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An apprenticeship is a valuable part of yoga teacher training and is a requirement in some certification programs. Here's how it usually works:
-The trainee instructor attends a series of classes taught by his or her mentor instructor.
-The trainee begins by leading the class in the first few minutes of warming-up poses, and then the regular instructor teaches most of the class.
-Over a period of several classes, the trainee gradually teaches more and more of the class until he or she finally teaches an entire class.
This process allows the fledgling instructor to learn how it feels to direct a class and helps them to modify their technique. The regular instructor observes the apprentice while he or she is leading the class and observes whether the class understands the directions and follows the apprentice's guidance. The instructor then gives the apprentice feedback, such as whether they need to speak louder, or slower, or whether they asked the class to hold a pose too long, or not long enough.
Remember that once you are certified as a yoga instructor, you need not stop with a single certification for yoga instruction. You can expand your qualifications and become certified to teach several specific areas, such as prenatal yoga.
Some yoga poses are invigorating and some are calming. The invigorating moves, including standing poses such as the warrior series, and balancing poses such as the standing big toe pose and half moon pose, are done earlier in the class, while seated poses and twists are done towards the end of a class.
The right yoga instruction will train instructors to teach poses in an appropriate order to prevent injury and maximize the benefits from each pose.
The warrior series (virabhadrasana) is an example of how poses follow a progressive order according to difficulty.
The warrior series works all the major muscle groups: legs, back, shoulders, and arms, but it is especially good for opening the hips. Even beginner classes will likely introduce warrior I, and advanced classes will include warrior II and warrior III.
Keep these points in mind when warriors are part of your yoga teaching:
Warrior I: Square the hips forward and try to keep them even. It helps to think of your hip bones as the headlights on a car.
Warrior II: When you open out sideways into warrior II, concentrate on keeping the hips level and centered. Don't lean too far forward or too far back.
Warrior III: Focus on the external rotation of the hip of the raised leg, keeping both of the arms raised and the standing legs as straight as possible.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|