7 Years Experience
Delray Beach, FL
I'm a certified yoga instructor specializing in Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Children's Yoga. My style of teaching emphasizes a safe, supportive environment in which students can explore, be challenged, and find their own inner teacher. I want students to emerge from the classes feeling relaxed, open and alive. Ask me anything about yoga. Anything!
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It isn't uncommon that someone would "relieve wind" in class. We are doing a lot of compression and stretching which really losens things up. I've never seen anyone react to someone relieving wind. It would certainly be rude to react to that as a yogi in a meditative space.
That's a great question. Often times, the studio will offer a "suggested donation", which is always helpful to work off of. I personally base my donation on my current financial situation and overall experience. Remember that we are our own best teachers, and as meditative yogi's our practice shouldn't be predicated on the teacher.
Absolutely! I was originally trained in Vinyasa Yoga to teach a 60-minute class. It is an excellent mix of focus on the breath, cardiovascular exercise that really gets you to sweat and stretch at the same time. Many studios offer 60-minute classes. It depends on what you are going for. Whether it is restorative yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Hatha yoga. etc, it is absolutely possible to get exactly what you're looking for.
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Absolutely! It makes it easier. However, teaching a lot can be very tiring. Sometimes the teacher will actually practice with the students if there aren't to many beginners. Many people have their own practice that they'll do in the privacy of their home.
This is a great question. I definitely see a larger percentage of females. This is something that I have often pondered and what I've come up with are a few things. First of all, it's unfortunate that the idea of doing yoga has somehow become perceived as "easy, sissy, over emotional, over spiritual, un-masculine." Most men (when they do eventually try it) find it to be quite the opposite. Maybe they choose not to share it with their guy friends, because they don't want to share their little secret of a big room filled with women wearing comfortable clothing and stretching in interesting positions. In India however, men are more privileged while the women are expected to work. It is far more common for men to be the primary practitioners of yoga. The yoga body is often lean and slender. American society paints a picture of men being large and more "masculine".
The requirements for becoming a yoga instructor are not nationally regulated, but rather regulated statewide. Most yoga studios are affiliated with an organization that recognizes them as legitimate. One of the largest organizations in the United States is Yoga Alliance. The first step, is to find out what kind of yoga resonates with you and why. Most yoga studios offer a teacher training program that is affiliated with something like Yoga Alliance, and will issue you a certificate of completion. Each studio has a mantra and particular philosophy which originated with a teacher or guru, that the subsequent students pass down. Generally, the first level that an aspiring teacher would need to achieve would be a 200-hour program.
First of all, that is something that I only came across with "new/young" instructors. In fact, In my early and naive teaching days, I taught that way. I am very flexible, and the majority of my students in NYC were in their early 20's and had yet to experience injuries and aging. After traveling the world and teaching yoga to all walks of life (and continuing to learn and grow), that changed. My thoughts are this; A students practice should not be predicated on the teacher. You are your own best teacher. An instructor can't force a student to do anything. Listen to your body. Challenge yourself, but don't torture yourself. Ask yourself why you make the choices you do, acknowledge them, and then let them go.
In truth, Yes. My teacher training was actually not too expensive. It was a cost of about $2500, but my commitment to the program made it very difficult to work. So the financial sacrifice actually came from not being able to have steady income while doing the training. I wouldn't trade that though. With patience, the experience was extremely rewarding. Over time I was able to become a full time Yoga instructor, manager of studio with transition into ownership. I would suggest doing some research on teacher training pricing. There are many out there that charge an arm and a leg, and students leave the training still not knowing how to teach a class.
Very much like organized religion or the arts, as it becomes more popular and corporate, often the lines get blurred. Inevitably drama occurs and/or the ego gets involved. Sometimes the intention of the Yoga can get lost and misconceptions arise. I want it to stay pure.
I hear what you're saying and have totally been there. Sometimes the body does need a break, and sometimes we lose motivation. Trying a new studio or new teacher may help. Practicing at home is also always an option. Having your own personal practice is ultimately what we want to work toward as practitioners and as teachers. Remember, you are are your own best teacher. Ask yourself the question, "Why am I not motivated to do yoga right now?" Listen to your body, evaluate your choices. Challenge yourself, but don't torture yourself.
Wow. Great question. I have noticed that too. This will be a short answer, but I really believe that yoga changes people's live so much that they want to teach. That's what the softie in me wants to believe. I suppose it could also be because it's trendy.
Yes, definitely. I have developed beautiful relationships with my students, my teachers and my fellow teachers. It is understood that we are all on different journeys, and the practice of yoga is all about that journey. It's easy to find supportive friends in that environment, because we all want to support each other.
I have not done that yet. It is a very good question, and every Yogi that I have known to do it said that it changed their life dramatically.
The studio that I originally worked at, prohibited dating the students. I got hit on quite a bit, but never had the urge to date on of the students. I did date a couple of fellow teachers. There is a lot of that in the yoga world, believe it or not. I personally feel it is inappropriate to date the students.
Absolutely! It takes time for some, so be patient. I recommend starting like this; Stand with your feet separated hips width distance. If you need to measure, place two fists in between your feet, and walk your feet in to touch your fists. Make sure that all ten toes are facing forward. Then brings your arms up over your head, should width distance. This is called Mountain Pose. Make sure your arms are engaged, shoulders relaxed, spine straight. To proceed into the back bend, drop your head back. Completely relax your neck and head. Squeeze your buttocks and push your hips forward. Don't hold your breath! And started to bend back. Best to begin the back bend while exhaling, and continuing to breath. It is very normal to feel a bit dizzy, or nauseous when you first start your back bend practice. Remember, your spine is long so try not to focus only on bending in your lower back, but your upper back as well. Lift your heart up towards the ceiling, and remember there can be no tension in the neck and head! Hope that helps.
That you have to be flexible in order to do it! I have invited countless people to come to yoga with me, and often the response is, "I'm just not that flexible" or "I can't even touch my toes." Yoga is a practice that takes *practice*. We all have to start somewhere. The physical benefits of the yoga are things like strength, stamina, flexibility, and for many people, weight loss.
That's funny. I'm seriously laughing because I know what you mean and that can be annoying. I personally do listen to what they say, but it doesn't mean that I agree with all of it. Some of it resonates with me and some of it doesn't. Ultimately our practice should not be predicated on the teacher and what they are saying. We are going inside ourselves. My teacher once told me that the teacher that you dislike the most is the one whose class you SHOULD be attending. Yoga is for YOU. It is personal. Whatever the teacher is saying can be easily let go. It is a great challenge in the meditation itself and focusing on your breath, body and movement.
Rather than focusing on "clearing your mind" and what "you should be able to do", work on the acknowledgement of your thoughts. Being fully present in them, and work towards letting them pass. It is the intention. Some days the mind will be racing, and some it won't. It's just YOGA!
It actually started because of an injury I got from running. My knee was hurt, and it became very difficult to walk or do cardiovascular activity. A friend of mine recommended a studio in Manhattan that was donation-based. I liked the concept and had heard that yoga could really help the process of healing my knee. This specific studio really resonated with me particularly because of their philosophy. It was important to me at that time in my life to attend a studio that didn't impose any certain spiritual practice, and being supported in that space. The teachers were very supportive both physically and (if needed) emotionally. My journey was transformative for my life, and I wanted to share that with the world. I wanted people to discover that many of the answers to the questions we have are found within the wisdom of our own bodies.
Finally, someone pipes up about this! Often a group of friends will come in that have never done the yoga before, and they talk amongst themselves in the class. It is so disruptive to the students practicing and also the teacher. Cell phones ringing. Turn them off! Sometimes a student will want to do their own thing. That's cool, but please keep it at the back of the room. Those are the only things I have encountered that really bother me. I'm sure other yoga instructors have many many more though!
It depends on the type of class that I am teaching, the mood I sense from the group of people, etc. When I teach in Vinyasa Yoga class, I usually like to play music. That type of yoga is a meditation that is often done with eyes closed or blurred gaze known as drishti (drishti is a point of focus where the gaze rests during asana and meditation practice). When I am teaching a Bikram Yoga hot class, I don't play music. Some studios do offer Bikram classes with music, but those require you to have an advanced practice because the teacher practices with you. Bikram is a 90-minute open-eyed meditation, done facing the mirror. I find the music to be incredibly distracting to a beginning student because the instruction is so specific.
Yes, but it largely depends on the philosophy of the studio. Some yoga studios are less invasive on a spiritual level. I personally would argue that the more corporate a yoga studio is, the less likely it will be to impose spiritual ideas onto a practitioner. It's important to note that as yogis, ultimately the teacher should not affect your own practice. You are your own best teacher.
Very funny. Yes, it has happened once. However, I had the wherewithal to hold it until the appropriate time in class. There were no complaints that I heard about.
Making an impact on the student, the student equally making an impact on me and ultimately how it impacts the world. This is what continues to remind me that we are all teachers, and we all have huge hills to climb.
I'm sure there are plenty of guys who come to yoga, knowing that there will be women (and attractive ones) in class. No I have never had to kick a guy out for inappropriate behavior towards women. I have had men coming in, wearing only underwear though! I had to ask them to change, or leave.
I personally know people that don't eat 3 hours before class, and a small amount of folks that can eat before class. That being said; I myself must have an empty stomach because there are so many poses with tremendous compression on the abdomen. Heat stroke is unlikely when you're hydrated, but what becomes more essential are your electrolyte's. Potassium, Sodium and Magnesium are what we lose the most in the hot yoga room. Drinking water and replenishing those electrolyte's are essential to a strong practice, and recovery. I recommend coconut water, and some sort of electrolyte replenisher. I use "Ultima Replenisher" at my studio's. There are a few others.
Lululemon has some clothing that is worth every penny, and some that is not. Overall, it doesn't matter. It has nothing to do with your yoga practice and shouldn't. Your yoga clothes should allow for room to stretch and move freely. That can be purchased anywhere.
Yes Yoga builds muscle. A very common misconception about yoga is that it is only stretching. Practicing yoga has three major benefits. The components of stretching, strengthening and compression. A deeper and more focused practice is necessary to strengthen, because most poses are held for five full breaths versus the usual one to three breaths. The muscles are challenged while the mind and body have to work together simultaneously to hold a position without giving up. Breath, posture, movement and more flexibility happen at the same time, which allows for a deeper practice.
Ashtanga Yoga is strength training. Any yoga is strength training. Yoga is not just physical. We train our minds to accept where we are in our journey. Acceptance takes STRENGTH! Listen to your body, and you will know how much time is needed for restoration. No one can tell you how much time your muscles need. God is your best teacher, and we listen to God. We know when we are listening, and when we are fighting truth.
Yes It absolutely is a detoxifying practice. Sweat is not the only indication of detoxification. However, your doctor is correct in that sweat is primarily regulating your body temperature. Much of the detoxification takes place internally as opposed to externally. Stress actually releases a TOXIN in your body which builds up around your muscles and joints. When we stretch and moves these parts of the body (passively and deeply) we are releasing these toxins into the bloodstream which we eventually release when urinating. This is largely why teachers will stress the importance of drinking water!
As teachers, it is our responsibility to teach what we have learned. The student teacher realtionship is simultaneous. We learn from eachother. As a human being, it is our responsibility to put forth the effort to grow. As teachers, we are students. As students, we are teachers.
Absolutely not. In fact, you will learn how to do so much in your teacher training. TT doesn't just teach you how to teach a class. It will undoubtedly deeped your asana practice. Jump in!
It is my opinion that a persons practice should not be predicated on the teacher. The goal of our yoga practice should be to attain a relaxed and/or meditative state that would not be affected by what is going on around us, including what a teacher is saying (other than posture instruction). That being said, I have been in your shoes many times, even as a seasoned yogi. I believe when that happens, it is an opportunity for us to look inside and see what is really bothering us. Often what bothers us about someone or something, is a reflection of what is going on inside.
No, I have not but I just watched a couple of video's about it and it looks very similar to power vinyasa yoga which is great. I honestly think it's marketed toward men, so they think they're not doing something sissy ;)
My personal opinion is to go up and talk to the girl you're interested in after class. There are no tricks. Just be real.
You're exactly right. Assuming you are doing the postures correctly, you should actually see progress (even if it seems microscopic) in every class. You will eventually have an "a-hah moment" in each pose. When you are focused on your breath, listening to the instructor, and doing it in your body, you will no doubt find progress. I just had a baby and it's taken me about 8 weeks to get my pre-pregnancy practice back (and having a baby changes your body dramatically).
I can totally relate to this question and am glad you asked it. When I first started practicing yoga, I was a very angry person and wasn't living a healthy lifestyle. I initially became frustrated with meditation because my mind wandered, or I started thinking about things that made me anxious or angry, and I felt like I couldn't still my mind. What you are going through is totally normal and just part of the process of learning. All you need to do is find a comfortable seating or laying position, while focusing on the breath. Focus on inhaling slowly and exhaling slowly. Anytime a thought comes up (which could be every single second), gently remind yourself to focus on your breath. In the beginning, you can start by just doing 3 minutes, then after you feel comfortable with that, increase the time until you reach a time frame that you're seeking. One of the purposes of meditation, is to heal negative thinking patterns and that is not going to happen over night! You have a whole lifetime of emotion that needs to heal. Go easy on yourself.
The most I have taught in 1 day was 4 classes. At the time, I was a full time studio manager and instructor, teaching 15-18 classes a week. I will admit that 4 classes a day was too much for me. However, I was teaching in New York City and it was HOT yoga. New York in and of itself is exhausting and being in the hot room was a bit taxing.
Teaching is certainly a very relaxing experience, but at this point in my life, I would not exceed teaching 2 per day because I would like to practice as well, and have enough energy to give to my family when I come home.
I don't believe it will actually "widen" your hips, but hip opening exercises will help make your hip flexors more malleable (flexible) and aid in prevention of future injury.
Hi Sam. I would not have any recommendations for you other than to ask a Chiropractor and Physical Therapist. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Great question. I did yoga throughout my entire pregnancy, and was able to do quite a lot of poses. A very important thing (as I'm sure you can guess) is to not do anything laying on the belly. Also, if you are doing any back bending poses, do not push your hips forward. In backbends (if you have the flexibility) only bend the upper spine. In any forward bends, separate your legs as much as you need to, so that there is no pressure on the belly. Avoid full eagle pose, only do the arm portion of the pose. There are many great online video classes for sequences in the 3rd trimester.
Yes. I would recommend doing Supta Vajrasana. It is very important though to do this posture SLOWLY and not to go to the full expression of the posture until the knee is healed. Supta Vajrasana healed me knee with the same symptoms as you. When you are in this pose, make sure that the heels are separated so that you can sit your bottom directly between the feet (the bottom should be touching the heels). THEN, separate the knees as much as you need to until there is no pain, and the bottom touches the floor. That is when you are free to recline backwards.Here is a link to doing the pose properly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YmwDssxKrs
Yes of course I have. There are bully's everywhere, and some of them are even called Guru's! My friend, treat that person with compassion. Who knows where they have been or what they've experienced. Your kindness is more powerful.
Sounds like a wonderful idea!
There are a lot of great yogi's you can follow that I can think of, but I recommend checking out Kino McGregor on YouTube. She does little tutorials on pretty much every posture. She also has classes on CodyApp, which was the second thing I was going to recommend. It's available in the App store, and you can deepen your practice through that. There are many good teachers on that App. I also recommend checking out my friend Talia Peretz (she also goes by Talia Sutra on Instagram).
First, make sure you can understand the difference between pain and discomfort. There will often be discomfort in yoga as you seek to reverse the effects of a lifetime of stress on the muscles. If you have very tight hamstrings, you will most likely feel discomfort but don't push the stretch. Rather, hold the posture for 10 deep breaths. Every time you inhale, think about the muscle or area that you're trying to open. Every time you exhale, settle into the space you've just created. After doing that for 10 breaths, take a break or do another pose. Then come back to a hamstring stretch. With a regular practice (commitment), you WILL see change.
Loosening the hamstrings will most likely be an ongoing process for you. Consistency is key. Practicing forward fold, seated forward fold, and downward facing dog daily will help you to open the hamstrings. Most important is the BREATH! Breathe very deeply for ten breaths when holding these postures. Every exhale, move a little bit further into the stretch (and that could be less than a millimeter).
Hi Dave. I don't have an answer for you because I don't have experience in Kundalini Yoga or the 3rd eye.
I can understand the thought of trying yoga for the first time to be intimidating. I was intimidated my first time! My first experience with yoga was at a Vinyasa studio in New York. It was a very basic flow, and the teaching was great. I think it's important to note that any studio that offers a certain style of yoga, will most likely have a class catered to beginners. My recommendation is to try a vinyasa class, and just go for it! Everyone is a beginner at some point with everything. Yoga is a practice, nothing more. You will always be learning, as I am still learning. When you go in there, listen with your whole body and you will be great.
I have not found that any yoga practice emphasizes work in this area that would be noticeable. There is a great balance of core work in the practice, but you'd have to do daily oblique training to obtain an obvious bulk there.
Sorry to hear about your right hand, but there is definitely a solution. I have been practicing and teaching Bikram hot yoga for about 10 years. It has completely healed my injuries and has done the same for countless others. It is definitely low impact on the wrist, and there is one particular posture in the series that focuses on healing the skeletal structure of the elbows, wrists and hands. I would highly recommend trying it.
Neither of the styles will "bulk you up" like lifting weights would, but I prefer Bikram yoga to stay more toned.
I have found that vinyasa yoga did more a bulking my muscle in the upper body/shoulder area, but Bikram has giving me overall fantastic toning! Sounds like you're on the right track.
I practice yoga for 90 mins, 4 times a week and that is the only form of exercise that I do. I eat a very balanced diet and I stay slim and toned. It depends on your diet, genetics and effort put forth in the exercise.
Forward folding is a great way to open up those hamstrings.
Have you tried spending more time in mediation than you did before?
I would recommend Bikram Yoga for that.
It sounds like maybe your hands and feet are too close together. If you are practicing on a yoga mat (depending on your height), you want to have your hands closer to the top of the mat and your feet closer to the back of your mat. Feet need to be hips width distance, and hands need to be spread wide at shoulder width distance.
here is a great video
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