Words Matter, The Power of Language for Yoga Teachers

As a Yoga Teacher, your voice is a tool for healing and your words are medicine for the body, mind and soul. The words you use are the primary way in which your yoga students receive the teachings of yoga. Yes, you might demo yoga asanas and use hands-on assists etc but the main teaching modality which is delivered to each and every student in your yoga class is your words. The power of language as a Yoga Teacher is a key skill, for words matter.

 

Get started with these 3 key areas – for more learning come and explore with me in person at my next Voice & Language for Yoga Teacher Training on 13th Sept 2019 in  Southampton, UK.

 

How skilled and consider are you in your use of language as a Yoga Teacher?

 

Words have the power to heal and hurt. Remember that saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ – this is just not the case. Injuries caused by ‘stick and stones’ will heal quickly but the emotional hurt caused by badly chosen words can last a lifetime. We all remember a time someone in authority, a parent or teacher for instance, harshly rebuked or criticised us – often with the addition of shame and blame. The words from these interactions can remain in our psyche for a lifetime often shaping how we view ourselves and our own self-worth. Words can cause a huge amount of damage, especially when spoken by a voice of authority, power or high regard. As a Yoga Teacher, your yoga students will respect you greatly and listen to you intently so please use your words with kindness, awareness and intention for even greater is the power of language to inspire, uplift and heal.

 

Your words are medicine.

 

Updating Verbal Cues

Many of our verbal cues as Yoga Teachers have been passed down through the generations, we cue ‘engage your core to protect your back’ because that’s what we heard our teachers say, like a giant game of Chinese whispers. But the modern teaching of yoga has evolved a lot in recent years due to collaborations with sports scientists, anatomy specialists and bodyworkers and we need to update our cues to match our new knowledge of how the body works both physically and physiologically. The simplest way to do this is to ask yourself ‘Why?’. If you can’t explain the why behind a cue or statement you give when teaching you’re not really teaching. Go to your mat, your anatomy books, your teacher and work out the reasons why and ask if they hold true.  Your verbal cues will grow and evolve as your knowledge does.

 

Pain & Fear Based Language – The Nocebo Effect

Much of our inherited language has a base of fear and pain avoidance which can be restrictive when it comes to healing. Have you heard of the NOCEBO EFFECT? This is the evil twin of the PLACEBO EFFECT, where negative statements or beliefs can have negative effects on your health and healing.

 

A classic example of this is when a student experiences back pain and is told that they have a weak back and need to go to yoga to strengthen their core to protect their back. Have you noticed the vast number of people that believe they have a ‘weak back’? They move awkwardly, avoid certain types of movement and are nervous about everyday actions like picking up a suitcase because they are scared for their weak back. This belief is what’s preventing them from moving forward in their healing to a place of pain-free and carefree movement. The human body is not weak; it is strong, resilient and capable of healing and regeneration. A better approach would be to empower the student by sharing that their back and core abdominal muscles could benefit from further strengthening for optimum posture and function and that specific yoga poses could help achieve this.

 

As general guidance try to avoid whilst teaching your yoga classes the language of:

Pain / Tension / Tightness instead try Sensation / Awareness / Attention

Negative / No / Don’t instead try Please / Try To / Focus On

Fear / Protect / Never instead try to explain the why, educate and empower

 

A few phrases to consider:

 

Nocebo/Negative/Fear/Pain Language Placebo / Postive Language
If you feel pain in your knee

 

If you feel sensation in your knee

 

Notice any tension in your shoulders

 

Bring your awareness to your shoulders

 

Don’t lock your knee

 

Please keep a micro bend in your knee

 

Engage your core to protect your back

 

Draw your navel in and up to engage your abdominals

 

Never let your knee go forward of your ankle

 

To feel more balanced stack your knee over your ankle

 

If you have neck pain don’t look up

 

How does it feel in your neck when you look up, would it feel nicer if you looked straight ahead?

 

Take care (insert student name) with your ‘bad’ knee

 

How does this feel in your ‘left’ knee?

 

If you feel pain in your knee but padding under it (e.g. low lunge) For a little more luxury place a towel under your back knee in this pose

 

 

Hierarchical & Challenging Language

A key teaching of yoga is that it is non-competitive. The lessons contained within the Yamas and Niyamas remind us to practice in a way which is truthful, non-harming, and helps to conserve our energy.  Beginner students, however, do not know this; they are likely to enter your class with sports logic such as pain no gain, go hard or go home, no pain no champagne etc! We live in a world where society judges self-worth through accomplishment. It is our job to create a sanctuary where students can accept themselves just as they are and not have to strive to do more and be more. Create this space through the language of permission and self-inquiry avoiding hierarchical and challenging statements and phrases.

 

 

Hierarchical or Challenge Based Language Language of Permission & Self Inquiry
Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 / Beginner / Advanced Option

 

Alternatively, explore, experience, experiment, maybe, or

 

To deepen the pose place your elbows on the floor

 

How does it feel if you lower your elbows here which variation do you prefer today?

 

To challenge yourself lift your back knee up and rise into a high lunge

 

For a grounded effect keep your back knee on the ground, for an energised effect try rising up into a high lunge

 

Never let your knee go forward of your ankle

 

To feel more balanced stack your knee over your ankle

 

If down dog feels too much / is too strong go into childs pose. Give yourself permission to rest today.

 

There is so much more I would love to explore about the use of language with you today but this is about lifelong learning and slowly evolving your verbal cues so get started with these key areas to elevate your students’ experience of your yoga classes. If you would like to learn more I am offering a 3-hour CPD Yoga Training for Teachers on the use of voice and language on 13th September 2019 in  Southampton, Hampshire.


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Yoga Teachers . . . . How Do You Get Inspired?


It’s a new week, a new yoga class to plan, maybe a yoga workshop or course you are designing.

You’re sitting on your mat, in front of you awaits  . . . THE BLANK PAGE

and in a few hours time await . . . YOUR STUDENTS

What’s the plan – what are you teaching this week?

I’ve been teaching for over 9 years now and yes I still ALWAYS plan my yoga classes.  I want to share inspiring, heartfelt themes with well-constructed yoga sequences that are poetry for the body, mind and soul – NO PRESSURE HEY?

So how do you get inspired? How do you come up with yoga class themes, design beautiful yoga flows that are adaptable and accessible to all your students?  There are MANY ways, but here are a few ideas you can draw on when you’re feeling less than inspired

1. MUSIC: For me, music is the easiest way to tap into my creativity. I roll out my mat and put on some new music. I find myself a still posture (seated, standing, or reclining) close my eyes, connect to my breath and open my whole body to ‘HEARING’ the music. I allow the music to lead my movement; I follow the sounds wherever they take me. It’s not dancing, it’s different to a kitchen boogie, I stay on my yoga mat and explore yoga related movements. I keep a piece of paper nearby and something always emerges. Maybe just a little repeating arm movement, a new transition or sometimes a whole sequence. I love SPOTIFY for this.

Top Tip: If you have a premium Spotify account every Monday Spotify creates you your own bespoke playlist based on the things you like and listen to. It’s called Discover Weekly!

 

2. A PROP: As a Vinyasa Yoga Teacher I don’t always use props but when I do I like to get some bang for my buck! If I want to use a specific prop for a certain pose, say a strap for a reclining hamstring stretch, I then think how else I could incorporate this prop in the rest of my class to either make poses more accessible or teach an alignment cue or muscular activation.

 

Top Tip: Explore the use of props in your own yoga practise, even in poses where you wouldn’t usually ‘need’ a prop! It’s so tempting to Google ‘yoga poses with straps’ but try and make your own practice your first point of reference rather than Google.

 

3. Change The Mat Layout: This one messes with my head! And my students but it’s a great way to shift things up. If you usually teach with your students’ mats in the ‘portrait’ orientation for say the Sun Salutations from the top of the mat. Try for 1 week turning the mats to ‘landscape’ and designing a whole flow facing the long edge. Or put the mats into a circle and design flows that travel around the mat in a Mandala.

Top Tip: Check out my YOUTUBE playlist for some Mandala Yoga Sequences or the Chandra  Namaskar sequence is perfect for a landscape mat layout.

 

4. Nature, The Universe & Her Cycles: The world around us is full of inspiration and affects how we feel on so many levels. Lean into this first in your personal practice, and share it with your students when you feel you can speak from personal experience. A few suggestions:

~ The Lunar Cycle: Grounding Full Moon classes with Chandra Namaskar or energising and uplifting classes on the New Moon. You can find my Full Moon Guided Meditation here.

~ Summer Solstice / Winter Solstice: Acknowledge these moments of peak light and maximum darkness with classes that align with the energy. A fiery heart opening flow with lots of Sun Salutations in midsummer or a slow comforting restorative flow for mid-winter.

~ Change of Seasons into Spring / Autumn: The season shifts are hard on the immune system as we see an increase in coughs and cold. Build a serious of classes around this time that boost your student’s immune system with twists and inversions.

~ TCM & Meridian Line: Learn a little about Traditional Chinese Medicine & the organs that come into focus during the different seasons. Design yoga flows that stimulate the meridian line of each season’s organs.

Top Tip: Check out the book ‘Seasonal Yoga’ by Sue Woodd & Julie Hanson

 

5. Words / Images: Intention cards, oracle cards, poems, postcards, quotes, a newspaper article can all become great muses. Find your seat on your mat, connect to your breath and bring to mind or look at your chosen muse. Breath into your heart space and ask ‘how does this speak to me?’, ‘how does it make me feel’, ‘what is the message I’m drawn to share from this?’. Then free write, journal, scribble down words, doodle, stickyogis, just keep your pen moving. Then after a few moments, sit back, take a breath and see what recurring thought is on the page. How does this thought make you feel? What yoga poses, meditations, pranayamas help you access or work through that feeling? How you can design a whole class based around this feeling or sentiment?

Top Tip: I’m currently loving the Intention Cards from Iris Hill

 

5. YOU: Be your own muse! As they say, ‘teach what you need to learn’. Yesterday I sat on my mat, feeling tired and uninspired. I asked myself, ‘If I was to attend a yoga class today what would I be hoping for? What do I need from my Yoga today’. The answer was, I’m tired but for no reason, I wish to be gently coaxed from my legarthy and my shoulders/neck feel tight – they could do with some TLC. I proceeded to give myself what I needed in my personal yoga practise and then wrote it down as the class for this week. I shared with my students where the inspiration had come from and they all, I’m mean seriously 100% of them, felt the same. Yes, we are all unique but you know what invariably we tend to be feeling or going through relatable life stuff!

Top Tip: Trust yourself, ask what do I need today? How can I serve my students today? Listen to the answer and plan accordingly!

LEARN MORE: If you’d like to get really inspired, I’m teaching an 8 Hour CPD Day on the Art & Science of Sequencing on Sunday 21st July 2019 at Chilworth Village Hall, Southampton. Email for more information laura@lauragreenyoga.co.uk.


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My Favourite Yoga Leggings

Yoga Teacher Uniform = Leggings! Some people even consider this to be a top benefit for a full-time Yoga Teacher, a life lived barefoot in leggings! It was novel for the first year, not having to put on a suit & high heels but that didn’t last long! Role on 9 years and I have so many pairs of yoga leggings but I can’t get excited about wearing them!

Then Love Leggings got in touch and offered me a free pair of leggings to try out! Clearly, I said yes please and thank you very much. I’ve been sent LOTS of free yoga clothes in the past and usually don’t like the material, or the cut or the ethics/values of the company so I wasn’t expecting much. But I was wrong! I received my first pair of free leggings and then within a week had been back on the website to purchase 3 more pairs! And this is why I love, Love Leggings  . . .

  • I can afford them! The leggings start at £12 for their everyday range, and go up to £28 for their high functioning sports leggings. Compare that to the price tag of other yoga brands like Lululemon and the price point of £78 and that’s a huge difference and they are equally as good! Plus they have free delivery.
  • They fit a vertically challenged individual! I’m about 5ft2 and most leggings make me look like Nora Battey. Love Leggings come in a 7/8s length which is meant to sit just above the ankle for yogis of normal height, but for a shortie a 7/8s is the perfect full length fit.
  • You can’t see my knickers through them! You wouldn’t expect this to be an issue, but a lot of yoga leggings (often including Lululemon) are see-through when you bend over in yoga poses like Downward Facing Dog, you can’t begin to imagine what I’ve seen when yoga students bend over! The material in the Sports Leggings range is fine enough to feel super comfortable and thick enough to preserve my knicker privacy – thank you very much Love Leggings!
  • Magic Material for a cat owner – all my other leggings seem to be a magnet for cat fur – I don’t know what Love Leggings have done but I can cuddle my furry cat in my black leggings without the risk of rocking up at class looking like a crazy cat lady!

So in summary, if you’re a short, cat loving, price conscious, modest yogi you’re going to LOVE, Love Leggings!  These are the Leggings I ordered:

Focus Midnight Black 7/8 Sports Leggings


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Yoga Teachers: It’s Time to Start your Love Affair With Marketing

How to Start Your Love Affair With Marketing:

Yoga Teacher Training Marketing Southampton

I get it, you love Yoga, you love Teaching Yoga but Marketing your Yoga Offerings – that you don’t love – in fact you probably loath it! You get that it’s a necessary evil but it fills you with dread, boredom, fear or despair!

You didn’t go into teaching yoga to be a marketing person and the usual marketing garb you see in other industries turns your stomach. I get it!

I FELT the same until I radically shifted how I see marketing, and got clear on MY PURPOSE, not my marketing purpose, but MY LIFE PURPOSE, what I am here to do, say, share, communicate in this world. And my life purpose is so simple, I’m totally clear that I’m here to spread the magic of yoga as far and wide and to as many people as possible. Why? Because I BELIEVE the POWER of YOGA can fundamentally improve each and every individual’s quality of LIFE. And you know what that means – I NEED TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE WORLD & THIS MY FRIENDS IS MARKETING.

Now you’re a Yoga Teacher, I don’t need to tell you, but I am going to remind you THAT YOU MANIFEST YOUR OWN REALITY!! And this applies to marketing too. You can hate on social media and email marketing and then complain that it doesn’t work for you. You can’t bitch about Facebook and its algorithms all the while posting and hoping to see results. You can’t post on Instagram and then immediately exit the app complaining that social media is the scourge of the millennials.  Instead it’s time to upgrade your MARKETING MINDSET and fall in love with the LIMITLESS POTENTIAL MARKETING OFFERS FOR YOU TO MANIFEST YOUR WILDEST DREAMS.

I love to travel and always dreamed of having a job where I’d get paid to travel and GUESS WHAT, mindful marketing made this a reality teaching Yoga Retreats worldwide.

AFFIRMATION: Mindful Marketing Manifests Magic

So let’s dive in to creating your new MARKETING MINDSET which is formed of 3 key components:

  • POSSIBILTY – you believe that what you want to achieve is possible
  • STRATERGY – you are responsible for your success and create a clear plan for what you want to achieve
  • CONSISTENCY – show up, do the work with consistency over time

Time for some tough questions:

  • What are the negative thoughts you have about yourself, your worth, your offerings, your business that are holding you back from believing in possibility?

You NEED TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE – no more shit, inauthentic, contrived, clichéd marketing messages please!  You have to be, breath, live the message you are presenting.

Mantra: BE BEFORE YOU DO – DO BEFORE YOU HAVE

  • The have – you want to see results from your marketing
  • The Be – who do you need to be to get results?
  • The Do – what do you need to results?

Trust in abundance – again I know this sounds like a wanky cliché but seriously NO MORE TALK about yoga being an oversaturated market. Until every human being in your town, city, fuck the entire world has the opportunity to do yoga I don’t want to hear your whining! You can’t manifest your awesome Yoga Teacher career from a place of lack, fear and judgement.

Develop your abundance mindset by:

  • Start and End each day with GRATITUDE
  • Celebrate others success, collaborate and support your peers
  • Watch WHAT you say – the universe is listening
  • Appreciate what you have, your little wins, your growth
  • Use affirmations

I hope you found this useful and inspiring!

If you would like any more information, please check out Laura’s mentor-ship program here or drop an email to laura@lauragreenyoga.co.uk

L x


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Music For Teaching Yoga

The Art of  Using Music in a Yoga Class

Support for Yoga Teachers Looking to Add A Little Something Extra To Your Class

Yoga Teacher Southampton Music

Melodies, chants and song have been a part of the music in yoga for as long as yoga has existed. The ancient texts such as the Vedas & the Upanishads are full of melodious chants especially the Samaveda, which means the song of knowledge. This in addition to the vast culture of classical Indian music as seen music, song and chanting weaved throughout the practise of yoga.

The vibration of sound whether made by you, a musical instrument or recorded leaves a vibrational imprint on the surface of your body and every cell in the surface tissues receives the sound.

“Yogas chitta vritti nirodha”

 

If we take it back to The Yoga Sutras and the 8 Limbs of Yoga, the practise of yoga is a journey to stilling the thought waves of the mind so that the practitioner may achieve enlightenment. You need to ask yourself, does playing music in your yoga practise support this intention or not? Be careful to not mistake stillness and silence as the same.

For many, the skilful use of music can in fact help to calm and soothe the mind however for others, or as a result of the selection for music, it may in fact have the opposite effect of stimulating the mind as music can be thought provoking, bringing memories to the surface or evoking an emotional response.

It is also worthwhile remembering the 5th limb of yoga, Pratyahara – to withdraw the senses. Playing music is an external stimulus which draws on the sense of hearing. However, if by appropriately working with sound we can withdraw our senses to the immediate environment around us and to the present moment we are progressing on the path towards total Pratyahara.

For me personally music is a big part of my yoga, it brings me into the ritual of my practise, it connects me with my creative flow, my soul’s dance and focuses my mind of the sacred devotional journey of yoga. Music frees me from the mundane and elevates my experience.

Nada Yoga

An ancient India metaphysical system, it is the yoga of sound and healing. It holds true that universe and all that exists in it, is the manifestation of sound vibrations, called nāda. This concept states that it is sound energy in motion which form the building blocks of the universe. In this model, by working with the vibrations of sound we can rebalance our energy for greater harmony with the world around us. Nada sound healing can be used to support healing in the energy body and physical body.

Bhkati Yoga

This is a spiritual path of love and devotion, acknowledging the divine in everything. It is practising love and gratitude for lovesake, a sweet connection to the sacred magic of this universe and our precious human lives. Music, mantra and chanting are key tools in this yogic path. Chanting and kirtan (devotional song) bring mantras alive with melody and rhythm to elevate their vibrational quality. It is the meaning of the mantra, the resonances of the vibrations and the intention of devotion that make Bhakti Yoga such a powerful and transformative experience.

To Raise Vibration

In offering yoga, we bring positivity into our communities. Simply put we want people to feel better, more alive, more present, more connected. Yoga creates an upward spiral to joy, positivity and happiness. Music is a powerful tool to raise vibrations so we can oscillate at a higher more positive frequency. Through music we can tap into our feeling centres to explore and release negative emotions we’ve been suppressing and make more space to open our heart and welcome in joy.  Be warned, though sequencing yoga asanas which can stir strong emotional reactions, such as backbends, with highly emotive music can have a huge effect on your students. If you choose this path be skilful, respectful and make sure to do no harm.

Not a Crutch

Often times newer yoga teachers rely on music in class to cover awkward silences and support them in creating an atmosphere. It becomes a crutch, and then you forget your iPod one class and panic ensues. Music is there to enhance your classes and should be as skilfully curated as your yoga lesson plans and sequences so that it is deepening, guiding or motivating your class.

Creating a Playlist

Planning the perfect yoga playlist is art and a science. You can’t just throw random songs together and expect the class to flow well.  So how do you plan a yoga playlist to elevate your class?

  • Sign up to spotify premium to make your life a lot easier! The £9 / month is worth every penny and I swear Spotify knows me better than anyone else in my life!
    • Unlimited music – never buy a record again
    • No adverts
    • Stream music, create playlists, save your favourite songs, find inspiration, share with students
    • Download your playlists so that you can play on your phone in class without internet access
  • How to use Spotify as a Yoga Teacher
    • Create playlists to categorise the music you like, have a playlist for each category or pace of a class
      • Centre & Connecting, Warm Up, Sun Salutation, Standing Flows, Seated/Supinne, Savasana
      • Still, Slow, Medium, Maximum
    • Start listening to music and if you like a track click on + sign to add it to your list of songs and the © to tell Spotify you like it! Also add to any of your above playlists if you really like it! This information and interaction is really important as the more Spotify gets to know what you like the better the algorithms will work and then Spotify will start recommending music for you.
      • Discover Weekly – a personalised Spotify playlist generated for you every Monday with new music
      • Release Radar – a personalised Spotifty playlist generated for you every Friday with new releases from Artists you like
    • Listen to other people’s playlists, and Browse. Spotify has it’s own playlist which you can listen to for inspiration, I love:
    • Now you’re building up a library of music you like start to create playlist to share publicly in your yoga classes. Start by creating a few generic playlists that you can use any time that you trust with work for you such as:
      • “Slow & Steady – a 60 Min Yoga Playlist”
      • “Powerful & Pumped – a 60 Min Yoga Playlist”
      • “Chilled & Mellow – a 60 Min Yoga Playlist”
    • Progress to creating yoga class playlist specifically for individual classes matching the theme, asanas and tempo progression of that lesson plan

Other Considerations

  • Licensing, be aware of licensing laws!
  • Personal Taste, you can’t please everyone, if it works for you go with it!
  • Look for inspiration everywhere
  • Choose songs with lyrics work with your theme
  • Careful with songs with lyrics, can be really distracting
  • Does your voice blend into the tone of vocals if so talk between the vocals
  • Cover songs and acoustic variations of popular music work well

I hope you find this useful and come to love the addition of music to your classes as much as I do.

For further inspiration, check out my workshops pages and join me on a CPD Workshop.

Love,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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How to Theme a Yoga Class

The Art of Theming a Yoga Class | Support for Yoga Teachers Looking to Add A Little Magic

So first off, let me be clear you do not need to theme your yoga classes. Teaching Yoga is a tough (but awesome) gig and there is enough pressure put on Yoga Teachers with the expectations of things we should and shouldn’t do, and don’t get me started on social media. But if you’d like to mix things up a bit, bring a more immersive yoga experience to your students and make lesson planning a whole world easier then let’s look at How To Theme A Yoga Class.

So here’s why Theming a Yoga Class works:

INSPIRES YOU & YOUR STUDENTS

  • As a yoga teacher, theming your yoga classes helps inspire your creativity and directs the selection of asana, meditation, pranayama, music, quotes, language and imagery.
  • It enables you to bring your authentic voice and your unique experience as a yoga teacher to your classes.
  • Only you can do you! When you theme your yoga classes it creates a unique experience and helps you to stand out as a teacher.
  • For your yoga students, a class theme is a great way to layer a deeper experience, learn about yoga philosophy and explore how the practice of yoga can step off the mat and into life.

WHAT TYPES OF YOGA CLASS THEMES ARE THERE?
Really anything can be a yoga class theme if it is honest, heartfelt and authentic but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Yoga Philosophy – delve into the yoga texts, find and explore the lessons contained within that most speak to you, and communicate these through your experience and your perspective.
  • Yoga Mythology – everyone loves a good story and the mythology behind the yoga asanas will give you endless inspiration.
  • Body Anatomy – the sacred sacrum, psoas the muscle of the soul, aligning with your core!
  • Yoga Anatomy – the anatomy of the subtle body such The Chakras, The Nadis, The Koshas, The Movement of Prana (WARNING – you need to really know your stuff and be working with it in your practice before bringing it to class!)
  • Life values, lessons & moral – your inspiration doesn’t have to come just from yoga whatever inspires you – if it has depth go with it!
  • The Natural World: the lunar cycles, the changes in the seasons.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD YOGA CLASS THEME?

  • Personal Experience – you can’t teach what you don’t know!
  • Simple & easy to understand
  • Universal & accessible to your students
  • Connects to both yoga and life off the mat

WHAT MAKES A BAD YOGA CLASS THEME?

  • Cliches – it’s better not to have a theme than a clichéd theme! “Let go what no longer serves you” – please no more!
  • Inauthentic – you need to speak your truth, your students will know when you’re simply repeating another teacher’s truth.
  • Too Messy – if you’re still working through a life lesson this is not the time to make it a class theme. You need to have come through the other side, to have learnt the lesson before bringing it into your teaching, even then be careful of Too Much Information!
  • No Depth – you need to work through your themes and make sure they have enough depth.

GOLDEN RULES FOR HOW TO THEME A YOGA CLASS

  • 5 Mins Tops – when your students arrive at class normally they’re ready to get going, get moving and get their yoga on! So set yourself a maximum of 5 mins until you start physically moving. This 5 minutes is time to Introduce Your Theme, Centre and Connect with Breath Awareness and Pranayama. You can further develop your theme during the class.
  • Relate the theme to the whole class – Introduce at the beginning, expand in 2-3 points during the class and recap during or after Savasana, then give a final takeaway thought or quote.
  • Find different ways for expressing the same concept so that it is accessible to all your students.

NOW IT’S TIME TO FIND YOUR YOGA CLASS THEMES

  • What lessons have you learnt through yoga?
  • What are important human morals and life values to you?
  • What inspires you?
  • These give you ideas of your potential class themes.

YOGA CLASS THEME PLANNER

Right here we go! Open and print off the Free Yoga Class Theme Planner to work through your theme.

Below are two examples:

  • Description of how to use each box

Worked through example for the myth of Eagle Pose:

If you’d like to explore in greater detail the Art & Science of Sequencing, then join me for an 8 Hour CPD day on Sunday 21st July 2019 at Chilworth Villiage Hall near Southampton. Find the details here.

Laura x


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Iceland Summer Road Trip Itinerary

 

CLICK HERE FOR PDF ITINERARY.

In August 2018 my Husband, Simon and I did a 2-week summer road trip adventure around Iceland and it was EPIC!! Visiting Iceland certainly needs to be on your bucket list. I put hours and hours of research and planning into our Iceland Summer Roadtrip which really paid off. We got to see so much of this amazing country, experience lots of the Icelandic Culture and get really active with snorkelling, ice climbing, kayaking, horseriding and a lot of hiking! We drove over 3500km covering all the Iceland’s ring road but also getting into the much less visited western fjords. If you’re thinking a planning a trip check out my Iceland Summer Road Trip Itinerary that I put together for inspiration and my top tips. Any questions get in touch!

 

   

 


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The Happiness Challenge

This is your invitation to begin your own Happiness Challenge.  I invite you to honour yourself, and those around you, by embarking on this 4 week journey of self discovery to the path of inner happiness and a mindful state of bliss!

Make time for yourself, to discover, or re-discover, the slightly dusty corners of self, uncovering what lays dormant and letting your own sun shine in. No matter where you are, from Southampton to Timbuktu, you will be supported, guided and loved through 4 weeks of meditations, yoga, moon rituals and interesting information on health and well-being.

Check out below for more information or click here for a pdf version

 

Happiness Southampton Yoga

 

I’d love for you to join me on this challenge!

Drop me an email to book.

Laura x 


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Chandra Namaskar – The Moon Salute

Chandra Namaskar Moon Salutes Yoga Southampton

 

The Chandra Namaskar yoga sequence is one of my personal favorites and I know many of my students in Southampton would agree. It creates a wonderful tranquility. So here’s a little more information if you love it too!

Meaning

Chandra Namaskar is a simple sequence which honours and acknowledges the energy of the moon. The name “Chandra Namaskar” is derived from the Sanskrit, chandra, meaning “moon,” and “namaskar,” meaning “salutation.” Although less well known than the Surya Namaskar (the Sun Salutations), they complement it perfectly, as they embrace the opposite, interconnected cooling energy.

Balancing

Chandra Namaskar cultivates a yin energy (as in the Daoist Principle of Yin & Yang) whereas Surya Namaskar is more yang. The yin energy and the energy of the Chandra Namaskar sequence is cooling, calming and meditative. This sequence is best practiced in the evening time once the moon has risen and you can work with the lunar energies. It is often practise during the time of the full moon when the lunar energy is as its peak but can also be practise at any time during the lunar cycle. Another approach is to include both Surya Namaskar and Chandra Namaskar in the same yoga practise to promote a balanced state where you feel energised yet calm

The sequence of asanas for Chandra Namaskar has many variations, but will often involve moving to the right and left, and facing the long edge of the mat. The side stretches and circular movements of the sequence can be considered to represent the phases of the moon as it waxes and wanes.

Gratitude

This is the perfect practice for the practice of gratitude as can be done slowly and with consideration. Practice this under the moonlight with minimal distractions for the full effects the Chandra Namaskar flow and the energies of the moon has to offer.

Benefits

Chandra Namaskar can also be beneficial for:

  • Strengthening all major muscle groups
  • Calming the mind
  • Grounding and focusing the body and mind

I’ve added this sequence as a PDF on my Online Studio under Printable Sequences on the website, head over there to download your own copy.

Chandra Namaskar Moon Salute Southampton Yoga

Keep an eye out on my Workshops page as this is a workshop I love to offer during the year and its always being updated with new workshops.

See you on the mat.

Laura x


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Survival Guide for Beginners Yoga

Your Survival Guide for Beginners YogaBeginners Yoga - What You Need to Know

Google image search for the word ‘yoga’ and the results are terrifyingly intimidating!  Skinny minnie bendy Wendy’s in very little clothing on an exotic beach doing their best pretzel impressions. Trust me if this is what real-life yoga is like so can count me out!! But fortunately, it’s not! Yoga truly is for everyone, all shapes, all ages, all fitness levels, all degrees of flexibility, all genders and all personality types. My Beginners Yoga Courses in Southampton are suitable for all and we love to see a diverse mix of people taking to the yoga mat.

So here’s my Survival Guide for Beginners Yoga

1) You don’t need to be flexible to do yoga. In fact, yoga has nothing to do with touching your toes, but improved flexibility is certainly a by-product of doing yoga. Telling me you’re too stiff to do yoga, is the same as saying you’re too dirty to have a shower. I know the media is full of bendy, skinny people in fancy yoga poses but this isn’t what it looks like in ‘real life’! Beginners Yoga poses are really attainable for all.

2) Nobody cares if you giggle or fart and you can’t make a fool of yourself either. Everyone else is too focused on what they’re doing to even notice what’s happening with you. I promise!

3) Don’t wear Tesco leggings (or other really cheap makes) they’re see-through when you bend over – trust me I’ve seen A LOT! Get someone at home to check for you before attending your first Beginners Yoga class.

4) Take your shoes and socks off, yoga is practised barefoot on a non-slip mat. Your yoga teacher will have a few spare mats, but if you enjoy it then buy your own mat – much more hygienic!

5) If you arrive early to your first Beginners Yoga Class, sit down on your yoga mat, relax and smile at the person next to you. Yoga classes have a really friendly community atmosphere and everyone remembers how daunting being new can be.

6) Wear a couple of layers,  like top/t-shirt and a jumper. It’s likely you’ll get pretty hot halfway through and then cold during the relaxation. Ladies remember a sports bra or things may just pop out when you bend forward.

7) You’ll do a yoga pose called Downward Facing Dog a lot, it’s hard when you start as it uses upper body strength and hamstring flexibility but after awhile it’ll get easier. Know it’s OK to put your knees down and use all-fours anytime. If your teacher says ‘Downward Facing Dog is a resting pose’ try and ignore the urge to yell out and curse at them, they’re probably just forgotten how freaking hard this pose is when you’re a Yoga Beginner.

8) It’s OK to rest – yoga is not a boot camp and it’s not about forcing your body to do anything.  it’s about listening to and respecting your body. So if you get tired and want to take a little breather, then do it! It’s all about you.

9) It’s OK to be confused – when you attend your beginners yoga class everything is new, so understandably you might feel confused. See this as an exciting reminder that you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and something good is coming your way. By your 3rd class, you usually feel like you’re getting the hang of it. Although I’ve been practising for 16 years now and I still get confused and often feeling like a yoga beginner!

10) Your life will change! It’s crazy magic, just 1 hour/week of yoga, bending, stretching, strengthening and breathing deeply and everything changes. Your ability to handle stress, the ease in your relationships, the confidence and calmness you feel in yourself, the relationship you have will your body. Quite simply put yoga makes everything better!

Ready to give it a try? Check out my class schedule here for different venues and times throughout the week and register for your first free class.

See you on the mat!

Lx


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