Saturday, May 28, 2011

Counting in Sanskrit - Ashtanga Primary Series

My homework before going for the Evolution Yoga Conference in Hong Kong next month is to memorize the counting in Sanskrit as I have signed up for Sharath’s Led Primary Series Class at the Evolution Yoga Conference.   

Although I have heard Azmi doing the count in Sanskrit in his Ashtanga Led classes, I still need to familiarize myself with the counting and linking it to the breath for the vinyasas  as per the example below for Surya  Namaskara A:-

1: ekam (yekum) - Inhale
2: dve (dway) - Exhale
3: trini (treeny) - Inhale
4: catvari (chatwary) - Exhale
5: panca (pancha) - Inhale
6: sat (sut) – Exhale
Hold for 5 breaths
7: sapta (supta) - Inhale
8: astau (ashtow) - Exhale
9: nava (nawa) - Inhale
Samasthiti - Exhale

I managed to find a cheat sheet which contain photos of the poses with the counting in Sanskrit and the breath to take from and will be using it during my practice. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Top 10 Requirements of A Competent Yoga Teacher

After reading “The Top 10 Myths About What the Requirements are to be a Competent Yoga Teacher These Days” from Elephant Journal  and having a good laugh over it, it got me thinking about what are my own expectation of a competent yoga teacher. 

Here is My Top 10 Requirements of a Competent Yoga Teacher :-

1.     Compassionate
2.     Not Pretentious and Self-Centered
3.     Good communication skills
4.     Good knowledge of the human anatomy
5.     Ablilty to modify techniques and provide good assists
6.     Strength and flexibility
7.     Consistent self-practice
8.     Willing to share his/her knowledge
9.     Certified Yoga Teacher (not necessarily from Yoga Alliance)
10.   Continuous education by attending workshops 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Questions to ask your Yoga Teacher

As a beginner to Yoga, you would have a lot of questions that you would like to ask your yoga teacher but sometimes you might be too shy or don’t know how to ask the question.

When I first started practicing yoga, I was very lucky that the teachers who taught me were happy and ever ready to answer my questions and from them I learned so much which really helped my practice.

So, what are questions you should ask your yoga teacher?
If you are having trouble going into the poses during the class, stay back after the class and let the teacher know your problem. This way, you do not disturb the other students during the class and the teacher is able to show you how to go into the poses and correct any alignment problems that you might be having.

When you feel pain doing a certain pose, you should inform your teacher so as to avoid further injury as you may be doing the pose wrongly. I was feeling pain in my middle back when I did the half bow pose and after telling Azmi about it, he told me to make sure that I keep my hips in alignment as I lift my legs off the floor as I could be crushing the nerves at my back when my hips are not in alignment.

If you are having tight shoulders, hamstrings or hips, check with your teacher what poses you can do at home to help open those body parts. Doing those poses will help to improve your flexibility and help you progress in your practice.

The breath plays an important role in our practice and if you are not sure whether you are breathing correctly, you can ask your teacher. We breathe through our nose and not our mouth in yoga and learning the proper way to breathe will help us to ease into the asanas. Using proper breathing techniques such as the Ujjayi breath helps us to concentrate and direct the breath and gives us energy which will enhance our practice.

Yoga is a continuous journey of learning and you will discover new things about yourself from the practice, having a teacher to guide you along will help tremendously in adapting yourself to these changes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Evolution Yoga Conference 2011 - My Schedule of Classes

I will be going to the Evolution Yoga Conference 2011 in Hong Kong from 9 to 12 June 2011 and have been busy going through the schedule to decide which classes to attend.  During the initial  registration, I had chosen mostly the 2 hour sessions and looking at it, I realized that I had actually registered for similar classes to attend on different days.      

After talking to Azmi (who is also going to the conference), he suggested that I register for the CET classes especially a yoga and anatomy class to gain knowledge and skills on the techniques to deepen my practice.

As the organizer allows class changes to be made online until 8 June 2011, I have spend more time going through the description of each of the classes and have put more thought on the classes I should go to.  My revised schedule includes half-day intensive classes and 2 hour sessions but I did not sign up for any CET as the workshops were more suitable for yoga teachers.     I did register for a half-day intensive class on yoga and anatomy and my schedule now encompasses workshops on foundation and core, twists, backbends, forward bends, inversions, arm-balances, pranayama breathing techniques and yin yoga.   

I showed my revised schedule to Azmi and he suggested that I  make a slight change which I did. I also made the decision to join Sharath’s Led Primary Series Class on the last day although I have to pay extra as it was not included in the 4-day Pass Package. I felt that it was a good opportunity for me to experience doing the Primary series with Sharath after reading the many blog posts and hearing about his teaching in Mysore.

I am really looking forward to the yoga conference and the opportunity to learn from some of the best yoga masters in the world and the gurus whose classes I have signed up for are Sadie Nardini,  Jason Crandell,  David Life, David Moreno, Simon Low, Marla Apt, Paul Dallaghan, Mark Laham , Rodney Yee and Collen Saidman.

If you would like to register for the conference, feel free to drop me an email to get the referral code for the 15% off the package price for the 1-day Pass and the 4-day Pass.