Your Word is Your Wand

…and other teaching notes I’m deciding to jot down.

Oh, and I forgot, some Harry Potter moves.

SIDENOTE: Fascinating discoveries of putting “Harry Potter yoga” into google. Thought I’d share:

Harry Potter and the Chakras” – not accurate, but hilarious that someone tried to analyze anyways.

Harry Potter and Yoga are evil – says Catholic Church exorcist” – I would never predict those two words would be together in a news headline, never mind words from a Catholic Church exorcist…

Yoga Pants: Harry Potter Fanfiction” – A scene of romantic love between Ron and Hermione…and Hermione’s yoga pants.

So back to Your Word is Your Wand… 

It’s always important to notice the subtitles of language when teaching a yoga class. This is one thing I’ve always found so fascinating about the difference between teaching yoga and a sport – you’re also cultivating a certain mind resonance and thought processes in your students. Rather than hurtful, forceful terms, which would propagate negative language and self-views in the student’s minds, I would encourage students to be compassionate with themselves instead. Here are some examples:

pull: draw, bring, extend, lengthen

grab: take, clasp, interlace, hold, support

butt: (this may not be a bad thing, it can be kind of cute) glute, tail, seat, sitting bones, move the fleshy part of outer thigh

push, put, get, gripping, squeeze: draw in, place, retrieves, engage, contract, hug, hold, float, plant, root, press & draw

hopefully…: now we are in place, if…then…

delicious, explore, find the subtleties, gravity is supporting you, new fields to play, playtime!, it’s just yoga, dude. Spaces in between spaces. Shifting perspective. You may move into any variations you are working with. You are welcome to stay in this place if you feel comfortable. Options. Potentials. Possibilites.

Cue things closer to the center body (ARMS not hands up to the sky, raise the thigh bone)

More random teaching notes: 

BEGINNING OF CLASS: Always check for injuries and issues, connection to breathing, introduction to theme (if applicable), rolling – don’t roll over knee joint or on the lower back (if you roll on the lower back, crunch the abdominals)

– demonstrate pranayama (breathing), explain chants (what it means, spell it out)

– BREATHING CUES (on your next inhale/exhale)

Sequence Ideas

– Warrior I –> Warrior II –> Humble warrior

– Rock back and forth on heels and toes in Uttanasana

– Sun salutations without down dog

– Body scan

– Lie on stomach, let legs go left to right, then in circles, rotte ankles, feel grounded and gravity is always there for you

– Start with hands at armpits and draw fingers across chest, finish and heart and meditate

– Warrior I, straighten front leg (inhale), Warrior II, Rotate leg in, Prasarita Padottanasana, Come up with prayer hands, Warrior II, Warrior I

– Cross legged sitting – 1. cat, cow 2. side bends 3. twists (can hook arm around the side)

– Dancer, eagle, half moon, virabhadrasana

– Create a conversation with people

– Taking props/blocks with you

– Work on alignment from the ground up

– Cue the supporting leg

– Hamstring injuries can make balances difficult

– Neck injuries, be careful in bridge

– Lower back injuries should avoid apanasana *knee to chest pose

Also currently updating muladhara/root chakra exercises, check it out on the yoga page.

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Filed under Chakra, postures, yoga

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