Search results for bernadette birney

Philosophy, Resources

Mudra: Not Just Something Groovy to Do with Our Hands

1 Comment 06 May 2014

By Bernadette Birney. For many people, a meditative figure seated in Lotus Pose–hands upturned upon the lap with forefinger and thumb touching—is the stereotypical image of a yogi. But mudra isn’t just something groovy to do with our hands! It’s actually a teaching—a fundamental, philosophical, tantric teaching in which the hands act as an outer […]

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Teaching Modifications

1 Comment 17 March 2014

By Bernadette Birney. Question:  How is it possible that different people with different bodies, different histories, different life circumstances, and different physical, mental and emotional abilities and challenges can benefit from identical poses practiced in the identical ways with the identical instructions? Answer:  It’s not! There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all yoga! If I had […]

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5 Guidelines for Making Anatomy Relevant & Accessible

Comments Off on 5 Guidelines for Making Anatomy Relevant & Accessible 10 February 2014

The human body is endlessly fascinating and complex. As yoga teachers, we may tend to dork out on that. At least, I sure do. I’ve been studying human anatomy for a long time, yet am still continually learning. When we’re interested, there’s no running out of things to learn about our own bodies. Pretty cool, […]

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9 Pointers for Teaching The Mixed Level Class From Hell

20 Comments 18 November 2013

By Bernadette Birney. It’s not ideal. In fact, it’s the hardest of all classes to teach. For some teachers, it’s even the stuff of nightmares. Mastering it is the equivalent of making your (yoga teachin’) bones. It’s…The Mixed Level Class From Hell. I’m talking REAL Mixed Levels. Like—only two students show up, and one is […]

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Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching With Themes

20 Comments 04 October 2013

Have you ever had your world rocked by a yoga teacher who began class by confidently presenting a fantastic theme and then elegantly weaving it into your body via the asana instruction offered? The very particular combination of breath, asana, and idea is pure magic. A good theme may generate insight, inspire, provide fodder for […]

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Dear Teachasana

Dear Teachasana: Should a Backbending Class Be ALL Backbends?

4 Comments 02 September 2013

  *We received this QU as a follow up to Bernadette Birney’s article on Sequencing. Dear Teachasana: LOVED the article on sequencing and I agree that forward folds after backbends can feel like crap! My question is: when teaching backbends, should the whole class be backbending (warming up to them & with them, peak pose(s) […]

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6 Sequencing Guidelines

20 Comments 29 July 2013

by Bernadette Birney. “Paschimottanasana,” the teacher instructed as I lowered out of my backbend. “PASCHIMOTTANASANA?” I inwardly grumbled. “Seriously? Right after Full Wheel?  Why doesn’t she just kill me?” I took my time hugging my knees in, curling over to the side, and coming up to sit with my legs outstretched.  I halfheartedly feigned reaching for […]

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Business, Training

Runaway Trainings: Should You Throw Your Hat into the Ring as a Teacher Trainer?

Comments Off on Runaway Trainings: Should You Throw Your Hat into the Ring as a Teacher Trainer? 05 November 2012

Every single yoga teacher among us has had the experience of having toes curled and mind blown on the mat.  Isn’t that why most of us became teachers to begin with–to share benefits we have reaped? To give something back?  So, it’s not all that surprising when inevitably some of the students in our own […]

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