yoga teacher training

We’ve kicked off the holiday shopping season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and although we know it’s good practice to hold back on rampant consumerism, there are a few tools you can gift to the yogi in your life that will elevate their yoga practice, which can have plenty of benefits – a better mind-body connection, elevated happiness, and a generally more mindful approach to life. Here are the top yoga tools you can get for the beginner, intermediate, or expert yogi in your life:

Beginner

Just the essentials to help those who may not have the flexibility or strength to fully complete poses yet.

yoga mat yoga block feet

  1. Yoga Mat – An essential tool for any yogi. Doing exercises on the floor requires some padding to keep from being in too much pain to practice often.
  2. Yoga Block – Another great tool for beginners. Blocks help with getting into poses and maintaining balance when you can’t quite reach the floor.
  3. Yoga Belt – This helps with getting into positions that require a little more flexibility than you currently have.
  4. Yoga Towel – This is a great tool for Bikram yoga. Yoga towels are designed to eliminate bacteria from sweat, but can also be used for support in certain poses.
  5. Yoga Retreat – Beginners can learn so much from practicing yoga away from home and their typical instructor. Sign you and your yogi friends up for a retreat in paradise with yoga expert Cher Aslor in March of 2017 – also a great way to escape winter for a week!

Intermediate

Once people are comfortable practicing yoga in a studio, they may want to take their practice outside!

yoga on the beach

  1. Outdoor Yoga Mat – These mats are thicker and can be used on rough surfaces like rock, or protect your body from sticks and debris on the ground.
  2. Outdoor Class Passes – Maybe your yogi friend wants to practice outside the confines of a studio, but still needs direction from an instructor. Find a studio near you that offers outdoor classes and get them a few.
  3. Clothes – Most people love to hang out in yoga clothes, and many beginners will stock up their wardrobe, but once you start getting into more advanced positions it becomes important to wear attire that won’t get in your way. Consider form fitting, stretchy pants and tops without sleeves to allow unrestricted movement.

Advanced

Practicing yoga isn’t just about doing poses. More advanced yogis may appreciate gifts that enhance their practice in other ways.

Nicaragua yoga face mask

  1. Books – There are SO many options for books for yogis. You can find books about meditation, chakras, the limbs of yoga, anatomy, and more. Listen in to what your friend loves about practicing yoga and find a book on that topic – you can bet it exists somewhere.
  2. A journal – We’ve written plenty about practicing gratitude by writing it down in a journal, but journals can be useful for yogis (and pretty much anyone else) in other ways too. They can write about things that happen in their daily lives and track their emotional responses, record their progress in practicing asanas, or just write down their class schedule.
  3. Essential oils – Aromatherapy from essential oils can help you relax and get better sleep or become energized and more able to focus. Many people, yogis included, appreciate essential oils and all they do for the mind and body. They range widely in price, but are all useful for adjusting mood and atmosphere, while practicing yoga or just hanging out.
  4. A yoga retreat or training – Once your yogi friend has gotten to an advanced level, they may want to start teaching others what they have learned. Earning a yoga teaching certification requires an intensive, month long commitment to learning more in depth about yoga, its history, and the best ways to instruct others in practicing yoga.

If you or a yogi friend with at least six months experience is ready to spread the joy of yoga to the world, sign up now for our Moksha Modo 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Nicaragua, starting February 26th, 2017.

Nothing beats the winter blues quite like getting on the mat. But after that is done, curling up by a roaring fire with a good book to soothe the soul and rest your muscles is the next best thing.  Dr. Seuss put it best with this sentiment, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the  more places you’ll go.”  Knowledge is power. And fueling our minds with enlightenment and ideas to help us deepen our practice should be on everyone’s Holiday “wish list”. Here are our Top 7 Winter Picks for yogis this holiday season:

lightonyoga

 

  • LIGHT ON YOGA – B.K.S. Ivengar

 

Written by the man that is accredited with introducing yoga to the Western World, this book is full of knowledge and experience. With detailed descriptions of over 200 poses and 600 photos, this book is perfect for anyone wanting to perfect a posture or learn to instruct others in doing so. His style of yoga focuses on proper alignment, and makes Light on Yoga the “rule book for asanas”.

meditationsfromthemat

  1.  MEDITATIONS FROM THE MAT – Rolt Gates

This book is more of a relaxed read, offering daily reflections on the yoga practice.  The Journey Junkie says, “The writings are simple, relatable, easy to digest, and lighthearted. This is a great book to read first thing in the morning, at night when winding down, or whenever you need some feel good yumminess. It is also perfect for anyone interested in learning the principles behind the yoga practice.”

metaanatomy

  1.  MetaAnatomy – Kristin Leal

One of our favorite authors and teachers, Kristin Leal produces an amazing read on the metaphysical or metacarpals in her book, MetaAnatomy.  In Anatomy of a Yogi Volume One, you are introduced to. . .YOUrself! With chapter titles like “I’ve Got Your Back, Jack” on the glorious spine and “Oh The Nerve” on the magnificent nervous system, she disseminates what can be dense information into fun accessible bite size pieces. Wrapped inside the teachings of yoga philosophy this makes an excellent companion to yoga teacher training programs or for those yoga students interested in learning about their own amazing body. This book covers all the major muscles, bones and joints along with the anatomy of breath and the nervous system forming a comprehensive and lighthearted study for yoga students, yoga teachers or anyone with a body. Meet author and speaker, Kristin Leal in person this March 3-12th for her Meditation in Motion Yoga Retreat in Nicaragua! Or purchase her book directly at http://www.kristinleal.com/.

yogafortravelers

  1.  YOGA FOR TRAVELERS – Jennifer J. Ellinghaus

This gem is great for all our traveling yogis out there! This book includes the personal stories of travelling yogis, the ups and downs of the road, experiencing different cultures and languages, and making connections with others along the way. Whether you find yourself in a cramped hostel or hotel, this book gives creative sequences for practicing no matter where you find yourself in the world. The author shows just how adaptable yoga can be and how liberating it can feel to practice by a prehistoric lake, atop a mountain after hours of trekking, or on a wooden balcony overlooking a rain forest. This winter, it’s a great read curled up by the fire, and even better read when you hit the road this yoga retreat season abroad!

happyhealthy

  1.  Happy, Healthy, Sexy: Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women – Katie Silcox

Teacher and yoga instructor, Katie Silcox is a leading expert on Ayurveda. She knows that bringing ancient wisdom into our modern lives does not mean sacrificing the occasional rendezvous with red wine, fashion magazines, and other sensual pleasures. In Healthy Happy Sexy, Katie offers not only a philosophy of life but a time-tested (we’re talking thousands of years!) method for living your most radiant, healthy, and sexually vital life possible. Combining Ayurvedic wisdom with practical tools and her lively, playful, and down-to-earth voice, Katie provides a method to heal, entertain, inspire, and remind you that you are one sexy goddess. After this fantastic read, if you’re craving a bit more, join Katie this summer for her Ayurveda Tantra Yoga Retreat and Training in Nicaragua, ! Check out her website to purchase this book directly: http://www.katiesilcox.com/

siddhartha

  1.  SIDDHARTHA – Hermann Hesse

For those looking for a “gamechanger”, Siddhartha is just that. You will pick it up and not put it down until it completely devoured.  It’s a beautiful story, a quick read, and one that will entirely shift and empower your perspective on life. We could all use a bit more of the wisdom from the pages of this gift: “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love?  How fully did you live?  How deeply did you let go?”

alchemist

  1.  THE ALCHEMIST – Paulo Coelho

This one is on so many “must-read lists”. It’s not just for the yogi, but for all who need a fresh perspective. The Alchemist is a life-changing read, a book that will inspire you to think from an entirely new and uplifted point of view. It’s a story about a boy on his journey of self-realization, and the lessons it contains are things we can take with us everywhere we go.  “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure…. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Hammock Time Nicaragua Yoga Institute

We hope you enjoy our “Must-Read” picks for the season! Some are yoga-centric and others are more secular in nature. However, each one deals with what’s at the core of yoga: self-knowing, self-awareness, self-love, inspiration, and spirituality. So brew a cup of tea, put on your favorite yoga pants, and settle in for some time of reflection and enlightenment this winter season.  Take your mind for a retreat or pack your book or Kindle and join us in Nicaragua for one of our many Yoga Retreats, hop in a hammock and  dig into these great reads.

 

There’s no doubt the benefits that having a regular yoga practice can bring to an individual. Maintaining a habitual practice of meditation and centering your energy can bring resounding enhancements to your body, physically and mentally. Studies have proven the benefits of yoga on the nervous and respiratory systems, not to mention improving your body’s ability to relax, focus, and build strength.

 

Did you know that taking a yoga teacher training can benefit you even further as an individual? Even if you’ve never wanted to become a professional yoga instructor, enrolling yourself in an intensive yoga teacher training could be the best thing that you ever do. Here’s why:

Seated Twist Nicaragua Yoga Institute bw

Knowledge of Your Anatomy and How Your Body Works For You – So many of us take our bodies for granted. We don’t realize the complexity of how we function. From taking breaths to running long-distances, our bodies are working hard to be balanced and in shape for all our daily activities. In a yoga teacher training, you learn the mechanics of how the body works, the muscles and bones and tendons and how everything works together and stays in alignment. This is beneficial in the beginning by learning how to do each of the poses correctly, but understanding why you need the poses and how to get in and out of each pose helps you to understand that yoga is not just about flexibility, but how to maintain your body and prevent it from injury, on or off the mat.

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Gaining an Understanding of How to Breathe Properly and How This Affects Everything – Breathing is something many of us never focus on. However, breath is food for our body. Without understanding how to breathe properly, we cannot understand how to best fuel our body with the oxygen it so craves. Respiration is a huge focus of the training, and uncovering the knowledge that each breath brings with it nutrients that our body needs to function. Many of us will never learn to focus on our breath, and balance it in a way that removes anxiety, tension, and many other negative emotions. Delving into the art of Pranayama, you will discover breathing practices that increase your range of respiration, bringing a renewed sense of calm and energy.

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Discover the Philosophy of Yoga and How the Mind Works – Thousands of years ago, someone wrote down philosophies that incorporate yoga that still speak to this very time and date. Yoga Sutras explain how yoga is more than just a bunch of complicated poses. The wisdom from these Sutras can be so helpful when we are feeling stuck in any way emotionally and mentally. Each verse has something to offer that will enhance any religion you practice, or give you some meaning if you don’t have a religion. You learn how to think and how to work with your mind when life begins to overwhelm, as it always will.  That, in itself, is invaluable.

Peter Sterios, reknown yoga professional and international yoga trainer instructs hundreds every year, leading them in their intensive yoga teacher trainings. Many, he says, never teach a class.

“Over the last ten years of leading Teacher Trainings, I have observed more than half of the graduates never teach. If you ask many of them “Was it worth it? All the time, effort and money it took?”, rarely is there even a hesitation. They are excited to share how the training was a turning point in their lives – a personal, transformational experience which deepened their understanding of yoga and helped them integrate it into their life back home.. . . At the end of the program, you will possess a very personal and intuitive understanding of yoga, based on your own experience, that will serve your practice and ultimately bring more balance and grace to your life. . .Beyond becoming a teacher, what is beautiful to see is the connection we all benefit from when learning together and from each other, and finding how this moves beyond our yoga practice into all the relationships in our lives. That’s really what our Teacher Training course is all about.”

Join Peter Sterios and James Bailey this winter in an inspiring teacher training in the beautifully cultural setting of Nicaragua, learning about the art and philosophy of yoga on the gorgeous Pacific Coast. Spots are still available for this 200-hour intensive training, February 17th-March 6th. (You can sign up for this transforming training HERE – LEVITYOGA REGISTRATION.)

Experiencing a yoga teacher training abroad allows you to dive deep into your study of yoga and you. You get to walk, talk, breathe yoga. It allows for an opportunity to do all the homework and really digest the material. You get to spend time with your teacher, seeing how he lives the yoga, learning by example. After a period of time in such an immersion, your life does change, for the better. You will find yourself knowing how to sit to keep your lower back happy. You will be less annoyed at family members and friends, using the tips from the yoga philosophy.

Once you’ve experienced something as life transforming as a yoga teacher training, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.  It’s certainly not just for teachers. It’s for humans who have practiced some yoga and now want to learn more about themselves. When we know more about ourselves, we are less fearful and able to be present with anything that life offers us. In this world of constant change and unexpected turns, that is priceless.