YogaVibes Partners/Teachers

  • Create the Ultimate Yoga Class Plan, by Danielle Diamond

    Danielle Diamond Class Plan Blog

     

    This blog post appeared originally on XenStrength.com, it is reposted here with permission.

    Create the Ultimate Yoga Class Plan

    Hey Rockstar Yogi!

    I absolutely love creating new sequences and playlists, and researching dharma topics and new alignment instructions – but when I first started out I had no idea how to do it on my own.

    It takes a ton of time and dedication to truly offer your students an experience instead of the same old yoga class that everyone else is teaching, but it’s not always easy to come up with original ideas for sequences, playlists, dharma talks and more!

    I used to sit there and wish someone would do it for me, like a little yogi in a bottle would pop out with the perfect plan, but it never happened.

    At least I figured out a way to spend the time I had wisely- making sure each class had certain elements in it that would not only create an educational experience but also be a ton of fun.

    And I’m happy to share a few quick tips with you to make your class planning easier, so it doesn’t take you more time to plan it than it does to teach it!

    1-Figure out what type of class you’re going to be known for teaching

    I’ve had some of the same students coming to my classes for the last 15 years because they know exactly what they’re going to get and love the consistency of what I offer: a sweaty, challenging vinyasa flow sequenced around a theme of opening a certain body part or a peak pose, bookended with an inspiring dharma talk and closing meditation- all to a fun soundtrack that can include anything from Krishna Das to Das Efx….. I was a producer at MTV pre-yoga career, so music is a huge part of everything I do.

    Will your class only be focused on the physical? Will you teach pranayama and meditation? Will you talk about the Yamas and Niyamas? Will you play music, and if so what kind?

    All of these answers will contribute to the “experience” you’ll create for your students and if you create one they like, then they’ll keep coming back!

    The most important thing to remember is that you can’t please everyone, and if you try to please everyone you’ll wind up pleasing no one- so remember to do YOU, which brings me to my next tip.

    2-Find your own voice as a teacher.

    I remember when I first started teaching, I pretty much copied everything my mentor did. I used the same type of sequencing, the same music, I read from the same sutra book, and I think I even started using her mannerisms, which I’m sure freaked out students who also took her classes.

    After a month or so I realized that I was totally playing it safe trying to copy her and that I needed to develop my own style and attract my own tribe.

    It’s okay to share something someone reads or borrow a transition here and there, but make sure you find your own voice, your own instruction of the poses, your own style of music and your own translation of the Yamas and the Niyamas. Don’t be a copy-cat.

    3- Look everywhere for Dharma inspiration- everywhere! I was once at a John Mayer concert and for the first time wasn’t claustrophobic in a sea full of people on the stadium floor. I realized I was using my pranayama to stay calm and meditating on the idea that I was safe for the first 20 minutes. A few weeks later I brought that into my teaching a class on the great lawn at Bryant Park for Yoga Journal- with 750 yogis mat to

    I could tell people were feeling a bit like sardines so I shared my experience and it made for a great dharma talk about non-attachment. When you let your students see you as a student, always learning and sharing how you live your yoga, it inspires them to do the same.

    4- Know how to design a sequence that can be modified for anyone who comes. Unless you’re teaching a specified level, you’ll most likely get anyone from a fellow teacher to someone who has never stepped foot on a mat in the same class at the same time. You need to know how to teach to both of them.

    Creating a sequence with a peak pose that requires all advanced poses to get into is no bueno for an open level class. Make sure that you pick poses that can be modified either by putting a knee down or using a prop, etc. You want to make people feel welcome, and by giving modifications and talking about how you need to start some you’ll make everyone feel comfortable.

    5-Know the basics of sequencing a safe and effective flow. Every class should have a centering, warm up, core sequence, and relaxation.

    Centering can be anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on how long the class is. You can include a few rounds of chanting OM, a dharma talk, pranayama, a short meditation or a reading from your favorite yoga book or even an inspiring poem.

    The warm-up should do just that- warm them up for whatever you’ve got planned. I like to coordinate the opening in the body during the warm up with what we’ll be focusing on the class, whether it’s hips, shoulders, core, etc. You can do a few rounds of sun salutions or even a yin-style hold in a few poses.

    The core sequence is the bulk of the class and will vary whether you’re teaching Iyengar, Vinyasa or another style that might have a more set sequence. You’ll want to include forward bends, backbends, twists, standing poses, arm balances and inversions.

    The relaxation piece should include a few reclined poses; a spinal twist or reclined bound angle with pranayama are a great way to lower the heart rate, calm the nervous and prep them for savasana. The little things you do to make your students feel special really matter here-a lavendar scented neck massage, offering a bolster for under their legs or a blanket over their shoulders does the trick.

    6- Offer unique alignment and anatomy instruction When I’m planning a class I focus a ton of energy on figuring out new ways to teach the same old thing. Warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse warrior DOES get boring after a while, but flowing through them holding a strap makes it a whole new experience.

    Focusing a class on core and explaining that a 6 pack is really an 8 pack and using different tools to teach the engagement and alignment of working the core- ever move through a sun salutation with your feet on a blanket, sliding through the poses to engage your core-it’s an entirely new experience.

    Action Step

    The yoga teaching arena is getting more crowded every 6 months when new trainees roll out of their training. You want to make sure that your classes stand out so that you get hired to teach more, so that students keep coming back to your class, AND so that those students invite their friends to come to their favorite class in town.

    Take a few hours when you have time to sit down and plan a few great “back pocket” classes that you can return to over and over again-especially in those moments that you don’t have time to plan a new class. Find new music, come up with new sequencing, inspiring dharma talks and alignment instruction.

    Trust me, your students will LOVE you for it!!

    XO Danielle

    Check out Danielle's classes on YogaVibes.com, and see what else she's got going on at XenStrength.com.

  • YogaVibes Presents Yoga Online with the Yoga Tree

    We are super thrilled to offer online yoga videos filmed at the Yoga Tree - the “Bay Area’s Premier Yoga Studio.”

    seated forward fold

    Owned and operated by Tim and Tara Dale, the Yoga Tree presents the highest quality yoga in a welcoming environment. The Yoga Tree provides 9 dedicated centers for a daily yoga practice with gifted, intelligent, and compassionate teachers.

    "The great thing about partnering with YogaVibes is that it makes yoga and Yoga Tree San Francisco teachers accessible worldwide. We are thrilled to help make that happen," says Tim Dale.

    Combining high quality instruction with a lot of compassion, the studio seeks to create a safe, clean, and unique space for people to practice yoga in a way that enriches their lives. The Yoga Tree offers diverse styles of yoga giving everyone access to a practice that fits them accordingly.

    To get a feel for what the studio has to offer, join Yoga Tree teacher, Jason Bowman, for an energizing Alignment and Breath Vinyasa flow.

    This 78-minute online yoga class emphasizes the nuances of alignment and the delicate beauty of breath. The practice of Vinyasa yoga allows the body to become a lens through which the fluidity of life can be experienced. The sensations of breath transport the mind into internal landscapes which ripple outward to form ever-evolving physical expressions. Each pose builds from the last and informs the next, and every moment is a new chance to start the practice with brand new eyes.

    Begin anew now!

    vinyasa yoga online

    Stay tuned for additional Yoga Tree online yoga classes coming soon to YogaVibes, your ever-evolving online yoga realm!

    Image Credit: Jason Bowman via www.jasonbowmanyoga.com

  • YogaVibes Partners with Black Dog Yoga

    We are incredibly pleased to showcase our growing library of online yoga classes filmed at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA.

    LA yoga

    About Black Dog Yoga

    Black Dog Yoga was founded in 2002 to provide an inspiring, safe and unpretentious haven for yoga in the San Fernando Valley. Since its inception, Black Dog Yoga has prided itself in offering the highest-quality yoga in a clean, spacious, and inviting environment. Offering an eclectic mix of hatha yoga steered by a large roster of almost 40 extremely gifted and knowledgeable instructors, Black Dog Yoga has become the Valley’s premier yoga center.

    Why YogaVibes?

    "There are three reasons why Black Dog Yoga is partnering with YogaVibes. Our students. Our teachers. And us,” says Peter Barnett, the owner of Black Dog Yoga.  

    “We are in existence to serve our clientele. Our studio is always clean and bright and we have plenty of top quality props on hand. One thing we don't have is a way for our students to continue their practice with their favorite teacher or teachers when they can't get to the studio for any reason. Partnering with YogaVibes solves this problem!

    At Black Dog Yoga we pride ourselves in having great teachers teaching great classes. It seems because we're "over the hill" in the San Fernando Valley, our teachers aren't getting the recognition they deserve. Partnering with YogaVibes is the ideal way to get the great work of our awesome teachers out there for all to see.

    Black Dog Yoga is the largest, independently-owned yoga studio in Los Angeles. Our four airy practice rooms and retail area combined are a spacious 7,000 square feet and we offer more than 90 classes a week for students of all levels, in a variety of styles.

    We have a great reputation in town and now is the time for everybody to get to know what makes us truly one of LA's best yoga studios. We're all very excited to be partnering with YogaVibes and to be reaching out to a whole new audience."

    ***

    Get to know the studio and join Peter for his newest online yoga class, an abs and arm-balancing Vinyasa yoga flow. In this 35-minute online yoga sequence, Peter presents exercises that help to build the core strength necessary for arm balances and offers opportunities to practice a number of advanced arm balancing postures.

    hatha yoga online

    Please stay tuned for more hatha yoga online and good vibes with Peter Barnett and the Black Dog Yoga crew!

     

  • Featuring Yoga Online with Exhale Spa's Cristi Christensen

    We are incredibly pleased to feature our growing collection of yoga videos and Core Fusion classes with Cristi Christensen, the Director of Exhale Center for Sacred Movement in Venice, California.

    exhale spa yoga teacher Cristi Christensen via El Imagenero Photography.

    A former elite-level gymnast and platform diver, Cristi earned her degree in Kinesiology while training with the Olympic diving team. After an injury cut her Olympic dreams short, Cristi shifted her focus to helping others improve their level of fitness through personal training, Pilates, Core Fusion, and yoga. In 2004, she joined Exhale, and has since studied extensively with world-renowned yoga teachers.

    Cristi has combined her teachings, practice, and brightness into a dynamic and unique style that translates into an infectious energy - an energy that she has graciously brought to the YogaVibes scene.

    We asked Cristi...

    Why YogaVibes?

    “I decided to partner with YogaVibes to provide my classes online to get to know more of you! The best part of practicing with yogis from all over the world is hearing what you are up to, what pose you're rocking, and what you'd like to see more of on the mat. Even though we're practicing together online, we are still creating a very potent collective yoga family! Raising our individual vibrations to peace, strength, and love, while spreading awareness around the globe from our very own homes. YogaVibes has provided a perfect platform for this transformation to happen by inspiring us to practice anytime, anywhere, for any duration of time. I am honored to be apart of the YogaVibes tribe and have the opportunity to share with you all.”

    Join Cristi and the YogaVibes tribe for her newest class, a 90-minute Fluid Flow sequence paired with Live Music from One Tribe. Move into this online yoga class slowly, finding space within the breaths. Feel calm, focused, and connected. Enjoy the healing vibrations of live music from One Tribe to release constricted energy. Move fluidly through this online yoga practice, working to open your shoulders, chest, and heart.

    exhale spa yoga online

    To enjoy more live music yoga flows and Core Fusion classes, check out Cristi’s ever-expanding selection of online yoga videos on YogaVibes.

  • Special Xen Strength Yoga Retreat Discount

    Thinking about your next vacation?

    Here’s an idea:

    Treat yourself to an idyllic, invigorating retreat in Italy hosted by one of our lovely online yoga teachers.

    I know you’re thinking: "Tell me more..."

    Taking place next September, you have plenty of time to do your research, planning and prepping for this blissful escape.

    And because we love you…

    With mention of YogaVibes, you’ll receive a $100 retreat discount.

     

    The Retreat Deets:

    Full Wheel Pose

    Join YogaVibes Teacher, Danielle Diamond, for an unforgettable retreat in Italy. For the week of September 27th, 2014 you'll practice dynamic yoga classes, two times a day, in a glass box overlooking the olive groves of Umbria. You'll be a guest at the Locanda del Gallo, a 12th Century restored stone home, where you'll deepen your yoga practice and revitalize your spirit. Enjoy swimming in the infinity pool, relaxing in the hot tub or new steam room, and enjoy 3 delicious healthy organic meals a day, with vegetables straight from the gardens. Participate in day trips to nearby towns, cooking classes, and a trip to the Prada outlet if you're a shoe lover! Check out this slideshow highlighting the trip, http://www.monikabroz.com/slideshows2011/ITALYYOGA2011/, and go to http://xenstrength.com/retreats/ for more information.

    To get a taste for what it would be like to practice with this inspiring teacher, check out Danielle’s yoga classes online. She’s contributed an amazing, ever-growing collection of free online yoga videos demoing various poses and sequences, as well as full-length Xen Strength Yoga videos (yoga with weights) designed to boost your overall strength and awareness.

    Don’t miss out on this opportunity to practice with a kick a** yogi in a kick a** location!

     

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