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How I Became a Yoga Wellness Educator

Yoga wellness educator. Certified to teach Hatha yoga, meditation, pilates, and Reiki. Oracle card reader. Yoga Therapy Foundations program.

Anatomy of muscles

Anatomy of muscles

On July 15, 2019, I enrolled in the Yoga Wellness Educator professional training with YogaU Online.

I submitted my final exam on October 31, 2020 —Halloween Day and Blue Moon Day. A few days later, I received an email with my certificate for “successfully completing the required 125 hours of coursework, examinations, and final video project.”

It took me fifteen months to successfully complete this professional training. In the period in-between, I had a full-time job, and like everyone else on planet earth I had to cope with the current global health crisis.

My Reasons for Taking This Training

I chose this training because of the respectable reputation of the school and the teachers. I wanted to acquire the expertise of teaching anatomy-focused yoga classes.

The study of body structure and makeup was not my strong point. But now, I feel more confident and at ease with this part of teaching. The knowledge that I acquired was also valuable to my personal yogic routine.

The yoga profession is in constant development. Lifelong learning is important to me. I do my best to keep learning for the benefit of my work life and my yoga and meditation life.

Yoga-Based Anatomy

Studying yoga with emphasis on anatomy implies a fundamental knowledge of the anatomy of the body. This training includes a basic understanding of the main parts of the body and their movements, and how to perform key yoga poses.

The anatomy training included the knowledge of:

  • Major muscles and muscle groups.
  • Major bones.
  • Joints of the body.
  • Range of motion of the muscles, the joints, and the bones.
  • Structure and function of the spine or the vertebral column.
  • What muscles are involved in doing essential yoga poses.
  • Common postural problems.
  • Strength and stability.

Yoga poses by anatomy include yogic movements for your ankles and feet, your arms and hands, your abdominal muscles, your spine, your upper body, your lower body etc.

Purpose of the Course

Teaching anatomy-focused yoga classes implies assessing the muscles and their range of motion and learning to guide yoga practitioners in doing the poses in a correct and safe way to prevent injuries.

The prevention aspect includes for instance learning how to keep the rotator cuffs of the shoulders healthy; reverse muscle imbalances of the shoulder girdle; improve our posture; keep or improve pelvic balance; safe hip opening; and work with common musculoskeletal imbalances.

Yoga for healthy aging for those who are over 50 years of age; yoga for better sleep; yoga for high blood pressure or for osteoporosis were ‘some of my favorite things’.

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We learned assessment techniques to measure ranges of motion, common musculoskeletal imbalances, and weak and/or tight muscles to name just a few. Musculoskeletal means related to the musculature and the skeleton together.

And of course, there was the ‘how to teach yoga’ general component of the course geared toward individual sessions or group classes.


Assignments and Exams

To make sure we learn, the course is divided into several modules. Each module is divided into short segments. Each segment ends with a short quiz that judges if we have understood the concepts and can remember what we learned.

This made it easy for me to navigate the course and to study all the segments of all the modules and pass the exams. I loved it.

Bonus Segments

From time to time, we received a bonus audio or video. One of my favorites was “The Spine as a Sacred Channel: Nourishing the Ecosystem for Lifelong Back Health” by Tias Little.

Course Leaders

Teachers of teachers who are well-informed, up to date, and experienced trainers led this yoga professional training.

They are:

  • Eva Norlyk Smith, PhD, C-I-IAYT, co-Founder and President of YogaU Online.
  • Lynn Crimando, MA, C-IAYT, NBC-HWC, CPT.
  • Julie Gudmestad, Physical Therapist, E-RYT 500, Yoga Therapist.
  • Baxter Bell, MD, eRYT 500, C-IAYT
  • Doug Keller, Master’s degree in Philosophy, Anusara Yoga Teacher.
  • Tom Myers, Cartographer of Anatomy Trains, and holistic myofascial strategies.
  • Marlysa Sullivan, Assistant Professor in Yoga Therapy and Integrative Health Sciences at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

The combined knowledge and years of experience of these trainers is incredible. Learning with them was enriching and inspiring.

My Feedback

I have learned a lot and feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to complete this training. The content and format of the course were better than I imagined.

Even though the anatomy components of the course were new to me, anatomy itself was not a novelty. The novel topic was the Anatomy Trains in Yoga-Mapping the Interconnectedness of the Body by Tom Myers. This information was an eye opener and proved to be helpful.

The motto of YogaU Online is Online Yoga Education for Every Body. I found it interesting that ‘every body’ in the slogan is not typed as one word that means everyone. It is typed in two words that suggest every single human form and structure.

I strongly recommend this professional training to yoga teachers.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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