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What Every Yoga Teacher Needs to Know . . .

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Course Overview

Very often students look to their yoga teachers to educate them about their own bodies, especially when they are injured or experiencing discomfort. As a teacher, if you have basic anatomical and pathological information on hand, you’ll be better equipped to help your students practice mindfully and safely, and guide them through accessible sequences during their road to recovery. 

In this course for teachers (or anyone interested in supportive practices for those working with injury or pain), Erica dives into some of the most common conditions yoga teachers see among students: back injuries, knee injuries, wrist injuries, and headaches. You’ll learn what questions to ask your students in order to best serve them, definitions of these conditions and the typical pain symptoms associated with them, and which poses are typically contraindicated.

You’ll also learn practices and modifications you can offer to students who are recovering from injury or experiencing discomfort—including a forward-bend-free sun salute for back injuries, a knee-strengthening lunge sequence, helpful wrist stretches, ways to use props to support students who have headaches, and more. 

We hope the material in this course is useful to you and to your students! You can leave your questions for Erica in the comments section—she’ll be checking them regularly.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

1.2hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • Erica introduces the program and outlines general options yoga teachers can offer students who are injured or experiencing discomfort.
Section 2
  • In this first session, Erica discusses how to discern if a student has a back injury or pain or both. You’ll also get an overview of the most typical back injuries and their causes, common back pain symptoms, and the types of poses that are often contraindicated for injured students. On the practice side, Erica demos a forward-bend-free sun salutation you can use (or adapt) for your students, a strengthening core work sequence, and more. Props: blocks
Section 3
  • Learn which areas of the body are good to mobilize in order to protect students’ knees, the three knee injuries yoga teachers come across most often, and the common causes of knee injuries. Erica also covers contraindications for injured knees, as well as poses, transitions, and movements that can put the knees at risk. On the practice side, you’ll learn a “primal squat,” a knee-strengthening lunge sequence, and tips for lunge alignment that can be helpful for general knee health. Props: blocks, blanket
Section 4
  • Many people experience wrist discomfort due to time spent in wrist-constricting positions (think using your phone, typing on a computer, or driving). In this class, you’ll learn about carpal tunnel syndrome and general wrist discomfort and how you can help your students mobilize and strengthen their wrists. Erica demos alternatives to common poses and transitions in the vinyasa sequence (like downward dog, plank, and cobra) and offers therapeutic tips and exercises that are beneficial to the wrists. Props: blanket
Section 5
  • Headaches can be tricky to address in yoga class because we often don’t know their cause; however, there are movements and positions that can often reduce your students’ discomfort. You’ll learn how to do “relaxed neck” movements and how to use blocks for support in various poses to reduce pressure on the head. You’ll also learn tips for eye focus, a neck-supported savasana, and poses to consider telling students to avoid if they have a headache. Props: blocks

How to Get This Course?

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Meet Your Teacher

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Erica Mather
Erica Mather is a natural-born teacher who began teaching at age 17 and now studies pedagogy through... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this course in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This course is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Course completion.
No prerequisites are required; this course is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the course is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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