deep knee bends, which give you a more sculpted rear.


Back: Yes. Moves like downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and cat/cow give your back muscles a good stretch. It’s no wonder that research finds yoga may be good for relieving a sore back.

Type


Flexibility: Yes. Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility.


Aerobic: No. Yoga isn’t considered aerobic exercise, but the more athletic varieties, like power yoga, will make you sweat. And even though yoga is not aerobic, some research finds it can be just as good as aerobic exercise for improving health.


Strength: Yes. It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs, and core.


Sport: No. Yoga is not competitive. Focus on your own practice and don’t compare yourself to other people in your class.


Low-Impact: Yes. Although yoga will give you a full-body workout, it won’t put any impact on your joints.

What Else Should I Know?


Cost. Varies. If you already know your way around a yoga mat, you can practice for free at home. Videos and classes will cost you various amounts of money.


Good for beginners? Yes. People of all ages and fitness levels can do the most basic yoga poses and stretches.


Outdoors. Yes. You can do yoga anywhere, indoors or out.


At home. Yes. All you need is enough space for your yoga mat.


Equipment required? No. You don’t need any equipment because you’ll rely on your own body weight for resistance. But you’ll probably want to use a yoga mat to keep you from sliding around in standing poses, and to cushion you while in seated and lying positions. Other, optional equipment includes a yoga ball for balance, a yoga block or two, and straps to help you reach for your feet or link your hands behind your back.

What Family Doctor Melinda Ratini MD Says:

There are many types of yoga, from the peaceful hatha to the high-intensity power yoga. All types take your workout to a level of mind-body connection. It can help you relax and focus while gaining flexibility and strength. Yoga can also boost your mood.

Even though there are many instructional books and DVDs on yoga, it is well worth it to invest in some classes with a good instructor who can show you how to do the postures.

Chances are, there’s a type of yoga that suits your needs and fitness level. It’s a great choice if you want a holistic approach to mind and body strength.

Yoga is not for you if you like a fast-moving, competitive workout. Be open-minded, since there are physical and mental benefits you can gain by adding some yoga into your fitness plan, even if it isn’t your main workout.


Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?

Yoga is a great activity for you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. It gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. You’ll also need to do something aerobic (like walking, biking, or swimming) if you’re not doing a fast-moving type of yoga.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems, ask your doctor what you can do. You may need to avoid certain postures, like those in which you’re upside down or that demand more balance than you have right now. A very gentle program of yoga, coupled with a light aerobic activity like walking or swimming, may be the best way to start.

Do you have arthritis? Yoga can help you stay flexible and strong without putting added stress on your joints. You get the added benefit of a mind-body approach that can help you relax and energize.

If you’re pregnant, yoga can help keep you relaxed, strong, and in shape. If you’re new to yoga or have any health or pregnancy related problems, talk to your doctor before you give it a try. Look for an instructor who’s experienced in teaching prenatal yoga.

You’ll need to make some adjustments as your baby and belly grow and your center of gravity shifts. After your first trimester, don’t do any poses that have you lying on your back. And don’t try to stretch any further than you did before pregnancy. Your pregnancy hormones will loosen up your joints and make you more likely to get injured.

While you’re pregnant, avoid postures that put pressure on your belly or low back. Don’t do “hot” yoga, where the room temperature is very high.


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90,000 26 templates on yoga, meditation, retreats, health on WordPress 2021

By Ilya Chigarev Read 13 min Views 1.7k. Updated

Yoga and retreats are gaining popularity for a reason.This is a way to combine a healthy lifestyle, sports training with a kind of psychotherapy. The practices known to monks in India and Tibet are great for modern people who are forced to live in constant stress.

Yoga and meditation training services are an excellent type of business that will attract people who are able and willing to pay for recreation and sports activities “in one bottle”. The audience includes a wide sample – from office workers to housewives, from businessmen to students. All of them are united by the fact that they will look for a suitable yoga studio via the Internet.So, WordPress site templates come in handy.

All templates are presented from the popular online store ThemeForest. Other selections can be found at the link.

Top 26 Yoga, Meditation, Retreat WordPress Templates 2021

1. Phlox Pro

A bright selection of templates with spectacular parallax scrolling and an interesting design solution: block design, many beautiful animations. Such a resource will surely be remembered by the user due to its attractive appearance.From the point of view of the admin panel, it is proposed:

  • created on the Elementor constructor – the most pixel-accurate display, simplicity of settings;
  • Several colors – from basic bright purple to burgundy;
  • high download speed;
  • online booking of yoga classes is provided;
  • More than 160 graphics and display settings specifically for the Elementor plugin.

More than 80 design blanks on various topics are offered in total.There is a great stylish theme for yoga courses. See 80 more templates with Elementor builder here.

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To save money on development or make money creating websites for others? I recently recorded a new course “Ideal WordPress Site” and “Elementor Landing Page” where I told you a step-by-step plan on how to create awesome sites. I have been developing for more than 7 years, I earn more than 50 thousand a month on sites, and in the course I laid out all the technology on how to make such sites.For more information on , see link .

2. Jupiter

Light “airy” landing page with an interesting combination of colors and details that create an overall impression of the site template. It looks at the same time unobtrusive, memorable, well-matched colors in the range of colors – especially beautiful saturated green. However, everything can be changed if desired, because customization is generally one of the main advantages of the theme.

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3.Jhana

Jhana is a good template – it is simple, suitable for a one-page landing page, you can, if you wish, “develop” and get a more voluminous web resource. The developers have foreseen all this by nesting ready-made blocks, internal pages and many additional elements that will not be difficult to combine with each other.

MORE ABOUT THE TEMPLATE WATCH DEMO


4. Great Lotus

WordPress theme, stylized as an oriental temple, where meditations are held, the ancient traditions of yoga are observed.The light, unobtrusive design really refers to the Buddhist theme, tunes the user in the right way. Nice design and easy navigation are complemented by excellent features:

  • many settings options, including for header and footer;
  • provides a calendar with the ability to highlight events – for example, lectures or special yoga classes;
  • beautiful templates for different pages, including the ability to blog;
  • donation plugin – useful both as a payment for services, and if the organization is conceived as a charity.

One-click customization of color schemes, as well as installation. Basic plugins are included in the price, you don’t have to buy them. A selection of 25 charity website templates.

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5. Bridge

One of the largest collections of responsive WordPress templates – from business card websites to powerful portals with a detailed shopping cart, advanced search, and maintenance of personal pages.For yoga, meditation, online learning, there is a nice template in pastel colors with beautiful photographs-accents. There is also a grid-shaped calendar that helps you choose a convenient time for classes. Convenient advanced forms, integration with social networks. Visual customization and Google fonts make it as easy as possible to work with templates.

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6. Nirvana

Nice light template with three basic blanks: all made according to the same principle, white background and bright pictures.Standard graphics are attached, but you can put your own photos instead of blanks using the built-in Visual Composer plugin. The authors have provided for the convenience of recording – a calendar, announcement of various events, integration with WooCommerce. One hundred percent responsiveness and excellent display on mobile devices. The solution is simple, but “easy”, the site loads quickly.

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7. Yogastudio

A minimalistic and simple landing page with a yoga theme.The dull color scheme looks soothing, the main picture immediately evokes the necessary associations in the visitor. The design can be saved or changed using the built-in WPBakery builder, which offers visual site customization. There are also convenient options:

  1. calendar plug-in with the ability to schedule classes – convenient for the visitor;
  2. WooCommerce integration;
  3. Ready-made pages for forms, course information, trainers section.
  4. The template is fully responsive in accordance with the requirements of 2021, looks good on any mobile device.

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8. Jogasana – landing page for online yoga lessons

An interesting version of WordPress templates: focused on webinars and yoga training. The creative design of the “blocky” style is combined in this template with an original color scheme: a white background and green or pink or purple elements.

  • video embedding;
  • personal trainer consultations;
  • streaming capability;
  • online payment.

Useful features ideal for online yoga courses. There are four options in total, all bright and attractive, they will surely make the user stay longer.

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Look at the templates for the site of a personal consultant or psychologist: top 20 templates


9. Anahata – retreat

Preparation for yoga retreat. Twelve bright, creative pages will help you define the look and use specific features.Included are plugins standard for the format of yoga centers and sports sites – a calendar for choosing a convenient time, Google maps, the possibility of mailing. Vector elements are also offered. The kit offers complete documentation – from changing color schemes to fine-tuning animations and effects.

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10. BeYoga

Charming landing page that combines the capabilities of a fitness center or yoga center with a store selling accessories necessary for training.The authors suggest:

  • the ability to blog – immediately provided by a special design;
  • Built-in Visual Composer plugin – any element can be easily replaced;
  • entry, class selection, shopping cart – everything is built in;
  • ready-made developments for different programs, settings – you just need to substitute your information.

Payment can be accepted using the WooCommerce system, which is especially convenient for an online store.

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11.Elaine – minimalism style

A small but effective minimalistic selection of templates with the theme of a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, sports and yoga. The light design with attractive vector and raster elements “catches” at first sight, you want to consider every detail. The information is presented as competently as possible, allows you to talk about the services offered, additional options. It is possible to connect a store in Instagram style with WooCommerce integration and payment through the site.The color scheme changes online thanks to the WPBakery plugin.

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12. Do Yoga

Another universal minimalistic landing page with the possibility of expanding for a store of sporting goods and just for yoga. A great option for studios that offer classes and related paraphernalia at the same time. From the point of view of the admin panel, there are many pleasant options:

  • built-in blog functionality – will allow you to announce new items, talk about the features of yoga, etc.etc .;
  • Convenient sale, shopping cart and other elements of online trading;
  • Ability to record at a convenient time;
  • Many animations and functions.

More than 99 options and a huge selection of Google fonts, combined with excellent SEO settings, will help make a large site out of a one-page template.

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13. Hatha

An important feature of the WordPress template: the ability to record at the required time, which is extremely important for yoga, sports and other activities that can be adjusted by day of the week and time of day.A good selection of plugins and other functionality is also provided, with over 750 customization options for all occasions.

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14. Yoku

The official five-star rating and high quality certification of the site template is not all. The developers guarantee that on the basis of the blank it will be possible to make both a one-page page, for example, to promote courses, and a full-fledged web resource for a yoga school, a sports club, a fitness center.There is WooCommerce functionality for trading.

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15. Yoga Fit – yoga and fitness

Elegant template for fitness centers and yoga studios with many animations and convenient design elements that make navigation easier. In terms of color, it is a harmonious combination of pastel shades, looks versatile and pretty. Features provided by the authors include:

  • advanced calendar plugin – record by the hour if several activities are on the same day;
  • a huge selection of animations, widgets, settings;
  • Gutenberg builder compatibility;
  • many ready-made plugins, easy to connect others.

Several blanks are available with different colors and additional graphic elements. They all come in one set.

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Selection on the topic: 30 themes for the site about sports, fitness


16. Tantra

Stylish dark theme with creative design. The plugin used for visual customization of WPBakery will help you easily change the details, substitute the necessary pictures, additional elements.One-click installation, customization using the Drag and Drop system, which does not require coding knowledge. Optimization for search engines is provided, as well as mobile display, which preserves all the nuances of the design. The beautiful parallax effect of the background remains a relevant technique in 2021.

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17. Kriya Yoga

Delicate thematic design with an abundance of aesthetic oriental elements adjusts the user to the desired mood.The color settings have already been selected taking into account the comfort for the eyes of the visitor, but you can always change it in the visual plugin. The settings of the calendar that is installed on the site will help determine the opening hours of the fitness center, yoga studio or other similar area, and the person who comes to the site will determine the time convenient for him. A large selection of plugins, widgets, additional options – all this is included in the price, you will not need to pay separately.

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18.Yoga X

According to the authors of the template, “an excellent choice for yoga, Pilates, meditation practices.” Suitable for both studio and online courses. Simple, light design creates the right mood. The admin panel offers:

  • Bootstrap layout – the simplest and most accurate at the moment;
  • unlimited colors;
  • Several hundred Cyrillic Google fonts;
  • plugins for choosing the date and time of attending classes.

The basic customization plugin, Visual Composer, remains the gold standard for WordPress templates and can be replaced if desired.

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19. Fitness Club

A selection of templates of different styles for a fitness club, sports center, yoga classes. There are options in dark and light design, in the design of the traditional landing page or in the block version “for Instagram”. All these presets are included in one universal template that can be easily customized using the built-in plugin. It is possible to change colors, customize the calendar, fonts.The kit includes raster and vector graphics, including specially designed icons.

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20. Gym Edge

A blank for the website of a personal trainer for fitness or yoga, as well as for any other sport. The portfolio functionality will allow you to tell about your achievements, explain to the visitor why they should prefer the offered services. The basic design is designed in several styles: from “brutal” to gentle, designed specifically for yoga, Pilates, etc.There are several useful plugins, in addition to the standard ones – a calendar, feedback forms, a body weight calculator is included. Integration for WooCommerce is provided.

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21. UpStore

A selection of WordPress templates declared as multi-purpose. In the demo, you can appreciate the beautiful stylish designs designed by professionals. Offered:

  • 15 options for completely ready-made sites – for yoga and sports there is an excellent bright landing page;
  • 11 options for headers and footers;
  • Extensive online store with shopping cart and user registration.

Templates are perfectly responsive and look spectacular on mobile versions, while loading quickly due to special graphics and functions optimization.

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22. BeTheme

One of the most powerful collections of WordPress templates, which currently includes more than four hundred templates. Sports and yoga themes have always remained one of the most popular, so there are many interesting professional designs.All required plugins and compatibility included, basic visual editor – WPBakery. Round-the-clock support and complete documentation on all the nuances of setup, installation, additional features.

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23. Edema

The charming delicate design of the template for the SPA center immediately sets you up for relaxation and the desire to visit a place where you can relax and unwind. Competent design with beautiful elements and clear navigation.The workpiece includes:

  • the ability to register for procedures online;
  • advanced contact forms;
  • Many options for placing photos in portfolio mode.

Ready-made animations, settings, SEO-optimization save as much time as possible at the preparatory stage. You can just upload a template, put in your own text and photos and start working.

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A selection of topics: 30 templates on the theme of SPA, beauty salon in 2021


24.Mandala

Template for a thematic cafe, tea house. Perfect for various courses, it will allow you to announce events – lectures, preparation of drinks and dishes, you can immediately place a menu. A pleasant combination of colors adjusts to a calm meditative atmosphere. Integration with social networks is provided.

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25. Avicenna – Alternative Medicine

A WordPress template dedicated to meditation, alternative medicine, health improvement.Compatible with the Gutenberg constructor. Built using modern HTML, CSS settings, feedback forms and other features of site building that are relevant in 2021. From the point of view of appearance – a nice stylish page, designed like a landing page, but with options for expanding to a large portal, support for a blog and galleries is provided. Lots of beautiful animations.

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26. Vihara – template for the temple

Delicate design and stylish color combination of this landing page for the temple, yoga classes and the atmosphere of creative practices, inspire tranquility.The authors made sure that the appearance is as pleasing to the eye as possible. Included options:

  1. Instagram support;
  2. records at a convenient time thanks to the calendar plug-in;
  3. Possibility of payment or fundraising-donation;
  4. blanks for the program, command and other necessary sections.

Design looks equally great on desktop and mobile due to its mobile responsiveness. The feeling of solemnity, which should be inherent in the temple, is fully preserved.

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Didn’t find an interesting option for yourself? Check out another selection of 40 templates to create an effective landing page on WordPress

Yoga is becoming synonymous with a healthy lifestyle, longevity, physical and psychological comfort. People are willing to pay to improve their quality of life with the help of ancient oriental practices with a modern interpretation. If you run courses in this direction, whether in the studio or online, selling thematic attributes, you just need to choose one of these beautiful, professionally made WordPress templates and get started.

Questions about our premium templates? I have prepared an article for you with answers to frequently asked questions on premium topics (buying, setting up, etc.). You can study the article at the link.

Which template do you like best? Write in the comments.

Yoga encyclopedia. Knowledge brought together and tested by practice

Today there are a huge number of yoga centers where beginners are taught techniques and practices. It is rare to meet someone who does not know about yoga and its benefits for body and soul.

Yoga is an ancient practice that includes eight different steps that affect different aspects of a person’s life. This is life according to new principles, breathing exercises, meditations, changes in thinking and more. Modern society, when talking about yoga, primarily emphasizes work with the body. Performing asanas (special postures) has a positive effect on the body, which has a beneficial effect on the body as a whole.

The popularity of yoga is growing every day.More and more people want to find a healthy body and soul, to know their inner world and achieve harmony. Given the modern rhythm of life, there is not always enough time to learn yoga practice in special clubs and groups. It is for this that the encyclopedia of yoga was created, which contains useful information about asanas and mudras, describes the correct technique for performing, and also tells about the effect of asanas and existing contraindications. Thus, you can learn the technique without leaving your home.

Before embarking on yoga, you should decide what result you want to get.It is also worthwhile to really assess the physical capabilities of your body – you should not immediately choose too complex asanas if you have not previously devoted a lot of time to physical exercises, because their implementation can cause certain difficulties. It is better to move progressively – from an initial level of difficulty to a more serious one. In view of the fact that more and more people are getting involved in the techniques of self-development, on our website there is a special section “Yoga Encyclopedia”, where all asanas and mudras are presented, as well as their images.Correct performance of the postures will bring maximum benefit, make your breathing deeper, more measured, the soul and body will relax, and all the load and negative thoughts will go away.

There is no need to be afraid that something may not work out for you, because the asanas that are mastered at the very beginning do not require much flexibility. Therefore, it is worth immediately discarding the fear of the new, because the practice is based on the gradual development and knowledge of your inner world.

Depending on the physical state of health, special asanas are selected that have a beneficial effect on the entire body.Also, in the process of training, the likelihood of injury is excluded, because all movements are regulated by their own feelings and do not cause excessive discomfort.

With the development of technology, online classes have become very popular, they are especially in demand among the younger generation. For example, the site https://asanaonline.ru/ offers yoga courses at any convenient time. Practicing asanas in real mode is a very practical solution when there is a lack of time for visiting clubs.The resource provides lessons for different levels of preparation. Such classes give you the opportunity to choose the time that suits you ideally, and video lessons with teachers clearly demonstrate how to perform asanas correctly.

Such classes are a new round in the practice of yoga, now, wherever you are: at home, on a business trip or on vacation, you will always have the opportunity to conduct wonderful classes and get a lot of benefits for your body.

Practical Yoga Encyclopedia

The essence of yoga is the achievement of inner harmony and balance.The most famous element is asanas, they are also postures that help keep the body in good shape, develop flexibility and gain health. But the very course of yoga perceives exercise as a starting point on the path to spiritual balance and knowledge of inner freedom. Each asana is designed in such a way that, in addition to influencing the muscles, it also affects the internal state. Thanks to the correct technique of execution, the tension goes away, breathing becomes measured, a person has the opportunity to be alone with himself, he abandons all the worries that have accumulated during the day, thanks to which he approaches the knowledge of spiritual wisdom.

The Practical Encyclopedia of Yoga tells about the influence of yoga on health, helps to reveal the hidden capabilities of the body, visually presents asanas and photo examples for them, tells how to correctly accept the position of the body, achieve balance, harmony.

The presented asanas do not imply much flexibility at the very beginning, this will come in the course of training. It is important to remember that yoga is not a sport, and its main task is not to work out all muscle groups, but to teach a person to feel his soul, touch its strings and understand the essence of his “I”.Yoga classes do not require special equipment or visits to specialized clubs. You can do it yourself at home, you only need the desire, time and a mat for exercises, and the practical yoga encyclopedia will tell you the correct asanas, which are available on the pages of the site in full and with visual photographs.

Great Encyclopedia of Yoga

Yoga classes bring great benefits to the body, all the positive aspects are long to list, but the main ones are presented below:

  • The general condition of the body is improving;
  • you find harmony with yourself and with the world around you;
  • your sleep becomes sound, you wake up refreshed;
  • mood improves;
  • back problems, which are often found due to a sedentary lifestyle, go away;
  • the body is filled with energy, work is more fruitful;
  • develops plasticity and flexibility of muscles;
  • along with new knowledge comes happiness.

It is not always easy to decide on new beginnings, especially if there is uncertainty about the correctness of the first steps. The big encyclopedia of yoga will help you not to be afraid of the new and start a new and healthy life with yoga. On the pages of the site, mudras and asanas are clearly presented, for each of which there is a photo example and a description of the correct step-by-step execution for easier entry into one or another body position.

Do not postpone the dream of a healthy and happy life on the back burner, start practicing today, and soon you will feel the changes in your life for the better!

Yoga, main directions of yoga, a brief history of yoga

Short description

Yoga – the concept came to us from India and in a broad sense means a combination of physical and spiritual practice, which is aimed at controlling the physiological and mental functions of the body.The goal is to achieve spiritual enlightenment. More narrowly, yoga is one of the six darshans (orthodox schools) of the philosophy of Hinduism. Many books have been written about yoga, mostly by yoga teachers. Yoga is a very deep concept, if only a brief description is concerned, below are several areas of yoga that you can learn by attending classes.

Yoga Directions

  • Hatha Yoga – based on the practice of asanas and pranayama (breathing), for a more advanced level, meditation is practiced in the classroom.
  • Kundalini Yoga – in the classroom they practice asanas and chant mantras, the purpose of the direction is to raise the kundalini energy from the lower chakra, which is located in the sacral spine to the upper one, which is in the head.
  • Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic yoga with a sequence of asanas, founded by Patabhi Jois.
  • Yoga Iyengar – this direction in yoga was founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, who, due to poor health, began to practice yoga and adapted it for himself, props (auxiliary objects) are used during classes – bricks made of wood, belts, chairs, ropes attached to the wall, etc.e. For levels of increased difficulty, pranayama is included in the lesson.
  • Yoga 23 – a complex of 23 asanas.
  • Yoga Nidra – the whole lesson takes place in a supine position, the emphasis is on complete relaxation, yoga nidra is also called sleep yoga.
  • Raja Yoga (yoga of kings) – used to be available only to the upper class of society in India.
  • Acro yoga – asanas are performed in the air, in a suspended state.
  • Pair yoga – asanas are performed in pairs.

The list can be continued, to get acquainted with the directions deeper you need to read the literature and articles that are devoted to them.

A Brief History of Yoga

The history of yoga begins in ancient times, on seals found in the Indus River valley from the period 3300-1700 BC. e., there are figures in yogic and meditative poses. Archaeological finds indicate that the population of the Harappan civilization was engaged in one of the ancient forms of yoga or a related ritual.For the first time the concept of yoga is found in the “Rig Veda” – a monument of Indian culture. It is assumed that yoga began its development with the ascetic practices of the Vedic religion, mentioned Brahmanah – commentaries on the Vedas. In the Shatapatha Brahmana, there are ideas of union of body, mind and soul with the Absolute. In the “Brihadaranyaka Upanishad” there is the earliest mention of yoga (9-10 centuries BC). The main source is the “middle” Upanishads of the 6th century BC. BC), Bhagavad Gita and Mahabharata, Yoga Sutras by Patanjali (2nd century BC). In the Yoga Sutras, yoga is first described as one of the schools of Hindu philosophy.It is this yoga that is called “raja yoga” in order to distinguish it from the later schools.

90,000 How Yoga Affects Health: Research Results | by Eggheado | Eggheado: Health

Good health is why most people come to yoga. Whether it’s physical, emotional, mind or soul health. Yoga can solve almost all health problems. But even if the disease is beyond her power, she is able to change our attitude towards him and already by this bring great relief.

Yoga, in contrast to Western medicine, has a completely different approach to the question of what is included in the concept of health.

In his book “Yoga – the way to health” BKS Iyengar writes:

Being healthy means not just not getting sick. Health implies perfect balance and harmony between joints, tissues, muscles, cells, nerves, glands and all systems of the body. Health is the perfect balance of body and mind, mind and soul. ”

Health for the yoga practitioner means much more than just getting rid of headaches or knee pain.It is, rather, optimization of the functions of the whole body , from muscles to digestion, circulation and immunity. These are emotional balance, spiritual stability, optimism and even joy.

Yoga teaches to see that everything in us is connected with everything. Timothy McCall, author of Yoga. Healing asanas “writes:

” From a therapeutic point of view, trying to improve the functioning of the whole organism, you improve the functioning of an organ or system. Yoga is a systematic body improvement technique that helps to understand the mind and free the spirit. “

The range of effective influence of yoga on human health is very wide. More than 30 therapeutic effects of yoga can be cited, which are confirmed by many years of research conducted in Europe, America, Australia, India.

The relationship between the body and the human psyche has been known for a long time. Attempts to diagnose the characteristics of a person’s character according to certain external signs, such as physiognomy, chirology, phrenology, are also rooted in ancient times.However, in modern psychology, this problem has been raised quite recently. Only in the middle of the twentieth century W. Reich, W. James, A. Lowen, D. Ebert and other scientists revealed that 90,084 the human psyche is projected onto his physical body in the form of constitutional features, muscle clamps and joint-muscle contractures (limitation of mobility in the joints and a decrease in the activation of the mechanism of contraction of muscle fibers), reflecting on its physical development.

The opposite is also true: influencing the physical body in a certain way, you can change the psychological and physiological state of a person .Also, in the works of the followers of the schools of experimental psychology W. Wundt, A. Binet, I. Pavlov, I. Sechenov and others, it was shown that there is a connection between individual mental processes, primarily sensory-emotional and somatic processes.

In the works of D. Ebert, V. Raikh, A. Safronov, R. Minvaleev and other scientists, positive influence of elements of hatha yoga on the main physiological systems was revealed: 90,085 nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, urogenital, endocrine, digestive and on the system of the musculoskeletal system.

Studies of the physiological aspects of hatha yoga by D. Ebert (1986) showed that one of the mechanisms of influence on the activity of the physiological systems of the body is a change in hydrostatic pressure in its various cavities when performing hatha yoga exercises.

In addition to the humoral mechanism, the reflex mechanism was also identified in the works of G. Zakharyin and G. Ged (1883), the essence of which is a compensatory increase in blood circulation after stretching or compression of the zones of the physical body, as well as skin-visceral and motor-visceral reflexes, allowing to directly influence the functions of various organs.Their existence is based on the fact that the sensory nerves of the internal organs, skin areas (Zakharyin-Ged zones) and muscles intersect at the level of the spinal cord segments. As a result, the tension of certain muscles and the stimulation of certain areas of the skin affects the internal organs (A. Safronov, 2005).

In addition, it is also possible to distinguish: stressful (L. Garkavi), psychosomatic (V. Reich, W. James, A. Lowen), hormonal (R. Minvaleev) and energy (D. Ebert, A. Safronov) mechanisms of influence of elements hatha yoga on the human body.

Also, it is necessary to emphasize the mechanism of the mechanical influence of elements of hatha yoga on the human body due to specific deformations of the body shape. Due to this, there is a mechanical effect not only on the muscular system, but also on the internal organs, as well as on various parts of the autonomic nervous system, which takes part in the regulation of the activity of all internal organs and glands, as well as metabolism.

Based on the above studies, the results of hatha yoga classes become obvious.Thanks to which the general recreation of the body is achieved, the weight is regulated, the psycho-emotional state, sleep is normalized, the working capacity is increased, the immune functions of the body are activated, the innervation and blood supply of the internal organs are improved, the physiological adaptive reaction of the body, flexibility and mobility of the musculoskeletal system develops, the internal muscles are trained and spine correction.

The social significance of Hatha Yoga practice is based on the activation of a person’s energy potential, the prevention of psychological stress and the upbringing of a healthy, harmonious personality.

Yoga provides ways to help overcome one of today’s major health and well-being factors: an imbalance in the system designed to resist stress.

However, it is worth noting one important point.

In the classic work of Patanjali “Yoga Sutras” it is said that the practice of yoga should be 90,084 long, continuous and attentive. Yoga is a powerful medicine, but it works slowly. Therefore, do not expect quick results (although it may become easier for someone after the first lesson).At the same time, the positive results from such activities will be much longer lasting.

In this case, yoga can be compared to learning to play a musical instrument; the harder and more often you exercise, the better results you will achieve and the more benefit you will get from the exercise.

Source: scientific article “Hatha yoga as an effective means of influencing health”

Jivamukti yoga theme of the month “Life: continuous movement – rhythm, flow and change”, February 2020

krama nyatvam parinama nyatve hetuh

The reason will determine how the sequence will unfold

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali III.15

“The mind must be trained to move slower than slow, and faster than fast … If the mind can move faster than the speed of light, faster than the speed of electromagnetic waves, and slower than metabolic changes in cell physiology, then only then he can notice the changes taking place in nature. As a result of this self-discipline, the mind can notice [and adapt to] any change. ”- Sri Brahmananda Saraswati.

Having lived in New York for over 20 years, I feel the need to keep up with the speed of things, physically, mentally and energetically.On weekends, my husband and I travel to the upstate. Our house is at the end of a dead end road. All weekends may pass, during which we do not meet either people or cars. At the end of the weekend, I feel like I know what it means to slow down, to adjust to the slow pace of what is happening around me.

David Life’s documentary What’s Real? (What is real?) Reminds us: “Everything is perfect. Positive changes are possible only if you come into the world with this very point of view. The opinion that something is wrong with the world around us harms us, as it suggests that something needs to be changed, altered, corrected.One of the reasons for my yoga training was to share, not change. And part of what I’m sharing is that the idea of ​​changing the world has to change. The changes are happening themselves steadily, we are not responsible for it. ”

The world and we in it are constantly in motion from dawn to dusk, from summer to autumn, from early to late adulthood, and so on. Mother Nature reveals to us that life is a continuous movement, sometimes it seems to be accelerating, and sometimes it is slow. Change is synonymous with movement.To be in motion with life in its changing rhythms, it is necessary to stay in harmony with it. In fact, when we are in the process of this alignment, we move along with the changes taking place around us, we have the opportunity to deeply feel how the world is ideally arranged, its absolute perfection. It includes ourselves and all those and all that we come into contact with, come into contact with. Tuning into this frequency, we accept the following intention: everything that we think, say or do is the start of the changes that we want to see in the world.

In yoga philosophy, suffering is defined as resistance to change. Suffering signals that a combination of memories and habits that we (mistakenly) mistake for our true identity are in danger of being lost or changed. Suffering is clinging and grasping caused by desire and fear, creating resistance to movement in the flow of life. This is where we often succumb to the tendency to control and dominate all aspects of our immediate environment, including Mother Nature.At the same time, it excludes the possibility that we actually need to clarify our own intentions and actions to restore balance in the current landscape of change.

Mantra chanting, yoga and meditation practice develop our sensitivity to rhythm, flow and change. Our ability to keep up with life, the cycles in nature, with each other, changes in our own bodies, is partly due to sensitivity from moment to moment and adaptability to “the quality and quantity of the rate of change.”

Monika Jaggi, teacher of Jivamukti yoga.

90,000 Essay on the topic: Yoga

You do not have time for an abstract or you are unable to write an abstract? Write to me on whatsapp – we will agree on the terms and I will help you!

In the article “How to learn how to write an abstract”, I wrote about the rules and tips for writing the best abstracts, please read.

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Introduction

Yoga – a concept in Indian culture, in the broadest sense, means a set of various spiritual, mental and physical practices developed in various directions of Hinduism and Buddhism, aimed at controlling the mental and physiological functions of the body to achieve an elevated spiritual and mental state of a person.In a narrow sense, yoga is one of the six orthodox schools (Darshan) of Hindu philosophy. The original goal of yoga is to change the ontological status of a person in the world.

Yoga
has been known for over 5,000 years, but still attracts millions of people around
the world. It is unlikely that any passion for yoga can be called a passing fashion.

On
In the West, the emphasis in teaching yoga is on the study of certain postures or asanas.
Breathing techniques and sometimes meditation are also studied. The purpose of some activities
is purely relaxation.Others are aimed at developing physical
Abilities: Yoga teaches new movements and greatly increases flexibility, strength and
equilibrium.

Target
yoga

Ultimate
the goal of yoga can be very different: from improving physical health through
yoga therapy before reaching moksha. In the monistic schools of Advaita Vedanta and
Shaivism the ultimate goal of yoga practice is moksha – liberation from the cycle
birth and death and all miseries of material existence through consciousness
own loneliness.In the schools of bhakti-Vaishnavism, “loving, devoted
service to God ”is the ultimate goal of yoga practice.

First
we perceived yoga with a certain distrust, but lately it is becoming
more and more popular and has established itself as one of the best ways
improving health.

Yoga
anyone can do it, regardless of age, physique or
social status. This group also includes young people and retirees, skinny and
plump, sick and healthy.The result depends only on your diligence,
correct execution, consistency and the time you spend on
performing asanas. Depending on your goals, you can decide how often to
week and how long you want to do it. This way you can flexibly
combine classes with the most intense work week schedule.

V
unlike other yoga systems, hatha yoga is not a religion, so there is no
the need to deny or worship anything, just as there is no need to
do morning exercises or brush your teeth.

History of Yoga

History
yoga is rooted in ancient times. On some of the ones found in the river valley
Indus seals dating from the time of the Indus civilization (3300-1700 BC),
depicts figures in meditative or yogic poses. These archaeological
finds indicate the possibility that the people of the Harappa civilization
practiced one of the ancient forms of yoga or a ritual associated with it. Yoga concept
first mentioned in the ancient monument of Indian literature “Rig
Vede “.Yoga is believed to have evolved from ascetic practices
Vedic religion (from X to VI century BC). This early yoga school subsequently
was known as Raja Yoga to distinguish it from other, later schools.

History
yoga in Russia

Russia
interested in yoga even before the 1917 revolution. Mostly creative and
thinking intellectuals, most of whom left the country after the change. IN
during the Soviet period practicing yoga was dangerous, as it was ideologically
is forbidden, but enthusiasts have done it mainly through traditional books and
samizdat.

First
Anatoly Zubkov became a certified yoga teacher in the USSR. In
during a long trip to India he met Sri Ram Kumar Sharma
(a student of Swami Sivananda), under whose guidance he began to practice yoga.
After training, Sri Ram Kumar Subkov issued a certificate giving the right to teach
yoga and heal with yoga. After returning to his homeland, Subkov became a real
missionary and was of great help in promoting yoga in the USSR. In the 1970s
Subkov wrote the script for the first Soviet yoga documentary.The film was called “Indian Yogis – Who Are They?” After his release in
A kind of “fashion for yoga” appeared in the USSR. Interest in yoga also
originated in the 1970s from the Soviet government, which invited
Direndru Brahmacharyu to the country to introduce yoga methods into teaching
astronauts.

V
in the late 1980s, a laboratory was established in Moscow to study
non-traditional methods of treatment. In 1989 B.K.S. Iyengar was invited to
first yoga conference. In the same 1989, the first Guru arrived in the USSR
Kundalini Yogi Bhajan.Later he became the initiator of Yakov Marshak, who began
help drug addicted teenagers with the help of Kundalini yoga techniques.

Asana

Asana is a position of the body in which, from the point of view of Indian philosophy and religion, control over energy and physiological processes in the body occurs through the redistribution of tension, constrictions and tensions in the body.

Asanas
can have specially defined input and output sequences, but
a static position for some time is mandatory.

Asanas
can be classified according to the way they are performed: Seated postures, recumbent postures,
inverted poses, twisted poses, tilted poses, poses
balance.

By
type of blow: Stretching, twisting, force, inversion, bruising and combination.

By
tasks: meditative, i.e. participation or preparation for yoga practice more
high level, and therapeutic, i.e. with a specific
psychophysiotherapeutic effect on the body.

General
advantages of asanas

V
the usual practice of asanas all the endocrine glands of our endocrine system
adhere to the optimal amount of hormones.This will normalize as
physical and mental state of a person. Dysfunction of at least one of
glands have a significant impact on health, therefore it is imperative that
the endocrine system was functioning at its best. Regular practice
asana cleanses and rejuvenates the affected organs and restores their normal
activity.

Muscle
and bones, nervous system, endocrine and endocrine systems, respiratory and
the excretory system and the circulatory system are coordinated in such a way
that they support and facilitate each other’s functions.Asanas make the body
flexible and can easily adapt to changes in the environment; they
stimulate internal organs, which leads to the production of the right amount
digestive juices (saliva, enzymes, etc.). Sympathetic and
the parasympathetic nervous systems are in balance, and the internal organs,
who control them, never fall into a state of hypo- or
hyperactivity.

Leading
the result, we can say that asanas maintain the body in optimal condition and
contribute to the restoration of the affected organs.

Asanas
make the mind strong, able to overcome pain and suffering. They develop
determination and concentration. In normal practice, asanas become normal.
state of mind. All the problems of the world, all its fears and worries can be met with
absolute tranquility. The mind calms down, the colors of life become brighter, and
difficulties are a means of achieving ideal mental health. Asana practice
awakens dormant energies that inspire in others a sense of trust in
the person who emits them, and his speech, behavior and actions are characterized by
upland.

Asanas are the third stage of the eight-level path of Raja Yoga, and in this aspect the asanas prepare the body for the highest yoga practices, namely Pratyahara – the distraction of the senses from objects, Dharana – concentration, Dhyana – meditation and Samadhi – the attainment of cosmic consciousness. In Hatha Yoga, which is more deeply related to preparing the body for higher spiritual practices, great attention is paid to purifying the body with the help of asanas. Detailed descriptions of asanas can be found in such ancient texts as Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Giranda Samhima.While asanas alone cannot bring spiritual enlightenment, they are nonetheless an important part of the spiritual path. Some people think that asanas are just physical exercises that have nothing to do with spiritual development. This is a completely false view. For those who are trying to awaken and develop their spiritual abilities, asanas are an almost inevitable necessity.

Asanas
should be seen as a form of meditation and mental purification.They have to
practice exactly as described in Tantra, focusing the mind on the appropriate
centers (chakras). Unfortunately, most yoga books and most people
yoga teachers completely ignore this aspect of yoga performance.

Asanas
leisure

Impossible
overestimate the importance of relaxation poses. They should be done directly
before asana training and any time you feel tired. Asanas
in this group seem to be very easy, but it is difficult to perform them correctly, since
all muscles in the body must be relaxed with the help of consciousness.Often a person
thinks he is completely relaxed, but in fact there is still
voltage.

V
our age people are exposed to all sorts of stress and fear; even in a dream
they find it difficult to relax. For such people, the asanas described below will be
extremely helpful.

Most
the simplest but most effective method for relaxing the body and mind – Yoga
Nidra. After a busy day or just before bedtime, this practice will
most effective. The method is to lie in Shavasana and lead
consciousness is spiritual through different parts of the body.In other words, you must first
feel only the left hand and mentally feel how it touches
land. Then, one by one, feel the big, index, medium,
ring finger, little finger, palm, wrist, forearm, armpit, left side
body, left buttock, thigh, knee, shin, heel, foot, left toe,
then the second, third, fourth and fifth toes, and finally all the toes
together. Do the same on the other side of the body. Feel like each
part of the body relaxes and merges with the floor.Repeat this several times and
all tension will be relieved.

The Virtue of Yoga

Some
believe that asanas require flexibility from the gymnast, and they are too
Ossified, old, or unprepared. In fact, flexibility can
be improved at any age.

Asanas
gently stretch the muscles. This frees the muscles from lactic acid, which
builds up during work and leads to feelings of tension, fatigue and
convulsions. Yoga classes also increase joint mobility and stimulate
the production of synovial fluid.According to them, the feeling of lightness and freedom
develops throughout the body.

Yoga
stretches not only muscles, but also ligaments, tendons, fascia (muscle
shell). The positive result can be felt very quickly. IN
the study, 35% of participants noted an increase in flexibility after 2 months
yoga practice. Particularly improved shoulder mobility and flexibility
torso.

Some
yoga styles such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga are associated with heavy
physical activity.By choosing them, you will significantly strengthen your muscles. Less
intense yoga styles like Iyengar focus on correct and
accurate postures, but they will also significantly improve your strength and
endurance.

Many
poses such as downward dog, upward dog
and “stick”, strengthen the muscles of the upper body, which have
tendency to weaken with age. Posture on one leg, especially when
slow and correct breathing, strengthen the muscles of the thighs and abdominal muscles. Lower
part of the back is reinforced with face up dog and chair poses.Almost all asanas, when performed correctly, strengthen the deep abdominal muscles.
press.

Ratio

C
the development of flexibility and muscle strength improves posture. Since most of the poses
while sitting and standing strengthen the muscles of the abdominal cavity, including the deep ones, it becomes
easier to “hold your back.” Plus, with yoga, you start
better understand your own body. It helps to catch faster when the body
begins to tilt or bend and correct the situation.

Due to deep and conscious breathing during asanas, the volume of the lungs often increases.It improves athletic performance and increases body endurance. But yoga is not aerobic exercise like running or cycling. The closest thing to aerobic training is intense strength yoga, which requires a lot of effort and tension.

Majority
Yoga styles focus on the practice of deep and slow breathing. Such
breathing relieves stress and promotes relaxation.

Less
stress, more peace of mind.

Even
beginners feel calmer and more relaxed after the first yoga session.Sometimes meditation is used to eliminate “psychological
fears “associated with stress. In other yoga styles, calmness
achieved by concentrating on deep breathing. When this happens, the mind
calms down.

Ability
yoga to reduce stress is confirmed by biochemical analyzes. It is proved that in
as a result of training, the content of catecholamines – hormones,
produced by the endocrine glands in response to stress. Production
neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine and ephedrine) also decreased,
creating a sense of peace.There is evidence of increased production of oxytocin –
a hormone believed to be responsible for feeling connected with other people.

Concentration
and good mood

Harder
explore the state of concentration of mind that adherents often talk about
yoga. Almost everyone notices after class an invigorating mood and a positive
atmosphere. Yoga helps fight depression – perhaps because it
increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. It can be used to treat
obsessive and obsessive states.

Probably
the most studied of the positive effects of yoga is its effect on
cardiovascular system. It has long been known that when performing asanas, it decreases
blood pressure and heart rate. At the biochemical level
scientists have shown that yoga acts as an antioxidant: it reduces the level of
cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and strengthens the immune system.

Influence
yoga for other diseases

By
as yoga became more and more popular in the West, people became
use it as an additional therapy for various diseases.New
the direction is called integrative yoga therapy and is used in the treatment
diseases from clinical depression to coronary heart disease. Yoga
relieves symptoms of asthma, arthritis and back pain. The positive effects of yoga on
insomnia and multiple sclerosis are widely recognized.

Research
have shown that yoga has a positive effect on memory and learning ability,
slows down the aging process and improves energy.

Some
The scientific benefits of yoga are difficult to explain.He must develop supernatural abilities and help in family and professional
life.

Single
a way to test these claims is to start yoga on your own.

Conclusion

Good
a well-thought-out load on all muscle groups ensures the slimness of the body, in
resulting in flexible joints and spine, and posture
pulls up. General rejuvenation of the body is reflected in the appearance of a person: skin
becomes more elastic and elastic, back pain appears, strengthens
a corset of muscles, there is an internal massage of almost all organs, it improves
lymph flow and blood circulation throughout the body, weight is normalized,
central and autonomic nervous system, increased immunity,
the position of the dislocated organs is restored.Yoga becomes popular
among businessmen also because it allows you to deal with stress and nervous
overload, normalize sleep, the perception of life becomes more joyful and
optimistic. And most importantly, people can get rid of many diseases and
significantly extend your life.

First, don’t try to study books alone. In all my practice, I have met no more than one enthusiast who does not make many serious mistakes. Yoga is a force and energy that needs to be mastered and that requires certain safety techniques, basic knowledge and experience.The energy of some asanas can be destructive for certain types of diseases, so they are excluded or administered with great care.