The “Learning the Asanas” Lessons for this course were designed so that you can review your knowledge of the asanas and incorporate the knowledge of how to use props and modify the asanas to facilitate a Restorative Yoga class. Like your textbook, “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE,” we have broken up the asanas into different Lessons based on their Pose Type to match your textbook. While becoming familiar with Restorative asanas, please keep in mind that you do not need to practice the asanas in a specific order. Within a week, or two, you will begin to create short sequences. If there is an asana that is difficult for you to complete now, you can skip that asana if you wish. When you are ready to practice that asana, we have provided modifications and described how to use props to help you and your students build strength and gain confidence in each asana.
Again, even if you have been practicing Yoga for years, are very flexible, and are comfortable with practicing these asanas, it is important that you practice the modifications provided as well as with different props in each of the asanas. By practicing the modifications and using additional props, you will learn to understand these asanas from various perspectives. This will help you to relate to your students who require modifications and/or additional props, which enables you to develop firsthand knowledge about how to assist your students. It will also prepare you so that you can easily explain the modification and the use of additional props in a fluent and comfortable way.
Through your textbooks, and the information provided in the “Learning the Asanas” Lessons, many asanas are covered. However, we dive in to the 30+ postures covered in your “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE” textbook in particular. Most of these asanas will also be found in your “YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH,” as well, however, some will not. You will also find additional asanas in this textbook that we did not provide additional information about. Any additional asana information provided in this textbook can be reviewed separately to continue to build your knowledge.
Since the “Learning the Asanas” Lessons were designed around your main textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE,” at the beginning of each new Lesson, we will provide the chapter in this textbook to reference for that particular Lesson. Each chapter starts with a short description of the Pose Type and then will move onto demonstrating the warm-ups or asanas that fall under that particular pose type, how to practice them, and what their benefits are.
To help you understand all the information provided in your textbook, read below.
- In the textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE: A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance,” by: Gail Boorstein Grossman, read below. This section in this chapter is a prequel to the remaining sections in this chapter and corresponding upcoming “Learning the Asanas” sections (Warm-Ups, Back Bends, Twists, Forward Bends, Inversions, and Poses of Completion). This section explains how to decipher the information covered in the different sections in this chapter as well as provides general tips for the poses. The remaining sections in this chapter will be covered throughout the “Learning the Asanas” Lessons.
- In PART 2: GETTING STARTED, read the beginning portion of Chapter 5 “The Poses.”
Now that we understand the lay out of your textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE”, lets discuss the layout of the next six Lessons in the “Learning the Asanas” series, as they are all laid out in a similar fashion. As you know, these Lessons were designed around the Pose Types in your textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE”, so at the beginning of each new lesson, you will be directed to the section of the chapter “The Poses” that corresponds to the Pose Type you are reviewing. You will then be directed to read that section in your textbook along with the Lesson Topics for that Lesson.
The Lesson Topics for each Lesson match the individual poses that are covered in each Pose Type in your textbook. These Lesson Topics will provide a quick refresher on important information about that posture as well as additional information. This works to tie together your current knowledge of the postures discussed to the new knowledge that you have gained on how to practice and teach these postures in a Restorative Yoga class. Understanding how a Restorative Yoga class differs from previous styles that you have studied is an important part of this course. Lastly, at the end of each Lesson Topics, we will advise if a particular posture can also be found in your “YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH” textbook.
- Note: Asanas can have more than one Pose Type. Due to this, you will notice that the Pose Types in your “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE” textbook and the Pose Types in your “YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH” are slightly different. This does not mean that one or the other is incorrect, as they are both correct. This happens because of the fluidity of Yoga, and its evolution over time. This Dashboard follows the Pose Types laid out in the “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE”, as that is the main textbook for this course.
So that you can fully utilize the information in the “Learning the Asanas” Lessons and Lesson Topics, we have provided a reference guide below that explains some of the information that you find.
- How to Demonstrate the Pose: Your textbook will provide step-by-step instructions on how to practice each warm-up and asana. However, for some of the warm-ups/asanas we will provide additional information to help you fully understand it or to provide information on a variation of the warm-up or asana covered. Common ways you will see this information depicted is through a video demonstration or through a picture(s) that display important cues for a particular posture. Most of the warm-ups and asanas will contain different variations, however, keep in mind that we describe only a few ways to get into a warm-up or asana. You will find that, with continued practice, there are many different ways to practice these postures. Keep this in mind when working on sequences and creating your Lesson Plans.
- Modifications: These are methods about how to incorporate props or variations of postures into your practice. This area will explain what props or variations a particular student may need based on their individual needs. Modifications are usually needed for beginners, students with medical concerns, students who have a limited range of motion or are tight in certain areas. However, Restorative Yoga is about relaxing the body, so modifications are used more times than not to assist students with proper alignment and to help them relax into a pose. Note: you may see modifications for pregnant students in this section or in your textbooks, however, you should not conduct Prenatal Yoga classes unless you are a Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor. These modifications are provided as additional knowledge, but do not provide the in-depth information that a Prenatal Yoga Instructor would need to safely conduct a class. Prenatal students should always attend a Prenatal Yoga class instead of a regular class.
- Contraindications: These are cautions and warnings for you and your students. When practicing Yoga, it is important to know when practicing an asana could potentially harm you or your students. Knowing if your student(s) have medical concerns or ailments, have had surgery, are tight in a particular area, or are looking to strengthen a particular part of the body, will allow you to guide your students through their practice safely. Having this knowledge will allow you determine if you, or your students, should not practice an asana or which prop would be the most appropriate to use.
- Doshas: The doshas are vital energies that make up the world and can affect how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. By balancing your doshas you can bring harmony to your body and mind. Knowing which doshas increase, decrease, or become balanced in a particular warm-up or asana helps when creating a Lesson Plan. Some instructors also like to use themes for their classes so this helps, if you would like to use a particular dosha as a class theme.
- Chakras: This section lists the chakras that are activated when practicing an asana. It also provides a brief description of the chakra. This is useful in helping you refresh your knowledge about chakras, gain a deeper understanding of the asana, and can be used for sequencing when creating a Lesson Plan. Some instructors also like to use themes for their classes, which helps, if you would like to use a particular Chakra as a class theme.