Why Study Yoga?

yoga studyWhy should we study yoga? Oh, I am not talking about doing yoga. I think that most of us have a good understanding of why we should do yoga seeing as how it has amazing benefits to our physical and mental health. If you are reading this then you are probably familiar with the subject of yoga and possibly have attended my classes before.

I endeavor to teach in a way that does not just shine the light on how to do a pose properly but also educates my students on why we do a pose and how that pose helps us. I often refer to basic anatomical terms and I figure if a person were to hang out in my classes enough they would eventually have a relatively good working knowledge of human anatomy.

Yet, should we explore yoga more than just a yoga class? What would we get for our efforts if we do? These are great questions and ones that can crop up once a person gets going with yoga and notices there are seminars and teacher’s training classes out there. If a person has no desire to become a yoga teacher would any of these classes be useful?

5 Reasons Everyone Needs to Study Yoga

I will state for the record that I am undoubtedly biased when it comes to yoga education. After all, along with my business partner Amy Garratt, I run a yoga teacher’s training school called Balance Your Body Yoga. We offer seminars and training classes throughout the year and students who have an interest in becoming certified yoga teachers can take our classes and eventually be qualified to register as a yoga instructor through the national organization of Yoga Alliance. Of course I am going to say that yoga training is important when you consider this. However, there are some compelling reasons for all yoga students to take an interest in yoga studies.

1. You will understand how to do yoga better. If you take a yoga pose seminar then you will be learning about how to create yoga poses with exact alignment. In a general group yoga class I endeavor to teach proper pose alignment and for that class we will likely explore one to three poses in the body of the class. However there are plenty of things we do in the warm up and sun salute that do not get much more than a few words of alignment advice. Each class will be different from each other and sometimes we don’t circle back to certain poses for weeks on end.

In a yoga pose seminar you will get a chance to focus on a particular type of pose, be it regarding core muscles or twisting poses, etc. The seminar will have a theme and you will get an immersion in that for the duration of the class. Pose seminars are typically longer than a yoga class, lasting about 2 hours. This might make it seem like they would be more exhausting, however, we pace our classes in a way that lets you work out without getting overly tired. At the end of a seminar you will feel pleasantly worked out and also quite a bit more knowledgeable about what we studied. This will help you improve your personal yoga and can give you invaluable insight into how to correctly align your poses. Our next pose based yoga seminar is Athletic Renewal in February.

2. You will understand nutrition better. We offer nutrition seminars that help you understand how what you eat becomes who you are. The topic of nutrition gets thrown at us from many different angles and some of those who speak the loudest are the companies that will profit from your acceptance of what they are selling. We offer compelling scientific based nutritional guidance that is up to date and useful to you. We are not trying to get anyone to change their basic eating style because we offer the perspectives from all angles, including omnivore, vegetarian and vegan. We want to help you be as healthy as possible and make the nutritional choices that are best for you. Our next nutrition based yoga seminar is Detoxing: Endocrine Disruptors in January (for a special New Years price!).

3. You will understand human anatomy better. Probably what sets our school apart from all other schools is our devotion to anatomy training. When we understand anatomy we get amazing insights into how to control our own body. The knowledge we gain can open our eyes to the transformational process of yoga. We won’t just feel better, but we will know why we feel better – and best yet, we can create solutions based on anatomical principles.

Some may be worried that they would be lost in an anatomy class, but we endeavor to make sure that each and every class is presented in easy to understand but detailed way. Our teaching style is light-hearted and we encourage class participation and enjoy the questions of our students. The insights gained in these classes can completely change your understanding of yoga. Our next anatomy seminar is Dynamic Anatomy and Yoga for the Core in March.

4. You will learn how to breathe and energize yourself. Deep breathing is fundamental to yoga and although we practice certain breathing techniques in my classes, mainly diaphragm breath, we don’t spend a focused amount of time on this. A Pranayama seminar is all about how to develop your breathing techniques. We also don’t have time to explore fundamental energetic concepts in the typical yoga class. Our next seminars on these topics are Pranayama Techniques and BYB Energetics – Chi Kung both in February.

5. You will learn about yoga history. This may not seem like a compelling reason to pursue yoga study, but it can really help you to sort out the fact from the fiction in regards to yoga. There is a lot of yoga jargon and a lot of yoga ‘gossip’ – which by that I mean people talk about things that have little basis in fact. The true story of yoga history is very interesting. It is important to know how yoga has changed through the years and how the idea of certain types of yoga being more ‘true’ than others is a misguided notion. When we study yoga history we see that others have sought to make their lives better through this process and we can see how yoga is constantly evolving into a solution for modern problems. Our next yoga history seminar is Modern Yoga Literature – a look at the history of yoga magazines and other writings in July.

So, there you have five ways to make your life a little more yoga-full and bring a little more knowledge into your yoga life.

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