Do you want to learn the finer points of Yoga practice? Feel free to practice with us, watch lectures, and learn safety guidelines. Most of all, feel free to join us and subscribe. Here is an opening and warming sequence that starts from a seated position. It also focuses on pranayama and synchronized movement. This would be an ideal opening for a vinyasa class.
Leading a Vinyasa Class
Vinyasa classes, which focus on bringing a student's breath in alignment with their movements, are becoming a very popular type of yoga for both beginners and those who are more advanced in their yoga regimen. When it comes to leading a vinyasa class, the key is relaxation. Most teachers realize for the class to be a success for all involved, it takes a relaxed atmosphere that still promotes focus and attention to one's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state. To make sure students leave class having gained benefits in all of these areas, there are certain steps to take throughout the class.
The best vinyasa classes are those that emphasize an effortless flow from one movement to another, allowing students to concentrate on their breathing while counting to themselves. In these classes, it is usually not necessary for teachers to count out loud for the students or play music in the background. Instead, the focus always remains on the breathing as students flow from one movement to the next. One of the most enjoyable aspects of vinyasa classes for both teachers and students is the freedom to improvise as needed. Allowing personalities to shine through during the class, teachers can choose to spend more time on one particular movement if they feel it will benefit the class. Likewise, they can skip a particular movement or change the order of movements as needed in order to help students relax and achieve inner peace.
Always encouraged to demonstrate movements to students as needed, teachers can and should also be aware of the pace of the class. If students need a bit of a rest period, it's perfectly acceptable to bring them into the child's pose for a few moments of rest and relaxation. By doing so, this demonstrates the teacher's ability to be as one with the students and understand how to achieve the best results for everyone. By leading a vinyasa class that is focused, relaxed, and yet still allows for a bit of improvising when necessary, teachers and students can find themselves gaining unprecedented levels of physical and spiritual awareness.
5 Benefits of Warming Up Before Class
Just like your car on a cold morning the body needs a bit of a warm up before diving into class. Yoga is no different. Warming up gently loosens tired muscles and starts energy flowing. Lead your class through a warm up before starting the hard work to prevent injury or strain.
Taking a few moments to center and get in tune with a few deep breaths is a great way to signal the mind, body and spirit that they all need to be in the present. Standing in Mountain pose and taking deep gentle breaths calms the mind and prepares the body for work.
A gentle full-body stretch will warm the muscles and help them prepare for the heavy work to follow. This prevents injury while at the same time warming muscles so they'll be easier to work during the bulk of class.
Spread the Enthusiasm
If you teach classes early in the morning or after typical work hours some students may have a hard time getting started. They made it this far so why not help them along with some energizing warm-up? As the energy moves they'll find their motivation and enjoy the class even more.
Focus the Mind
Yoga has as many mental benefits as it does physical ones. Warming-up allows students to easily set their mind to the task at hand and leave the worries of the day behind for increased awareness and mental peace.
Don't Forget to Cool Down
Warming up is important and so is cooling down after class. Most sessions may end in Shavasana to help the muscles relax and bring the mind back into reality after moving through the poses. Taking your class through a series of gentle moves at the end of the session helps muscles relax before returning to normal activity and prevents strain or injury.
No matter how you choose to begin your class don't rule a warm-up as a wasted time. A simple stretch or movement has tremendous benefits when used to its fullest potential.
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