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Paul Jerard
Paul Jerard is a certified and registered trainer of Yoga teachers.
Paul Jerard is a certified and registered trainer of Yoga teachers.

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Yoga is many healing modalities combined into one extraordinary system.

#YogaIsManyHealingModalities #YogaIsMoreThanFashion #HealingSystem

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Also known as acid reflux, acidity is a common condition and it happens when the stomach produces excess acid. Normally, the food is broken down by the acid produced by the stomach but sometimes excess acid is secreted by the stomach.

#AcidReflux #YogaAsanasForAcidity #ExcessAcid #SpecificYogaPoses

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"The build-up of toxins in the body during pregnancy may generate heat and trigger hormonal imbalances. Also, pregnancy is a highly emotional phase wherein the right part of the brain is increasingly put to use. It is important to practice breathing techniques during and after the delivery to keep a check on the emotional health of the new mother," says Yogi Anoop from the Chaitanya Foundation, Mediyoga.

#HormonalImbalances #PostPregnancyWeightLoss #UnwantedFat

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Timing is everything, make sure you rise when it is your time.

#TimingIsEverything #StepForward #MakeTheMostOfTheMoment

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Have you noticed yourself, or other teachers, opening up class in the same Child’s Pose or Easy Pose? Are you searching for ways to open up class that will be grounding and comforting for your students, but also pique their interests while potentially teaching them something new? We teachers learn and grow through reaching out of our comfort zones, and experimenting (with proper judgement and caution) with new methods and content.

At the same time, students can learn and grow through those offerings. All involved can walk steadily on the path of the yogic lifestyle, ever closer to our highest selves. What better place to start all of that than the beginnings of our classes? Read on for two ways to open up classes with a balance of grounding and energy, those which you might not yet have thought of or tried. Shanti!

1) Crocodile Pose

Starting classes prone, on the belly, can be a grounding and relaxing way for opening up classes. On the other hand, it can feel vulnerable to some students - particularly those who have histories of trauma. If you are working with a specific population of students who might very well have trauma history (such as mental health patients, the incarcerated, those in certain social services agencies), perhaps this might not be the wisest of options.

All people potentially have trauma history, however, so offer students alternatives (such as Child’s Pose, Easy Pose, or any of the following options). Otherwise, have students lie on their bellies, with one hand on top of the other to make pillows for their heads.

As an optional energetic cue, guide them to soften their frontsides and let that release seep into their backsides. Breathing while prone can be more restricted than in other positions, so inform them that they can breathe into their backsides (a strange idea, but anatomically logical, as the lungs can expand into one’s posterior side).

Options for proceeding into warm-ups in movement include gentle, low Cobra pose, Sphinx Pose with rolling the head side to side, and bending the knees to windshield-wiper the feet or roll the ankles. From Prone, one can smoothly transition into Tabletop, Plank, or Down Dog (though be mindful that it’s still early in class, and to proceed slowly and cautiously).

2) Supported Hero’s Pose

This option can allow students to connect with fuller breath, greater spinal length, and connection to “core center”/midline - right at the beginning. If they can maintain any/all of those connections throughout class, they can enjoy a more fruitful and rich practice. That carried through to subsequent classes can mean greater benefit of students’ yoga practices in their lives.

Many students need to sit on one or more blocks (at the lowest and widest position, in between their ankles) in order to maintain safe, natural spinal alignment in this pose. Warm-up options here include head (side to side swings), shoulder, and wrists. Gentle movement to transition into fluidly could be a seated Cat/Cow flow (mild backbend and forward curve), Urdhva Hastana (Upward Reach), sidebend variations (with numerous mudras possible), and twist (bound or unbound, arms raised shoulder height or touching thighs or floor/block).

Within reason, good judgement, and regard for students’ desires and needs, enjoy experimenting with variations of any of the above. Your students might very well treasure experiencing the grounded energy, the upward lift and downwards stability, that starting in Hero’s Pose can offer. As always, inform students that they are free to enter alternatives that might better suit them.

In addition, be prepared to work individually with a student who calls you over for assistance, or whom you notice looks uncomfortable. The beginning of class is not quite the place for healthy challenge. It’s a time to settle into the experience, away from the frenzy of everyday modern life, and prepare for the healthy challenges ahead.

#OpeningUpYogaClass   #InformStudents   #HealthyChallenges   #StudentsCanLearn  

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When we are young, we repeat mistakes and we think time is a luxury. If we become wise, we learn from past mistakes and avoid wasting time. Over time, we discover that time is precious and the least painful path toward progress is to learn by observing the mistakes of others.

#ThinkTimeIsALuxury #RepeatMistakes #BecomeWise #LearnByObservingTheMistakesOfOthers

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Recently, there have been some objections to using words like empowerment, abundance, success, and achievement, within Yogic writings. However, it would be much more difficult to open the doors of our wellness center, in Attleboro, if I were homeless. Imagine the number of children, teens, adults, and seniors, who could not reap the benefits of Yoga, if every teacher took a vow of poverty.

The fifth Yama: Aparigraha (Non-gathering) is clear to Yoga practitioners, but it would be difficult to contribute to charities, research Yoga, write, teach under-privileged people, or make a contribution to mankind, if you are starving in the back alleys of New England, or anywhere else. If you have nothing to give, you can give nothing; therefore, you must acquire and give to others to help mankind.

You should not abandon the concept of empowerment to help yourself, in order that you can help others - in turn. This is not about hoarding material, but accumulating, and re-distributing, to those in need. You only have a temporary hold on any material wealth in this life, so why not help people, while you have it? This is a principle of Karma Yoga: Union by selfless service.

Where do you start with training, or re-training, your mind for empowerment and success? It is within the basic programming of your mind that you must start. You must learn to "eat, sleep, and drink" positive energy every day.

To eat correctly, a diet should, for the most part, consist of sattvic foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. There is much more to this dieting aspect, but it is difficult to find these foods at a fast food restaurant. However, it is worth the effort to research the sattvic diet and make small changes to your current eating habits.

meditation for empowermentWhen you sleep, try to get to bed earlier and be in your best frame of mind. You can do this by meditating or by practicing a stage-by-stage relaxation before bedtime. There are also many good meditation, self-hypnosis, and relaxation CD's to choose from. Sometimes, dreams can be negative; but with the above-mentioned methods, you can change the programming of your mind.

Drink plenty of pure water and gradually observe how your behavior changes. Many people consume too much caffeine every day. Can you imagine if a negative person walked up to you, in a positive mood, and said, "I'm sorry, for what I said before - I had one coffee too many, today?" This sounds like a "lame excuse," but in reality, there are too many every day conflicts due to caffeine.

With these first three steps, you will gradually train your mind for empowerment.

#TrainYourMindForEmpowerment #YogaPractice #WellnessCenter #RedistributingToThoseInNeed

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Procrastination puts progress on hold, stalls creativity, and flourishes when self-confidence is challenged. When procrastination drags you down, focus on finishing one task at a time.

#FocusOnFinishing #SelfConfidence #Progress

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Offering hands-on assists in a yoga class can be an incredible gift. Through the power of touch, you can connect with students and help them connect with themselves. While it is important to focus on the positive aspects of providing touch, understanding where an assist can go wrong is also critical.


Physical contact, regardless of the positive intentions of the instructor, can be misconstrued by students. If a student has experienced trauma, then touch may be a trigger. While advanced training targeted toward helping victims of trauma is available, all instructors can and should be trauma-informed.

Creepy Hands

When you offer an adjustment, use your palms rather than your fingertips. Practice assists on someone who is willing to give you feedback. They can tell you if you are using the appropriate amount of pressure. A light touch may seem kind, but it can be misinterpreted by your students.

Be mindful of where you place your hands and how you position your body in relation to your student. If someone walked into your class, would they be alarmed at your physical position?


In a society where most of us are corrected on our performance, an assist can feel like a form of criticism. Some students may think that your constant and well-intentioned corrections are signaling that they are not strong yoga practitioners. If a student hasn’t internalized the importance of being kind to themselves, they may become frustrated during assists. With those things in mind, you will need to choose your adjustments and moderate their frequency until you have built a strong rapport with the student.

Transferring Energy

A teacher can convey so much through contact. A sense of balance and calm pervades a space in which an instructor is fully grounded and focused. Teachers are human beings, and it is important to know that we all have days when we feel off-kilter. Maybe you are getting over an illness, or your significant other broke up with you, or a loved one has just been hospitalized. Maybe this is your fifteenth yoga class this week, and you are feeling exhausted. Be mindful of your own state when helping others.

While the slings and arrows of life don’t prohibit you from teaching, you may want to consider how you assist on stressful days. If you are jittery or insecure, your students will notice. If you are distracted by something going on outside of the studio, or you generally don’t like to give physical adjustments, this will come through during the assist. Our goal should always be to support our students’ safety and well-being. Avoid transferring your negative energy to students.


The potential for injury is inherent in any physical practice, and adjustments that are improperly executed can exacerbate the risks. We offer hands-on adjustments because we want to deepen students’ practices, but if we are not cautious, we can do more harm than good. An instructor should never force a student into a shape.

Understanding the anatomy of postures by using resources like those produced by Leslie Kaminoff or Ray Long can teach you the musculoskeletal underpinnings of the asanas. Anatomical knowledge offers insight into how the adjustment will affect the target area and surrounding muscle groups. Paying attention to your students’ breath and supporting communication during an assist can also prevent injury.

Despite the number of ways that physical assists can go awry, the benefits outweigh the risks. Stay cognizant of the potential pitfalls, be present with your students, and commit to doing some homework in order to mitigate the potential hazards of physical assists.

#WhereYouPlaceYourHands   #WhatCouldGoWrongDuringAPhysicalAssist   #PowerOfTouch   #HandsOnAssists  

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What is thinking outside the box? Creative thinking requires us to go beyond the basics. The basics are the skills you master within the box. As you apply your skills toward life, not all of them will work all of the time. You will learn to think on your feet and become an innovator. Traveling creates new situations and your reactions will cause you to grow.

#BecomeAnInnovator #BeyondTheBasics #ApplyYourSkillsTowardLife #ThinkingOutsideTheBox
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