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  • Especially for Yoga Teachers | Expanding Light
    Discovery via Challenges Posted on March 21 2004 by Nayaswami Gyandev Continued from Teaching the Art of Discovery Part 2 As we go deeper into this series I now want to offer some broader thoughts about how to refresh your approach to teaching make your classes more magnetic and rewarding for Continue reading Posted in Yoga Teacher Training Tagged Especially for Yoga Teachers 1 Comment Teaching the Art of Discovery Part 2 Teaching More Advanced Asanas Posted on October 1 2003 by Nayaswami Gyandev Continued from Teaching the Art of Discovery Part 1 Continuing with the topic of how to keep your classes fresh and interesting to nurture your students spirit of discovery rather than merely teaching a constant stream of new poses I ll now Continue reading Posted in Yoga Teacher Training Tagged Especially for Yoga Teachers 2 Comments Are Your Students Bored Posted on March 21 2003 by Uddhava Ramsden Once I received a phone call from a student who had taken my Yoga for Seniors class She had been teaching Senior Yoga for about two weeks and had run out of new postures to teach She was calling to Continue reading Posted in Yoga Teacher Training Tagged Especially for Yoga Teachers 1 Comment Keepin It Simple Posted on October 1 2002 by Nayaswami Gyandev Earlier this year I received an e mail from a relatively new AYTT grad who had just begun teaching Ananda Yoga In part of the message this person wrote I don t know what in the world ever made me think that Continue reading Posted in Yoga Teacher Training Tagged Especially for Yoga Teachers Leave a comment Have posts you are interested in sent to you when they are published Help the Expanding Light better serve people Categories About Expanding Light Meditation Meditation

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/tag/ytt-especially/ (2016-02-01)
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  • Yoga for Teens (Part 1) | Expanding Light
    even more what you think And so it s important to feed the mind with positive thoughts 4 One special characteristic of Ananda Yoga is that it s spiritually based Yoga actually means union And you can see this as the union of your body mind and soul In Ananda Yoga we recognize that the postures are ancient practices that were originally designed to help one sit comfortably in meditation During our class we re going to pause briefly between each pose to remind us that stillness is the goal and at the end of our class we ll have a brief experience in meditation Dancers are used to flowing from one movement to the next sometimes very quickly Their challenge with yoga I soon realized was being asked to hold one position or asana for a period of time I let the dancers know that the younger students I had taught earlier that week had a difficult time doing this I hoped this would encourage them to show their abilities I think it worked Tola Trikonasana or Balancing Triangle Pose is a favorite of mine to teach from an energy perspective Rather than the muscles doing the work I have students focus on dynamically sending energy in the four directions to feel how much more alive the pose becomes The affirmation is I expand fully into this moment When I asked the class How many of you would like to practice relaxing yoga today Surprisingly almost every hand shot up in the air How many of you would like to practice more challenging yoga One girl slowly raised her hand shyly Are you serious I said I wanted to see your strength and flexibility Go ahead Melody the teachers broke in These guys need a challenge The teachers later told me that this class was particularly lazy If I had had more time with the students I would ve loved to have offered them only deeply relaxing poses and stretches but since I had such little time with them I decided to give them a little of both Ananda Yoga is a wonderful style that offers some vigorous poses which are balanced by relaxation The young bodies of teens are ready for a challenge that will facilitate a stronger flow of the life force in their bodies Adho Mukha Shvanasana Downward Facing Dog Pose we practiced in pairs with straps Affirmation by Swami Kriyananda Calmness radiates from every fiber of my being I promised them a longer deep relaxation which they were happy to hear We closed our class with a mini meditation Perhaps the best experience for me was seeing the quiet still bodies and closed eyes of the teenagers meditating As we closed the class with Namaste in prayer position the students were smiling with satisfaction And then to my surprise the entire class applauded The students were happy and had a wonderful experience Some students stayed after class to share their personal experiences of how much

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/yoga/yoga-teacher-training/yoga-for-teens-part-1/ (2016-02-01)
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  • Level 1 AYTT Changes | Expanding Light
    the morning asana classes blown up images with callouts as shown in the rough draft for Utkatasana at left The new version of Section 2 will include those drawings for all the asanas Each asana will now occupy the front and back of one sheet or 2 sheets in a few cases so students can easily rearrange the pages of their manual for example to extract just the pages for the asanas they re going to teach on a given day Finally the manual will include a single sheet of paper with all the asana drawings names and affirmations Sadhanas Hello to more challenging sadhanas Goodbye to sleepy sadhanas That s not Ananda Yoga We realize that sometimes we have sleepy sadhana attendees but we re going to wake them up Staffing Hello Melody West Hansen now has lead responsibility for the entire asana portion of YTT morning classes practice and team teaching sessions etc She won t have to teach it all you can breathe again now Melody but she will be applying her considerable creativity to take Ananda YTT to the next level Hello Badri Matlock pictured at right who has been teaching for a number of years will teach some of the main classes October November AYTT grads already know Badri and his boundless enthusiasm because he began helping out then Goodbye to well nobody All of the current staff will continue to participate Maitri will also continue leading the Assistantship and Gyandev will continue as overall director of the program This entry was posted in Yoga Teacher Training Bookmark the permalink Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked Name Email Website Comment Have posts you are interested in sent to you when they are published Help the

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/yoga/yoga-teacher-training/level-1-aytt-changes/ (2016-02-01)
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  • Ananda Yoga Goes to the Movies | Expanding Light
    to use Bhujangasana but Elizabeth wanted Ustrasana instead She has a regular asana practice and is quite strong so she could do it but by her fifth or sixth intense Camel Pose it was a lot less fun than she d thought it would be Reality Check A few observations about movie production stand out for me It s a mixture of high energy and tedium All thought of glamor fades quickly amid much waiting for changes of lighting and camera angles At any given moment at least several people are working intensely but it s usually not you Then when it s go time for you things get very intense It s incredibly repetitive with rehearsal upon rehearsal followed by take upon re take I can only imagine what happens in big budget movies in which they reshoot scenes until they get them just right The logistical details are staggering Meticulous planning and organization are vital There s never enough time to do things the way you d like Perhaps that s not true for big budget movies in which more money can buy more time Things rarely happen according to schedule Stillness is to be avoided Movement is essential lest viewers get bored Anyway that s the belief in the industry I guess that s why they re called movies You don t always get what you want We had to do Vrikasana over and over for rehearsals then over and over for many takes always on the same leg The black fabric and white screen helped light the scene properly for the camera A perfect example of this last point is the scene that led into my meeting with Juliet It was the final moments of a yoga class that I in my role was teaching as she arrived for a private class The director insisted that I end the group class with Vrikasana not meditation or deep relaxation Gad yet again A standing pose looks better on camera he insisted plus it will enable the students to exit faster The class was after all just a lead in to Juliet s arrival and he wanted the students to exit quickly But wait it gets worse The scene begins with the students in Vrikasana To save time and to avoid stillness there was no centering in Tadasana after Vrikasana The director insisted that I dismiss the students while they were still coming out of the asana When their arms were halfway down I said something like Good work thank you read Scram So when you see the movie please don t blame me for ending the class that way The director says it will look fine in the movie Let s hope Going Forward A lot of dedicated positive energy has gone into this movie and I believe that it will be a success Certainly that s the opinion of the marketing expert whom Ananda has hired She said This movie exceeds all my expectations I wanted

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/yoga/ananda-yoga-goes-to-the-movies/ (2016-02-01)
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  • Playing the Pauses | Expanding Light
    twofold purpose 1 to have a technique specific influence on your mind and 2 to slow down or stop the breath i e to create a pause in your breathing Why slow the breath Because the breath being a living connection with the external world also draws you outward away from your center The deeper or faster your breath is the more your awareness will be pulled outward But if you practice with smooth slow inhalations and exhalations both breath and mind will become quieter Then the brief pauses that always occur after inhalations and exhalations will naturally begin to lengthen If you don t force the breath or the pauses to be long the mind will grow quieter and a quieter mind is a more powerful mind The heart too quiets which helps develop your intuition This makes the pause between movements of the breath the most effective time to pray or affirm Another way to play the pause is to chant AUM silently and repeatedly at the spiritual eye It s a powerful aid to bringing energy and awareness to the spiritual eye So pauses are not merely part of the practice they are its goal Now there s a paradigm shift Meditation pauses Pauses are also the goal of meditation because the higher states of meditation happen during kevala kumbhaka effortless retention of the breath which is a natural outgrowth of complete inner calmness and relaxation As the breath becomes still so do your thoughts and the mind becomes free to soar toward superconsciousness For example when practicing the Hong Sau meditation technique taught by Paramhansa Yogananda savor the pauses between the breaths Don t forcibly lengthen them don t control any aspect of the breath in Hong Sau practice but do enjoy the freedom they bring Absorb yourself in the stillness between breaths and listen intently to the inner silence Feel as though you re bathing your consciousness in divine peace for that s exactly what you re doing It will rejuvenate you on every level Then you re really playing the pause It s a dance In my 30 years of practice I ve come to understand that pauses are not merely an important part of the practice they re the essence of it That s certainly not how most hatha yogis view the pauses Of course what happens between pauses is also important for the active parts of the practice offer their own benefits Their highest aim however is to help the pauses be longer and more fruitful And if done skillfully the pauses will in turn benefit the active portion of your practice by helping you be more aware focused and centered as you act Think of these two aspects of Yoga practice action and pause yang and yin masculine and feminine as partners in a dance First one is the focus then the other back and forth back and forth Your job your art is to choreograph and perform that dance skillfully

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/yoga/playing-the-pauses-2/ (2016-02-01)
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  • What is the most helpful advice an Ananda Yoga Teacher has offered you? | Expanding Light
    Yoga Teacher Support Center Articles Inspiration for Your Teaching Teaching Students with Unique Needs Yoga Therapy All Articles Q A Ask a Question Past Q A Ananda Yoga Resources All authors are graduates of Ananda Yoga Teacher Training About the Author Melody Hansen Ananda Meditation Teacher and Level 2 Ananda Yoga Teacher Posts for Yoga Teacher Training Autumn Restorative Yoga Pose Yoga and Epilepsy A Restorative Yoga Pose for the Summer Returning to Yoga after a Back Injury The Right Way to End Deep Relaxation Taking God Out of God A Crash Course in Semantics Rendering Grateful Service Postpartum Meditation Does It Exist Prenatal Yoga Tips on Meditation Teaching the Art of Discovery Part 1 Categories Meditation Meditation Teacher Training Superconscious Living About Expanding Light Nature and Spirit Spiritual Travel Sustainable Living Uncategorized Yoga Yoga Teacher Training Yoga Therapist Training Archives January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 December 2013 November 2013 August 2013 June 2013 May 2013 February

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/yoga/yoga-teacher-training/what-is-the-most-helpful-advice-an-ananda-yoga-teacher-has-offered-you/ (2016-02-01)
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  • Teaching the Art of Discovery – Part 3: Discovery via Challenges | Expanding Light
    simply requires more attention on the part of both teacher and student That attention itself is a wonderful challenge for students and for us as well since we must observe students more closely That often means that we cannot do the poses ourselves but that s fine since our teaching is not our personal practice or at least it shouldn t be Question Isn t Ananda Yoga about relaxation How can they relax if we are challenging our students Answer You may for example recall Swami Kriyananda s words All progress in yoga comes through relaxation of effort But relaxation of effort doesn t mean that we should collapse in a heap because then we can relax more Swami is calling for dynamic relaxation engaging ever more energy but always with a sense of relaxation We want relaxation in the midst of effort not relaxation instead of effort True some poses are about total relaxation balasana savasana etc but most involve effort Finding relaxation in the midst of that effort frees up energy and builds concentration taking students to a deeper more satisfying practice At the same time they will be learning a valuable life skill The truth is relaxation instead of effort is a dangerous habit whether in asana pranayama meditation or life itself It causes the atrophy of one of the most valuable tools that we can help our students develop willpower Remember Paramhansa Yogananda s maxim The greater the will the greater the flow of energy The more we exercise willpower by putting out energy with relaxation the stronger our willpower becomes To build willpower Yogananda prescribed each day do something you haven t done before and each day do something that you didn t think you could do Sounds to me like he s in favor of challenges Question Will students have an inner experience if they are constantly straining Answer Strain is to be avoided but exertion is helpful although even exertion shouldn t be constant I m simply saying that we need a balance and that some of us have gone too far in the direction of inwardness without energy Taking students inward without energy leads them downward into subconsciousness not upward into superconsciousness Someone once asked Jack Nicklaus the greatest golfer ever how he would train a youngster to become a great golfer His answer I would first teach him to hit the ball hard Finesse and control can come later Translation into the teaching of Ananda Yoga if we first help students increase their energy and feel it while staying safe that will open the door to subtler aspects of the practice Only with energy can students go inward and upward Taking them inward without energy leads them downward into subconsciousness not upward into superconsciousness The Pause That Truly Refreshes Now let s turn to the pauses between poses because this is one area in which it s especially easy for students to be left behind Here are two common sense suggestions

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/yoga/yoga-teacher-training/teaching-the-art-of-discovery-part-3-discovery-via-challenges/ (2016-02-01)
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  • Teaching the Art of Discovery – Part 2: Teaching More-Advanced Asanas | Expanding Light
    exercises can be done in such a way as to feel like asanas even though they re not Everyone can enjoy the process not just the goal Build strength and flexibility slowly and methodically rushing into new poses can invite injury Shoulders and necks that are deconditioned or tight are particularly vulnerable Seek to strengthen or open up the relevant areas of the body enough that smooth breathing joint safety relaxationin the midst of effort and inner awareness won t be compromised when you and your students finally get to the pose Alignment is another issue Most asanas merely involve variations on the basic alignment principles covered in Level 1 AYTT However some asanas involve principles that we don t explore much in Level 1 e g the finer points of shoulder alignment So realize that there s always more to know It may take careful exploration of an asana and a continuing study of functional anatomy to figure out the alignment principles that insure safety and promote a deep experience The more we understand from our own experience the physical and energetic aspects of the poses the more effectively we can teach our students Once you have become able to do the pose you ll be able to judge whether the pose really works in Ananda Yoga i e does it help bring energy up the spine to the brain If so your vibrational understanding will help draw your students into that same experience If not then it s mere exercise and while there s nothing wrong with exercise isn t it better to direct your students valuable time and effort toward asanas that offer both exercise and inward and upward Next you need to work out your teaching instructions for the asana Clear careful teaching can make all the difference between an asana experience that is powerful and one that is ho hum or even unpleasant or injurious The more advanced the asana the more clarity is essential Tape record your teaching then adopt beginner s mind and follow your own instructions Are they clear and complete How can you say it better It s a great way to improve your instructions for the new pose before springing it on your students No Affirmation No Problem Okay you ve prepared your body and worked out the alignment principles You ve done the pose and experienced that it does indeed help bring energy into and up the spine You ve even worked out crystal clear instructions But Ananda Yoga has no affirmation for the asana What to do Well you could make up your own It s harder than it may seem however to come up with one that truly resonates with the inner experience and with your students A better approach in my opinion is to borrow an affirmation from a pose that is energetically similar After all not every asana needs to have its own unique affirmation as though its effects were utterly different from those of

    Original URL path: http://www.expandinglight.org/blog/yoga/yoga-teacher-training/teaching-the-art-of-discovery-part-2/ (2016-02-01)
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