Instructing Hatha Yoga


Kathy Lee Kappmeier, Diane Ambrosini
ISBN: 0736052097
ISBN13: 9780736052092
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Yoga is one of the fastest-growing fitness activities worldwide, and qualified yoga instructors are in high demand. Instructing Hatha Yoga describes the qualities and knowledge yoga instructors need in order to be competent and effective teachers. It covers all aspects of successful instruction:
  • Detailed descriptions on how to teach 69 yoga asanas (postures), with more than 300 photos showing the postures
  • Verbal and visual cues to use in teaching each posture
  • Specific hands-on adjustments to help students achieve the desired posture
  • Modifications for each posture and effective ways to work with students of different abilities in the same class
  • Charts that identify body-segment kinematics and muscles used in individual postures
  • A DVD that shows how to achieve the most accurate positions for a sampling of postures and the hands-on adjustments instructors can make to assist students
Two features in particular set this book apart: simple yet comprehensive cues that teachers can use to bring students into proper alignment and deeper mental focus, and detailed instructions on making safe hands-on adjustments and modifications for students. Authors Kathy Lee Kappmeier and Diane Ambrosini, with more than 20 years of experience in yoga instruction and teacher training, provide a class overview, outlines, lesson plans, and sample syllabi. They present ways to structure a class with flexible teaching plans in a variety of settings, such as schools, community centers, fitness clubs, and wellness centers. With their backgrounds in physical education, kinesiology, biomechanics, and various sectors of the fitness industry, the authors not only understand the art and science of yoga, but they know how to teach it safely and effectively. The authors also equip readers with the following information:
  • The most popular styles of yoga and how the styles evolved
  • A questionnaire that helps instructors evaluate their readiness to begin teaching yoga
  • Modifications for each posture and effective ways to work with students of different abilities in the same class
  • Study questions and answers that review topics presented in part I of the book
  • The importance of pranayama (breath work) and how to teach basic techniques
  • The physical and energetic anatomy applied in the postures
  • The valued and effective qualities of a yoga teacher, in line with the standards set by the Yoga Alliance Registry
Part I focuses readers on understanding yoga, on knowing themselves and their students, and on creating a class environment. It also explores breathing techniques and provides an overview of energy and anatomical considerations inherent to yoga. Part II describes the postures and their adjustments and modifications. Among these postures are sun salutations, standing postures, seated postures, supine and prone postures, inverted postures, and restorative postures. Part III lays out the practical aspects of structuring classes. The appendixes include reproducible forms for instructors, sample relaxation scripts, a listing of yoga resources for instructors, and answers to study questions covering part I. Developed in line with the standards of the Yoga Alliance and its national Yoga Teachers` Registry, Instructing Hatha Yoga helps instructors develop the attributes they need in order to be qualified teachers who facilitate students’ learning and awareness in the practice of yoga.

About the Author

Kathy Lee Kappmeier has studied yoga in India and has more than 20 years of experience teaching yoga and training yoga teachers. She has given numerous workshops, retreats, and presentations both in the United States and abroad and has taught in a variety of venues, including public schools, hospitals, colleges, recreation centers, and sports medicine clinics. Intensely involved with the evolution, promotion, and direction of yoga education and standards, she has developed, directed, and appeared in numerous yoga videos, developed yoga programs, and founded YogaWell’s Institute of Progressive Therapies in San Diego. The former secretary of the Yoga Education Society, Ms. Kappmeier developed and coordinated a 1,000-hour course of study for holistic health practitioners at a vocational school. She received a BA in psychology and BS in physical therapy from the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, and she received certifications in personal training, Tibetan Buddist psychology, and medical exercise. A registered yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance, she is working on her PhD. In her spare time she enjoys creating art, riding her motorcycles, playing the Native American flute, and writing. Diane M. Ambrosini earned an MA in physical education with an emphasis in kinesiology and biomechanics from San Diego State University. Her strong interest in movement science and the art of yoga led her to help expand the Institute of Progressive Therapies’ Yoga Teacher Training programs by developing anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics components for continuing education workshops. Ms. Ambrosini is registered with Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour teaching level. She is a partner in the Rancho San Diego Yoga Center and a member of Yoga Alliance, the Yoga Education Society, and the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She is also a personal trainer and Pilates and fitness instructor. She enjoys hiking, camping, and gardening.

Table of Contents


Part I. The Practice of Yoga

Chapter 1.
Understanding Yoga
Types of Yoga
Yoga Teacher Standards
Study Questions

Chapter 2. Knowing Yourself and Your Students
Qualities of a Yoga Teacher
Becoming a Yoga Teacher
Recognizing Your Student’s Needs
Study Questions

Chapter 3. Creating a Class Environment
Equipment Selection
Safety and Comfort Concerns
Atmosphere for Yoga Classes
Music for Atmosphere
Study Questions

Chapter 4. Breathing and Beyond
Types of Pranayama
Instructing the Breathing Process
Linking Pranayama With Asana
Study Questions

Chapter 5. Energy and Anatomy
Yoga Postures and Major Body Systems
Energetic Anatomy
Human Movement Systems
Mechanics of Asanas
Adjustment Guidelines
Study Questions

Part II. Asanas and Adjustments

Chapter 6.
Sun Salutations
Classical Sun Salutations
Surya Namaskara A
Surya Namaskara B

Chapter 7. Standing Postures
Tadasana or Samasthiti (Mountain Posture)
Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle)
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolving Triangle Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Forward Bend)
Prasarita Padottanasana (Extended-Leg Forward Bend)
Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side-Angle Stretch)
Ardha Chandrasana (Half-Moon Pose)
Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolving Extended Side-Angle Stretch)
Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolving Half-Moon Pose)
Utkatasana (Fierce Pose, or Chair Pose)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch)
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Toe Pose)
Natarajasana (King Dancer)

Chapter 8. Seated Postures
Malasana (Basic Squat Posture)
Dandasana (Staff Pose)
Janu Shirshasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes)
Marichyasana A (Marichi’s Pose, Variation A)
Marichyasana B (Marichi’s Pose, Variation B)
Marichyasana C (Marichi’s Pose, Variation C)
Marichyasana D (Marichi’s Pose, Variation D)
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Gomukhasana (Cow’s Face Pose)
Navasana (Boat Pose)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle)
Upavishtha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)
Parighasana (Kneeling Triangle, or Gate Pose)
Virasana (Hero Pose)
Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s Pose)
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Tolasana (Scale Posture)
Hanumanasana (Forward-Splits Pose)
Bakasana (Crane Pose)

Chapter 9. Supine and Prone Postures
Durga-Go (Cat and Cow Pose)
Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Posture)
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbs Staff Pose)
Zen Asana (A Transitional Pose)
Vasishthasana (Side Plank Pose)
Purvottanasana (Intense East Side Stretch)
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward-Facing Dog)
Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
Raja Kapotasana (Royal Pigeon Pose)
Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose)
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Toe Pose)

Chapter 10. Inverted Postures
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand)
Pincha Mayurasana (Scorpion, or Peacock Feather)
Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Downward-Facing Tree, or Handstand)
Salamba Shirshasana (Headstand)
Halasana (Plow Pose)

Chapter 11. Restorative Postures
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Supta Urdvha Dhanurasana (Restorative Backbend)
Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Twist)
Viparita Karani (Restorative Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Part III. Structuring a Class

Chapter 12.
Class Framework
Class Outline
Lesson Plans and Class Descriptions

Chapter 13. Sample Classes
30-Minute Class
60-Minute Class
90-Minute Class
Sample Six-Week Course
Putting It All Together

Appendix A. Sample Relaxation Scripts
Appendix B. Yoga Resources
Appendix C. Reproducibles
Appendix D. Chapter Review Answers

About the Authors


Reference for new and veteran yoga teachers, college and public school physical educators, community recreation instructors, and fitness and dance instructors.