Are instructional yoga videos on yoga poses something you would like us to post more frequently? Please watch the video on Tree Pose (Vrksasana) and give us your feedback! More pose instructions? Other video requests?
If you would like to register for a Sunrise Yoga class, use our Sunrise Yoga app, register online, or through the studio.
On this Thanksgiving Day, it can be challenging to step out from the busyness and the activities and truly remember to be thankful. This day is a reminder to us that we can be in a state of thanksgiving and gratitude every day and to try to be present wherever we are.
Here at Sunrise Yoga Studio, we often get calls asking us, “What is Yoga?” The interesting answer to that question is, “What do you need it to be?”
The reason we answer it this way is because of the individual experience involved. Your experience will be different than someone else’s because your goals are unique, what type of yoga you do varies, and how you approach the techniques and guidance can be different. One of the advantages you have of coming to see us is that we consider what your needs are, such as wellness, fitness, mental clarity, spiritual growth, peace of mind, stress relief, vitality, healing, balance, pain relief, posture, better sleep, and stamina.
We are thankful yoga can provide so many benefits in ways that are as unique as the individuals participating in yoga. And we hope that, through your yoga journey, a deeper sense of gratitude will develop.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.
In an article for Greater Good Magazine, he states, “We’ve studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:”
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.
The benefits of gratitude and the benefits of yoga are not surprisingly similar! How can you incorporate gratitude development in your yoga practice?
“It can be hard to live in a constant state of gratitude, but you can learn to cultivate it by practicing yoga,” says Lena Schmidt of The Chopra Center. She suggests, “Next time you’re on your mat, try these eight yoga poses that inspire gratitude. For the best results, hold each pose for five to 10 breaths.”
Child’s Pose (Balasana) – Find gratitude for your breath—a sign that you are alive and everything is possible.
Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana) – As you breathe calmly, consider one part of your body for which you are especially grateful.
Supported Reclining Heart Opener (Setu Bandhasana Variation) – Consider a friend or mentor who is dear to you and all you’ve learned from him or her. Allow the thought of this person to inspire feelings of love and gratitude in your heart.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) – Find gratitude for your feet and all the adventures they take you on.
Mountain Pose with Raised Hands (Tadasana + Urdva Hastasana) – Find gratitude for all of your hopes and dreams and the unknown adventure of the future.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) – Find gratitude for an aspect of your life or a talent you hold that you appreciate.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana) – As you open your heart, throat, and shoulders, find gratitude for all the courage you’ve summoned into your life, and how it’s helped you through challenges big and small.
Final Resting Pose (Savasana) – Find compassion and gratitude for your own journey, for all of your strengths and all of your struggles.
What are your thoughts on how yoga can help create a greater sense of gratitude? We’d love to know!
We have really incredible, wonderful, caring yoga instructors at Sunrise Yoga Studio!
If you’ve taken yoga classes at Sunrise Yoga, no doubt you agree that our yoga instructors are top notch. But what makes a yoga instructor top notch?
Researching this question led to quite a few lists of the must have characteristics of a good (better yet, great) yoga instructor. What quality would be at the top of your list?
Of the eight resources reviewed, every one of them noted a good yoga instructor should have the ability to observe the surroundings and situations of the classroom, and, by paying attention to detail and drawing from the instructor’s yoga knowledge base, adjust the pace and difficulty level of the class. Leave out the word “yoga” and you have a description of a good instructor of any subject! Remaining aware of your surroundings means watching students without making them feel uncomfortable and, as they practice each pose, assisting them when necessary. Having the mental flexibility to adjust lets students know the instructor is aware and cares about their students’ wellbeing.
Another frequently mentioned quality is language or voice. The yoga instructor’s voice is a powerful tool used to guide students in and out of poses. The language and the tone of voice help the instructor tell the yoga story. The better the communication from the yoga instructor, the deeper the students can immerse themselves in their yoga practice. A good yoga instructor knows how to use language and voice to calm or energize, support or challenge, reinforce or educate. Adjusting language and voice ties back to the ability to observe the surroundings and demonstrates compassion in both words and actions.
Awareness and adjustments also relate to being present and authentic. While presence may seem a bit vague, a good yoga instructor’s teaching will reflect his or her presence and help the student stay focus and engaged. The yoga instructor’s authenticity will come across in the messages shared and the manner in which they are shared. Personalization will infuse the instructor’s energy level into the class and create the appropriate type space for each yoga class.
It would seem to go without saying that preparation, study, attention to detail, and an emphasis on safety would be evident in all yoga instructors, not just good ones, and yet these attributes were mentioned less frequently than the qualities above. A love and respect for yoga would also be expected and might be manifested in the instructor’s desire to continue learning as well as in the instructor’s own ongoing practice of yoga.
One quality mentioned only once but that would be at or near the top of our list is trust. Yoga classes can be a place of sanctuary, a place to be open to trying without fear of failure or ridicule, a place to let go of the rest of the world for a brief time. If the student doesn’t have a sense of trust in the yoga instructor to create this type space, the student will not have fully experienced quality yoga.
Sunrise Yoga holds our instructors to high standards. Our instructors have all undergone rigorous study and testing to acquire the certification necessary to teach. They must demonstrate their teaching and leadership abilities before joining the Sunrise Yoga staff.
You, however, hold our instructors to even higher standards. You come to Sunrise Yoga expecting good instructors and quality yoga classes. You are looking for an instructor who will share not only knowledge of yoga but who will also be a light and an inspiration for you.
The instructors themselves hold themselves to standards even higher than we do or you do! Some things simply can’t be learned and our instructors have inborn desires to learn, to teach, to lead, to grow, and to inspire. They continuously challenge themselves to bring yoga classes to you that bring yoga into your world and help you see your world through the eyes of an enlightened yogi.
To conclude, we quote from yogapedia.com. “Perhaps most crucially, there is no one perfect yoga teacher and yoga teaching is not an exact science. There is space out there in the sphere of inspirational yoga classes for a huge variety of teaching styles and techniques. The common denominator, though, is that all good yoga teachers care deeply about their yoga and about their students.”
Today is not a “salute your yoga instructor day” or any special day related to yoga instructors. Every day at Sunrise Yoga is a day we are proud of our instructors and honored to have them as part of our staff. We hope you concur.
If you have a quality you look for in a yoga instructor we haven’t mentioned, please comment. If your Sunrise Yoga instructor has a quality you particularly admire, please let us know.
We thank you as students for being a part of who our instructors are and what Sunrise Yoga is. You elevate our good qualities and help direct us to be our best!
Check out all our instructors on our web site.
Is yoga instructor in your future? We offer yoga teacher training! Find out more here!
Commentary about the qualities mentioned above for a good yoga instructor can be found on the following web sites:
In the every day world things can get busy and stressful and it can become difficult to drown out the noise that’s part of being an adult. Every so often we need a way to disconnect but recharge, shut down but tune in, relax but restore.
If any of these situations resonated with you, come join Percussionist Bill Smith and Sunrise Yoga Instructor Cathy Howe for a wonderful session of restorative yoga with sound immersion!
Discover a deep sense of tranquility as you the let the vibrations of gongs and bells wash over you as you relax through a series of restorative yoga poses. After this type of yoga practice, participants can have reduced stress, a better quality of sleep, a profound sense of calm and focus and a refreshed feeling and outlook.
Come relax and restore, Sunday, November 11th, 5:00-6:30 pm. REGISTER BY NOVEMBER 4, 2018, AND SAVE $5 OFF THE WORKSHOP PRICE!
If you have participated in restorative yoga and sound immersion before, please tell us what you think!
Register for this workshop through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.
Visit Bill’s web site and listen to samples of his music! His music is also available on YouTube!