One of the many definitions possible for yoga is the union of mind and body. This can be expanded in many directions—the union of awareness and sensation; of movement and intention; of presence and practice. If we take a functional view of our yoga practice, as opposed to an aesthetic focus which is concerned with how we look, then each posture or activity has an intention; a reason for being or doing. But, how do we know if we are achieving our intention? By paying attention! To a physicist, energy is the capacity for work. Work is mathematically defined as the distance an object can travel because of a given force. That seems a very boring definition. Far more interesting is how energy works in yoga. What is it used for and how do we get it to do its thing? Well, here is a simple way to understand energy from a yogic perspective: just remember “Energy 2-3-4”.
8 Keys to Take Your Yoga Teaching Beyond Standardized Alignment Cues
Modern yoga teacher training programs offer many standardized cues for each posture learned. Standards are nice-they make it much easier to learn how to guide students into the large number of poses taught in yoga classes, but unfortunately students are not standardized. There is no average student. The alignment cues absorbed by teacher trainees are approximations: at best they can serve as guidelines but they should never be used as dogmatic requirements. If the student’s intention in taking a yoga class is to regain or maintain optimal health, then postures should serve a functional role, making the aesthetics of the pose secondary, at best. The following 8 tips may help the new yoga teacher become aware of this important distinction.
A Plethora of Yin Yoga Videos Gaia Yoga (formerly MyYogaOnline) has over 40 different Yin Yoga videos ranging in time from short 20 minute classes to over an hour. They have almost 20 Yin Yoga classes by Bernie Clark, but also videos from many other teachers such as Doug Swenson, Cameron Gilley, and Dina Amsterdam. If you have never watched a Gaia Yoga video, the first month is really reasonable ($.99) so check them out!
Yin is In! Yin Yoga has been with us since the beginning of Hatha Yoga centuries ago. But since the early 19th century, yoga has become more and more yang-like in nature. Everything requires balance: yin completes yang. Yin Yoga is the balancing practice for the more active, muscular yang yogas. There are more and more teachers offering Yin Yoga today, and more workshops and opportunities to learn how to become a Yin Yoga teacher. If diving deeper into the yin-side of life is on your bucket list, there are lots of opportunities for you.
Upcoming Trainings and Retreats with Bernie Clark
7-Day Yin Yoga Teacher Training July 24th-30th, 2017; August 21st-27th, 2017; September 25th to Oct 1st, 2017; November 6th-12th, 2017;
February 12th-18th, 2018; April 9th-15th, 2018; May 7th-13th, 2018; June 18th-24th, 2018; July 23rd-29th, 2018; August 20th-26th, 2018; September 24th to 30th, 2018; November 5th-11th, 2018.
All of these 50-hour courses will be at the Semperviva Yoga Studios, in Vancouver, Canada. The Yin Yoga Teacher Training Program offered at the Semperviva Yoga College is a unique way to deepen your yoga practice and touch tissues rarely worked in a more active yang style of yoga. For 200 hour certified teachers the credits of the course can be applied towards the 500 hour certification offered by Semperviva, and are eligible for CEUs with Yoga Alliance. (CEUs = Continuing Education Units and are required to maintain your status as a Registered Yoga Teacher).
Meditation Revealed With Bernie Clark & Nathalie Keiller February 18th-25th 2018 June 24th-July 1st 2018
This course will examine what meditation is, why we do it (its many benefits, spiritually, psychologically and physically), and how to do it, from a variety of viewpoints: From Eastern Yogic and Buddhist views to Western Psychotherapeutic understanding. The course will include personal, one-on-one training in Deep Meditation, as well as group instruction, to give the student an experiential basis for the practice of meditation. Held at the Semperviva Yoga Studios – Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Learn More
If you are having trouble finding a Yin Yoga teacher near you, or if you are traveling to somewhere new, try checking out the Directory of Yin Yoga teachers. We have hundreds of teachers registered from all over the world. If you are a teacher and are not in the directory, just send us your information and we’ll be happy to add you.
Many teachers around the world are creating Yin Yoga based workshops and retreats. Some of them are posting these activities on our Forum page. Check it out. There may be one happening near you. (If you are a teacher, feel free to add yours to the page!)
Yin Yoga videos There are a plethora of Yin Yoga videos by Bernie Clark and many other great teachers available at Gaia Yoga. Check them out! (You can also find non-Yin videos by Bernie there too, including the Dragon Dance.)