Thursday, June 30, 2011

Upcoming Events and Trainings


  • Children's Teacher Training for current R.Y.T.'s, July 2011 to March 2012
  • 200 Hr R.Y.T. Certification Starts Sept. 10th 2011 in NLR at Blue Yoga NYLA
  • Introduction to Hatha Yoga Workshop Sunday July 17th at BYNYLA 
  • Seva Yoga Retreat Oct. 29/30th at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center.
For detailed info on any of these visit

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Setting a Yoga Friendly Environment

Often it is the simple things we overlook or take for granted when we are setting up our environments to teach a yoga class or to practice at home.

As yoga teachers we often do not have the luxury of being in a beautiful yoga studio. It is great if you are so fortunate but many teachers are in shared rooms, classrooms, basements, gymnasiums, and anywhere there is a large amount of space to spread out and put a bunch of mats on the floor.Often you will not have control over some of these issues however when you do it may well add joy to your teaching and enjoyment for your students.

Here are some basic guidelines for a great yoga environment:

1. Look at the lightening. Can you soften it and still be seen well? Consider a lamp or twinkle lights. Be careful with candles.
2. Ventilation, can you get some air flowing or open a window. This is great if the weather is nice and the birds are singing.
3. The temperature, 70* to 76* is ideal for yoga.
 4. Music or no music, it is personal preference, however after teaching over 4000 hours of yoga I find the prefrence of most students is low instrumental music or soft chanting music like Deva Premal.

5. Incense: To burn or not to burn. Most people love the smell, just not in their face. If you can burn them before or after class. If you feel they need to be burned during class move them where they are not wafting through the room. Many folks find it hard to do pranayama with a big gulp of smoke.
Nag Champa are my favorite and I burn them regularly in my home space.

Check your fire codes at work and make sure it is acceptable. The college where I worked for 10 yrs had  a no incense or candle policy.

6. Props, if you can not provide clean props its probably better not to use them. Otherwise keep them washed regularly, this includes public mats, use an environmentally friendly spray with a cloth.

7. Be authentic. When you teach your voice and your touch are as important as the air and the lights. You need to be your authentic self, if you are not a sing song person refrain from using that voice. Speak in your normal voice, adding compassion to your tone, make sure you can be heard without yelling. 

* So turn the air to the right temp, turn on some soft music, dim the lights, have some nice smells going on that are not overpowering and speak in an authentic yet soothing voice and you will surely have a wonderful class.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Books and Products for Teacher Training

These books are mandatory for teacher training. I have also listed some of the products that are required, if you have your own blocks, mat and strap that is fine. It is ideal to have a 10ft strap, but a six or eight will work for most postures.
Included here are some of the favorite music and analgesic creams and gels we use also.

How to Hire a Yoga Teacher

So now you own a studio, coordinate yoga or fitness programs, or have the need to hire a sub or teacher to assist you. There is more to hiring a yoga teacher than just hiring someone who is strong in asana practice.

Here are five tips to assist you.
1. Take a class with the teacher to see if you all jive. Even if you don't do yoga (lets say you are a fitness coordinator), if you enjoy the class, chances are others will too.
2. Check references for dependability.  Want to kill a yoga program? Have teachers who don't show up or are using subs more than 20% of the time.
3. Hire Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teachers. They should have a current card with the letters RYT or ERYT 200 or 500.
4. Check for compassion and integrity. Ask around, soon you will know.
5.  Take nothing for granted. Looks don't guarantee a good yoga teacher, certifications don't guarantee a good teacher. Check the teacher out and take a class or have someone you trust take a class. There are plenty of teachers out there who are certified but are in yoga for the wrong reasons. Check, it's the only way to be sure.
Instructing Hatha Yoga

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to Start Teaching Yoga

Click the link here.
How to Start Teaching Yoga

This is my first podcast. It's a little raw but it's good info. I am working on upgrading the quality and editing. However the info is very useful for new teachers. Under five minutes.
  1. Who are you authentically?
  2. Scheduling 
  3. Ideas to find work.


I LOVE this book, LOVE it! My friend Alan gave me this book when he was my student. He later became a wonderful yoga teacher and to this day his practice inspires me. Often teachers and students are looking for something inspirational to share with their students or simply to motivate their personal practice. Here you will find what you need to use in your classes or your home practice.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recommended Practice: Gentle

Often students ask if I can recommend a dvd for home. I have always loved the A.M. Yoga d.v.d. with Rodney Yee. It is simple, complete, and works the body all over for a gentle workout. This DVD is often represented to the beginner, however I often recommend it for back pain or for people with fibromyalgia. Once the students feels more confident or days where energy is up a bit, try the P.M. dvd.