A Philosophy of Yoga Education

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A Philosophy of Yoga Education

Copyright(1999), John P. Giunta

The practice of yoga is recognized as a valuable stress management tool. Further, the inclusion of yoga in our lives can be an important part of a person's goals for spiritual attainment, regardless of the person's religion or belief system. The original purpose of Hatha yoga was to prepare the body for meditation, in other words, to make the chosen posture of meditation steady, strong and comfortable. It is with this goal in mind that these classes will be conducted. Smooth and unforced breathing, proper alignment of the body in the postures and the relaxing of the uninvolved muscles are emphasized. Pranayama techniques, breathing techniques for infusing of the body with energy, will also be included.

When a student expresses an interest in yoga, an interview with an instructor should be arranged to determine the appropriateness of the instructor for the student, and the student for the program. There should always be compassion and respect for all students. Competition in yoga is counterproductive to its goals. During the classes, an effort should be made to give simpler variations of positions to students with lesser ability or more advanced variations of postures to some students if they appear ready for them and if the flow of the class can be maintained.

A yoga teacher should be well-acquainted with a wide variety of spiritual work in both Eastern and Western traditions to be suited for teaching in the West. Additionally, the teacher should have experienced several career directions and a variety of life experiences that will equip him or her with the tools for understanding the stresses of the widest possible spectrum of human experience.

About My Background and Teaching Studio

I am an initiate of several Western and Eastern spiritual disciplines. I embrace the spiritual aspects of all religions. My certification to teach Hatha yoga is from the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, founded by Swami Rama. Teacher certification in this program requires about two years. I made my pilgrimage to India in January, 2001.

I am a certified practitioner of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. This is an alternative modality of psychotherapy which uses supported yoga postures, non-directive Rogerian dialogue, contemplation and meditation.

In the field of health club instruction and administration, I have trained many health club instructors and conducted classes in Hatha Yoga, weight training and calisthenics.

In June, 2004, I took my vows as an Interfaith Minister, ordained by The New Seminary in New York City. I am available for a full range of ministerial services, to include weddings, renewals of vows, baby blessings, memorial services, transitional rituals and other ceremonies.

I offer a number of workshops which relate and combine Yoga and music: Yoga for Musicians, Music Improvisation, Adults Returning to the Study of Music and other subjects.