ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

7 Killer Resources for Yoga Instructors

Updated on February 28, 2014

I've organized these resources into three categories:

  • News & Research
  • Teaching Tools
  • Inspiration

Why?

  • News & Research. Staying abreast of news in the yoga community helps us determine how yoga fits in with the larger world. What is the growth rate of yoga as an industry? What other settings are yoga classes taking place in? Knowing the answers to these questions not only makes you a more well-rounded teacher, but it also helps identify new and growing career opportunities. Continuous education through research allows you to keep your classes safe for all types of bodies and provide therapeutic applications to students.
  • Teaching Tools. You could come up with everything on your own, but why? Valuable resources exist to help give your classes more depth and structure. Having a reason behind each pose and theme is critical; these resources help provide the why behind the what.
  • Inspiration. Unless you're a superhuman yoga instructor, the well of inspiration will run dry. Like any creative profession, resources exist to keep the creative juices flowing. Finding inspiration that resonates with you is up to you, but possibilities include music, art, poetry, books, images, conversations...they truly are endless.

Quick Tips

  • Create a ritual for reading news and research. For example, every Friday morning, spend 30 minutes reading about yoga.
  • Give yourself time to plan classes. Think about a physical theme, an emotional theme, and tie in at least one breath technique or mudra.
  • Stay inspired. Just like writer's block, yoga instructors can get stuck when planning classes. Use music, poetry, imagery - whatever it takes to keep the creativity flowing.

News & Research

1. YogaDork. The folks at YogaDork post about the latest yoga news, from Lululemon's latest shenanigans to pro-football teams using yoga to enhance performance. These stories help us realize the growing nature of yoga in our world; plus, I've forwarded a number of posts to students, sharing information I think they'll find either useful or interesting.

Sample headlines:

  • Michelle Obama Turns to Yoga As She Turns 50
  • Jasmine Does Yoga to Prepare for 'Aladdin' On Broadway
  • TIME Magazine Chooses Mindfulness for Latest Cover Story

2. Yoga for Healthy Aging. Bringing medicine and yoga together, contributors of this blog have both impressive credentials and a passion for yoga as a tool for healing. Any time I'm looking for some anatomical assistance or therapeutic applications, this is one of the first places I go.

Sample headlines:

  • Yoga and Your Sinuses
  • Changing the Brain's Stressful Habits
  • Spinal Movements: How To Keep Your Spine Safe

3. Yoga Journal. I would be amiss to leave Yoga Journal off this list. This one-stop shop for yoga instructors delves into yoga news, research and general wellness, while also providing tools for teaching and home practice.

Posted By Yoga for Healthy Aging

How my table looks when I'm planning a class. The Yoga Toolbox and The Book of Awakening. (And a cup of tea, of course.)
How my table looks when I'm planning a class. The Yoga Toolbox and The Book of Awakening. (And a cup of tea, of course.)

Teaching Tools

4. Yoga Toolbox for Teachers and Students (from Integrative Yoga Therapy). I can't stress how helpful this resource is; I use it every single time I plan a class. If I had to narrow this list down to one, this would be it. For each pose, this toolbox provides:

  • Sanskrit. Both the English and Sanskrit names are included, and the Sanskrit translation is spelled out.
  • Details. Delves into each pose and how it relates to ayurveda, the prana vayus, the chakras and where it lies on the langhana-brahmana spectrum.
  • Modifications. Includes modifications for both beginners or for a greater challenge.
  • Variations. Provides more options are given beyond the traditional pose.
  • Teaching Points. Includes an entire script with cues for the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies
  • Benefits. Includes how the pose benefits our physical bodies.
  • Contraindications. Explains who should avoid the particular pose.

5. Mudras for Healing and Transformation (from Integrative Yoga Therapy). Can you tell I am IYT trained? I truly believe their teaching tools are invaluable. This is the most in-depth mudra guide I've come across, equipping you with the most appropriate mudra for your class.

What resource category is the most valuable?

See results

Inspiration

6. The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. For each day of the year, Nepo includes a quote, a short entry and a short meditation. If you've never read Nepo before (I hadn't), you are in for a treat. He is profound, humble, heartfelt -- all the while, his poetry and prose is unmatched. I use this book when developing themes for classes, often reading excerpts verbatim throughout the class.

Excerpts:

When we care, we receive the truth that lives beneath words, and the sense of what is too much to say then reflects off our hearts, soothing those around us.

Rather than finding ourselves in everything, we are challenged daily to find everything in ourselves, till being human is evolving inwardly in the likeness of everything, shaping ourselves to the wonders we find, until like birds, who have known this forever, we too make song at the mere appearance of light.

Again and again, the onset of pain makes us clutch and sink. But life has taught me that how we first open after doubling over is crucial to whether we will heal at all.

Underneath it all is the fundamental truth that as trees have leaves that are nicked and eaten, human beings have feelings that are just as worn by the act of living. We have a right to these. They are evidence of our human seasons.

7. Yoga on Pinterest. A simple search on this popular social media site will likely light a little fire of inspiration. From inspirational quotes to stunning images of yogis, a few minutes here will give you something to strive for.

One of my favorite inspirational quotes.
One of my favorite inspirational quotes.

Three Types of Resources

News & Research
Teaching Tools
Inspiration
Yoga Dork
IYT Yoga Toolbox
The Book of Awakening
Yoga for Healthy Aging
IYT Mudras for Healing and Transformation
Pinterest
Yoga Journal
Yoga Journal
Yoga Journal
Be playful! Here I am enjoying a downward dog in the trails of Colorado.
Be playful! Here I am enjoying a downward dog in the trails of Colorado.

A Bonus Tip

Perhaps the most important tip for yoga instructors: keep practicing yoga. All too often, yoga instructors stop attending classes, replace home practice with class prep, and forget to leave time for themselves. Sound familiar? Continuing to attend classes from your favorite instructor helps develop new ideas and fresh inspiration. Home practice with no alternate motive will allow you to relax and ultimately find more creativity. And practice what you preach: there is always time to set aside for yourself to unwind and relax.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 

      4 years ago from Louisiana

      Good information. I enjoyed your hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great information and very well presented! Very useful for yoga practitioners. Thank you.

    • KShafer profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Shafer 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Thanks, billybuc. Good point - these are great for practitioners as well. Thanks for stopping by!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, I'm not an instructor but I do practice yoga. Great resource of information here.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)