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For Yoga Teachers

Resources for yoga teachers who want to integrate yoga philosophy into their classes and workshops.

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Designing a Yoga Class Around a Philosophical Theme

A Case Study in Yoga Class Design I smelled smoke. I felt heat. I couldn’t see a thing. My senses sent urgent messages to my mind, which quickly analyzed the data and delivered its conclusion: “You’re going the wrong way! Go the other way!” I ignored my mind and continued to walk through the pitch-black room, slowly but steadily moving toward a fire I knew was hiding behind a wall that was somewhere in front […]

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How to Help Students Let Go

I was speaking with a fellow yoga teacher last week about how to integrate philosophical themes into our classes. She mentioned that sometimes she’s not so interested in hearing any philosophy, that sometimes she takes a class with the intention of just letting go of stuff that’s been weighing her down. And when she takes a class to unload her own stuff she’s not particularly interested in hearing about the teacher’s stuff. It’s a common

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7 Ways to Become a Better Yoga Teacher

I was called to teach yoga by a desire to share the benefits that I experienced during the course of developing and deepening my own practice. If you’re a yoga teacher, I’m betting that your primary motivation for teaching is the same as mine. Almost every teacher I know arrives at their Yoga Teacher Training program with a desire to serve others by sharing the gift of yoga. The science of yoga is described in

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7 Great Strategies for Reading Yoga Wisdom Texts

You’ve probably had students ask you which translation of the Yoga Sutras or the Bhagavad Gita you think they should read. It’s great when our students want to explore yoga’s philosophical foundations. But it’s disheartening if we hear later that they stopped reading because they couldn’t get past the first chapter without feeling lost. Reading translations of ancient Sanskrit texts requires some guidance, determination, and persistence, especially when the translations are accompanied by lengthy commentaries,

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5 Keys to an Effective Dharma Talk

More and more practitioners are looking to yoga as much for sparks of inspiration, knowledge, or wisdom, as they are for a workout. And more and more yoga teachers are feeling inspired to share their personal realizations as they expand their knowledge of yoga philosophy. One way you can share the wisdom of yoga is through a short ‘Dharma Talk’ at the top of your class. I come from a bhakti-yoga tradition where daily talks

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How to Teach ‘Svadhyaya’ – Guided Self-Inquiry

Svadhaya, usually translated as ‘self-study’, is contemplation on the true nature of the self that’s guided by scriptural wisdom. Rather than mere speculation or self-psychologizing, svadhyaya is a process that provides us with a map to guide us on our journey toward accurate knowledge of our true selves. Pramana is the Sanskrit word for the methods by which accurate information about the nature of reality may be obtained. In his Yoga-sutras, Patanjali prescribes three such

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