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yoga blog

why do we use a standardized text to teach hot yoga?

why do we use a standardized text to teach hot yoga?

Over the years I’ve learned that the best way to do any job is to have the best tools. When I was a full time musician I tried to have the best guitars, microphones and sound reinforcement gear, when I was a property manager I quickly found out (sometimes the hard way) that having the correct tools was essential for doing carpentry and home repairs.

So how does this relate to teaching hot yoga? The hot 90 and the warm 60 are both taught using a standardized text, which we refer to as the Asana Essentials. The Essentials can be seen as the most important tool in you tool box. Simply stated, this is a very efficient way to teach a group of people yoga asanas. It’s very simple. All you have to do is learn the guidelines.

why do we use a standardized text?

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It is the base, the foundation for the class. That said, we view it as a standardized text, not THE one and only. Again, it’s a really great tool. It helps you to understand and learn the postures and how to teach them. The hot/warm classes are about percission and alignment. Each posture is taught in a specific way for a specific benefit. The Asana Essentials are the best way to relate this information to the students. After you’ve been teaching for a while and as you gain more experience you will know what and how to add to them.

There are lots of methods for learning the standardized text. Rote memorization, practicing with partners, friends or pets (really!), recording devices, flashcards, practicing in the mirror, whatever works for you. I had great success listening to a recorded CD and reciting postures in the car while driving to my yoga class every day. Just make sure you practice speaking out loud and try to speak in front of people whenever you can. standardized text

I have to admit at first I had a hard time doing this. I kept looking for shortcuts. I paraphrased, moved ahead too quickly, used my own words, made up my own text. Basically I made every mistake in the book. I got frustrated. I lost my confidence. I hit the wall. I was using wrong tools, and using the right tools in the wrong way. One crazy time I gave into the dark side. I took all my yoga training literature, my 3 pairs of yoga shorts, some yoga t-shirts, everything that had to do with yoga I rolled into my two mats and tossed the whole pile into a dumpster. I was done.

A few days later, when I returned from the darkness and continued on my path to become a yoga teacher, it finally it dawned on me to just learn the words as they are written. JUST LEARN IT. Pure and simple. Learn it word for word, no shortcuts, no excuses. When I made that commitment, believe it or not, it became much easier. So I did it. I still do it. To this day I constantly refer to the Essentials and still study it. Trust me, it works!

It took awhile but I am becoming the Essentials master. That’s my specialty at the teacher trainings. Most importantly, I have learned through teaching this way how well it works. I’ve had some practice, I taught over 500 classes last year alone. Now I want to pass that knowledge on to my teacher trainees. I can show you how to learn the guidelines, all the different methods, and all those other things that make a teacher great. Using your voice in the correct way through voice projection. Using your energy, your passion and confidence, even using some humor.

Completing the circle, these things I’ve just talked about are all tools. The correct tools you need to become a yoga teacher. Evolation Teacher Training can give you these tools and teach you how to use them. This is your opportunity to realize your dream of becoming a yoga teacher. We will show you how. Come join us.

Gary Davis

I started my yoga practice in the year 2000 after sustaining a serious injury. I was 48 years old at the time, and, after a lifetime of abusing my body through team sports, lifting weights and running, I decided it was time to pursue a more realistic exercise program. For the first year and a half, I cultivated a home practice, faithfully doing a hot yoga series in various heated bathrooms, garages and attics. Once I found a studio, I jumped into a regular practice, which I continue to this day. I became a Bikram certified teacher in 2009, and have taught yoga in Sarasota, the Northeast, and the Evolation studio in Tampa Bay. Teaching yoga is my full time occupation. I am also on the Evolation teacher training faculty and I feel really fortunate to be involved in the process of training new teachers. I'm just about to turn 62, and I'm in the best shape of my life — physically,mentally, and spiritually. One of my goals is to get more people my age practicing yoga.