teens

T is for Teacher: Basic Training plus Teen Intensive!

Image  Learn how to teach fun and effective yoga for kids!

Led by Asana Alphabet™ founder with guest teachers. 

March 1-2 in NYC; 10am-6:30pm both days

Full Workshop: Early Birds (by 2/1/14): $395; After 2/1: $435

Basic Only (ends Sunday afternoon): $365

Teens Only (Sun. 2:30-6:30pm only; prereq: basic training required): $108

Basic TrainingTopics covered include:

Asana Appropriateness: Safety and fun of yoga poses    Why Yoga for Children? Benefits

Breathwork for Kids                                                         Mantra and Song for Kids

Mudra and handwork for Kids                                         Kids partnering/group games

Yoga ball skills                                                                 Parent-Child Yoga Class Ideas

Prek-Grade 1 Class Outline and ideas                             Grade 2-4 Class Outline and ideas

Grades 5-8 Class Outline and ideas                                 Building your kids yoga business

Special Needs (how to adapt in general)                          Controlling Your Class

Teen Portion:  Today’s teen issues; advanced poses/partnering; talking to teens in class                                 Mediation and Relaxation; Grades 9-12 Class Outline/lesson plans/ideas

Full  training includes teaching guides, yoga songs download, detailed letter of completion & other teaching goodies. Informed by both Hatha and Kundalini Yoga Styles. Workshop can be taken on its own or in conjunction with Asana Alphabet’s basic certification. Teen intensive can be taken as a stand alone if you have already taken the basic training or have ample prior experience. Please speak with our director if you’re interested in this option.

REGISTRATION: ASANAALPHABET@GMAIL.COM

www.AsanaAlphabet.com

Kundalini Yoga Workshop Follow Up: Kriyas and More!

This weekend in Edmond, OK, we led workshops on using sound in Kundalini Yoga, tuning up the immune system and going over simple morning routines for a fresh start to each day. As a reference to those of you who attended the workshops, or those of you who couldn’t come but are interested, please find some of the kriyas we did listed below!  Sat Nam and be well, Ann

Friday evening: We explored how naad yoga, the yoga of sound, can multiply the positive effects of your yoga practice.  One amazing example of the effects of sound on us are from Masaru Emoto’s Water Crystals…more on that here: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/index.html

har aerobic kriya:

http://www.kundalinirising.org/KRIResource/Kriyas/HarAerobicKriya.pdf

fire up the metabolism:

http://www.kundalinirising.org/KRIResource/Kriyas/Firing%20up%20the%20Metabolism%20Kriya.pdf

Kriya to Become Superhuman

http://www.kundalinirising.org/KRIResource/Kriyas/Kriya%20to%20Become%20Superhuman.pdf

Saturday’s workshop was on boosting your immune system through Kundalini Yoga.  A simple 3 minutes of dog panting, a quick cold shower and of course, eating healthy foods all help to boost the immune system.  When you want yoga to help out too:

immune 1:
http://www.pinklotus.org/-%20KY%20Kriya%20for%20Strengthening%20the%20Immune%20System%201.htm

kriya to boost your immunity:

http://www.kundalinirising.org/KRIResource/Kriyas/ImmuneSystemII.pdf

The inner sun (l. nostril) immunity meditation, 3-5 minutes (which I originally learned from Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa)

http://www.yogibhajan.org/ybkriyas/index.php?id=99

Sunday:

First thing in the morning: 1.  Stretch pose with Breath of Fire 2. Tuck pose with breath of fire 3.  Rock n Roll on Spine  4.  Ego Eradicator with Breath of Fire

And the 15 minute (not really 15 minute) morning set: http://www.pinklotus.org/-%20KY%20Kriya%20for%20fifteen%20minutes%20in%20the%20morning.htm

A Stand Out Training for Kids Yoga!

In this blog post, Maisah Hargett, “T is for Teacher” workshop attendee in February of 2013, shares her thoughts on her experience training to be a kids yoga teacher with Asana Alphabet!  She currently volunteer teaches NYC students through NYCares organization too.

Have you ever left a training and felt frustrated that you don’t feel more empowered with more practically-applicable information than you were when you went in? If so, then Asana Alpabet’s teacher trainings are for you.Frequently, especially when it comes to children, trainings regarding how to work with them are super-theory based. All of the information sounds interesting, but how to apply said info in a practical manor seems daunting. My favorite thing about the Asana Alphabet T is for Teacher training was how empowered I felt to use the information following our last session.

The training was so helpful to me because it was such a good blend of the experiential and the explanatory. Ann and Kenzie taught several sample classes to the group, so we could get an idea of how to present information and facilitate activities for a variety of ages. This experiential portion helped to give me a sense of the time and the energy needed for different portions of the class. It also helped to remind me of how fun yoga can be. I think often yoga is used so much for an end (whether it be to calm, to energize, to promote fitness) that it can be easy, for me at least, to forget about the amount of fun that can be infused in the journey. We also watched footage of actual kids classes, which I think really is a must. To see what kids actually look like in the midst of a class, and to get a sense of how many kids’ attention you can hold at any given moment; the attention span of children differs greatly, not only developmentally, but individually. Regarding classroom management, watching the videos gave me a better sense of what needs to be addressed to maintain order, and what I can let go for the sake of class flow.  All that being said, trainings that are solely experiential frequently leave me feeling unclear about how to apply the skills demonstrated beyond the training experience.

Thankfully, this was not the case with the Asana Alphabet training. We went over how to plan a class, individual activity ideas, and ways to modify activities for a range of age groups. We even had a chance to put some of what we learned into action, by planning and executing (with our peers), a portion of a lesson plan. In the past I’ve been hesitant to take positions that required lesson planning, but the way Ann broke down the structure of the lesson means that hesitancy will be a thing of the past.

In addition to the time period of the scheduled training, Ann, Asana Alphabet’s founder, is also amazing when it comes to follow-up, and addressing any question or needs that arise. She keeps her trainings small to ensure that she can give each student the support they need, and it shows. In this day and age, with yoga is taking such a commercial turn, many trainings are just feeling like one more way for people to make money, but such is not the case with Asana Alphabet’s “T is for Teacher” training. Ann’s commitment to putting together a training that leaves you feeling like you have the training AND support you need, both before, during and after the weekend’ssession, really stands out.

 Asana Alphabet presents frequent trainings through out the U.S.  Coming up are an Intensive Training on Teaching Yoga to Teens (April 21-22 at Kula Heart Yoga in PA) and The T is for Teacher basic series at Jaya Yoga in Brooklyn (June 16-17).  Take note, school teachers and early bird registrations usually receive great discounts!

 

Yoga to Open the Creative Mind

We are looking forward to leading workshops on how yoga can help the creative mind at an arts workshop for teens at Mercer Community College in NJ this coming Friday! The techniques can help actors memorize lines, fight writer’s block and help recall of images for painters, choreographers and other visual designers.  Here’s a preview:

We will be working on poses that open the heart center, calm the chatty mind and visualizing with a yoga nidra session. Some points of inspiration include:
From
http://creationmeditation.com/2011/09/02/yoga-of-creativity/

“The yoga of creativity is the art of developing a relationship with and trusting the unknown. It is cultivating an inner state similar to that of the famous cinematographer, Ingmar Bergman, whenever he conceived of a new film. “It is a mental state,” he said, “abounding in fertile associations and images. Most of all, it is a brightly colored thread sticking out of the dark sack of the unconscious. If I begin to wind up this thread, and do it carefully, a complete film will emerge.”

And inspiration from: http://www.lovestroubadours.com/id29.html

“Whenever I have writer’s block, I come into child’s pose on my yoga mat or in my bed. Most times, I stretch my arms out in front of me. My fingers are wideneded and get a nice web-like stretch. Generally, I hold this pose for a long time (i.e. fifteen to twenty minutes) because it relaxes me and releases stress from my lower back. I love to focus my breathing on opening my third eye, the sixth chakra which governs my intuition and allows for clarity and understanding.”

Yoga as Cross Training for Teen Sports

There are many avenues in which to introduce yoga into a school.  Often, the preschool and kindergarten classes want yoga as a regular part of their school week.  From there, afterschool programs are a good fit since many times the families pay for the program (rather than the school having to foot the bill).  Both health and PE programs also benefit from yoga. And now, we are helping to cross-train some high school teams in the spring.
Here are some basic yoga poses we’ll be using for the cross-country team at a local school soon.  Enjoy!
1.  Cat/Cow:
Version One: Hold your uttanasana/standing forward bend for some extra time.
Version Two: Hold downward facing dog for extra time.
Version Three: In forward bend, take left arm into air as you turn torso open towards the left (so an upper body spinal twist)..repeat on right.
3.  “Runner’s Lunge”; primarily to open hip flexors. Both sides.
4.  From “runner’s lunge”, bend back knee to straighten front leg. Both sides.  Hello Hamstrings!
5.  Triangle Pose/Trikonasana…for a nice leg stretch but also for core torso strength.
6.  Pigeon Pose or seated bodakonasana
7.  Legs up the wall pose…let weight and blood out of the feet.  Help reduce any swelling in ankles/knees and a nice relaxation, particularly before bed or post-running.
Teaching yoga to preteens and teens (middle school and high school) is alot of fun and you can readily see the benefits on the students.  Want to know more? Take an upcoming teen teacher training with us (Miami: March 17-18; NYC: April 14-15, 2012). www.AsanaAlphabet.com.

Using music in a teen yoga class

A week before our next teacher training workshop (Jan. 21-22 in NYC..one spot left!) and once again I find myself going through the guidebook making sure I’ve caught every last spelling mistake.  I thought I’d share a new excerpt from our upcoming preteen/teen yoga teaching guide…enjoy!

MUSIC for Teen Yoga Class

As an adult yoga teacher, I have strayed from using music in my classes so that my students can more easily listen to the sound of their own breathing. While music can inspire us to go deeper, it is often relied upon by some teacher to distract us or, if you will, to continue the ongoing chatter in our brains that we are trying to smooth out.

I also want my teen students to listen to themselves and silence can really be golden for them; but I feel music is a great gateway for getting teens to be interested and engaged in yoga, or even to want to attend in the first place.  A useful technique is to play background music softly during the majority of class then slowly begin to fade it out.  I find that the contrast of music then silence can bring the students more in touch with themselves.  If you are good at keeping rhythm, using a drum to count breathing rhythms can also be engaging.  Most teens love music they listen to in their free-time, and it may be a fun option to allow students to play DJ or have a free choice once in a while.  Most of the time, teachers need to “re-select” choices because of language and subject matter that is not promoted in schools, so asking for music choices a few days beforehand is advised.

Teachers can use this opportunity in yoga to expose students to a variety of music styles.  Perhaps using a relaxing piece by Bach that they are also studying in music class or taking a pick from the wide selection of music from other cultures. If you don’t have these selections on hand, try exploring the website GrooveShark where you can sample full songs of many artists (but be mindful….if you constantly pick an artist or a certain song, it’s worth the good karma to actually purchase it).

Finally, we school teachers also need to watch out for yoga music that chants about a particular God.  Many schools I have worked in will not tolerate a chant praising Ganesha or Shiva so perhaps opt for a more “nonreligious” choice like Dharmma Mitra’s long Aums.  And if you teach younger kids, you can also find some child-friendly yoga songs for purchase at www.AsanaAlphabet.bandcamp.com.