Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques

Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques

Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques

Teaching Yoga is an essential resource for new and experienced teachers as well as a guide for all yoga students interested in refining their skills and knowledge. Addressing 100% of the teacher training curriculum standards set by Yoga Alliance, the world’s leading registry and accreditation source for yoga teachers and schools, Teaching Yoga is also ideal for use as a core textbook in yoga teacher training programs.

Drawing on a wide spectrum of perspectives, and featuring more than 15

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Category: Yoga Tips

3 Responses to “Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques”

  1. 38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    awesome reading!, May 28, 2010
    By 
    mike (Humboldt) –

    This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques (Paperback)

    Okay, this is the best book out there for yoga teachers and teacher trainers, but what makes it truly amazing is that it’s a great book for all of us-for students as well as teachers. Although I’ve been doing yoga for 12 or 13 years, I’m not interested in teaching yoga, but this book is filled with background information and insights to help deepen my practice. One of the things I like most about it is how the author has approached every topic like a scholar, asking probing questions, giving detailed references, and encouraging the reader to think rather than just accept what some guru out there says is the truth. Yet the book is also filled with spirit, giving me a real feeling for doing yoga at a deeper level. Anyone who is serious about going deeper with his or her yoga practice will definitely want to buy this book. And last but not least, it’s a beautiful book!

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  2. G. A. BRAVO-CASAS October 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm
    24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Required reading for a yoga teacher, August 29, 2010
    By 
    G. A. BRAVO-CASAS (New York, NY USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

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    This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques (Paperback)

    With the increasing number of training programs for yoga teachers and the proliferation of yoga studios, many people, and especially yoga students, are demanding higher standards from their yoga teachers. There have been many debates as to whether or not it is advisable to have the yoga profession, and particularly the training of teachers, regulated. In 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in the previous three years, around 13,000 Americans suffered yoga-related injuries as reported by doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. Many injuries are the result of teaching practices from incompetent teachers. Many teachers have not received proper training or do not have any certification; it is estimated that among the 70,000 yoga teachers in the United States, only three quarters have any sort of certification. Furthermore, while there are strict training programs that demand a minimum of 200 hours of training, others provide a diploma after a few days of exposure, or just by e-mail.

    In the middle of such a situation, the arrival of Mark Stephens’ book is more than a blessing. The author has trained more than 700 yoga teachers and is the Director of the Teacher Training Program at Santa Cruz Yoga (CA). He has studied various yoga styles (Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, yoga therapy, and Vinyasa Flow) and is well versed in yoga history and philosophy. The book includes various practical tables for easy consultation, numerous photographs, a rich bibliography, a very helpful list of yoga teaching resources (yoga websites, yoga associations, and institutes and research centers), a comprehensive list of yoga poses, and a summary of the yoga sequences followed by six major yoga schools.

    The first four chapters present the roots of modern yoga and the physiological and mental components of yoga practices. Other chapters deal with teaching yoga poses, breathing techniques and meditation. Three excellent chapters (5, 6 and 10) give useful guidelines and tips for yoga teaching, such as options in conducting a class, the teacher’s language and voice, the relationship between teacher and student (including how to deal with feelings of attraction), the use of props and music, how to organize the sequencing of a class, and many other critical subjects. In these chapters, Stephens shares with the readers the lessons he learned as a seasoned teacher. He properly illustrates his instructions with the philosophical foundations of yoga, based mainly on Patanjali’s almost two-thousand year old Yoga Sutras.

    Inspired by the idea that in yoga, like in travelling, what is important is the journey, not the destination, Stephens affirms, “Yoga is not a practice of attainment; it is an unending process of self-discovery and self-transformation,” and teachers are just facilitators and guides. Through the entire book, he is guided by the idea that the role of the yoga teacher is to assist in the discovery of the inner teacher that all of us have inside ourselves; this is indeed the Socratic approach to teach. He also insists on the beneficial powers of adaptation and innovation in teaching yoga to better respond to the needs of every student. The last chapter is dedicated to the yoga profession; here, Stephens mentions some difficult topics such as regulations, teachers’ fees, liability insurance, teacher’s training and certification, how to start teaching as an apprentice, and other interesting subjects. Although he does not provide his personal views on many of these points, he raises them and alerts us to give proper consideration to them.

    This is an excellent book, full of wisdom and information for anyone interested in yoga practice or in teaching. Nevertheless, the book could be improved by taking care of some caveats. It is desirable that in a revised edition the index would incorporate all the authors, as well as the yoga poses mentioned in the text. The name of the poses should appear with both the Sanskrit and English names.

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  3. 23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A must read for every teacher of yoga, everyone who wishes to be a teacher of yoga, and anyone with a serious interest in yoga., May 30, 2010
    By 
    John (San Francisco) –

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    This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques (Paperback)

    This masterfully crafted and beautifully designed book is the most comprehensive text written on yoga wince B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga was published in 1966. It’s also practical and resourceful, for beginning and experienced teachers. But unlike Iyengar, the Indian master, Mark Stephens writes as an American yogi steeped in Western culture yet completely absorbed in the wisdom of the East. This is also a work of scholarship, a rarity in a world of yoga long on bold assertions and short on evidence, careful reasoning, and even simple references. This books contains hundreds of insights into teaching and doing yoga. The author presents a well-balanced perspective on scores of topics, then encurages the reader to thnk on his or her own. This is a truly outstanding book on yoga that will become part of every yogi’s library.

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