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We’re at an amazing intersection of western medical knowledge and ancient eastern practices. The more therapeutic and anatomical sides of yoga are becoming known because there are so many people in the medical field that have seen the benefits of the practice with their patients. We’re lucky to have medical professionals that want to devote time and research into incorporating yoga with western medicine.
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As a teacher of movement, you should be educated in the body, and that wasn’t always required. I don’t think you need to be a doctor to teach yoga; that’s not our job, but I do think it’s extremely helpful to be knowledgeable about physiology and anatomy when working with students.
I believe that a great teacher is someone that is energetically in-tune and sensitive to the environment around them. Teaching should depend on weather, on elections, on what’s happening in the city, and what’s on peoples’ minds. My teaching is guided by what I see and hear in the room with the goal of leaving students feeling more balanced.
My teaching style has evolved along with my personal practice and what matters most to me. I used to be drawn to the physical part of the practice and achieving difficult poses. But after a decade into practicing, I found that what matters most is a practice that feeds my energy levels that day. If I’m feeling high-strung I’ll do something more grounding and balance focused. If I’m feeling tired, I’ll force myself to do something more vigorous to pick up my energy levels.
Essential oils help you get “into the zone” to practice. I typically like Peppermint towards the beginning of practice and Lavender towards the end. Over time, you begin to associate the scent with the feeling of your practice. On those moments when you might not be in the mood to practice every day, the smell of essential oils will get you there – “Oh, I remember how good I feel when I do this.”
I love using Nature’s Truth essential oils, because their oils are 100% pure. I use essential oils topically quite a bit, their Focus Roll-On is great because it’s already mixed with a base oil. It’s comforting to know that what’s going on my body is what I see on the label. My new love is their mist product. I walk into the studio and I can refresh the space with the Lavender Mist. Muscle Ease Mistä is also perfect for after practice because it has this nice cooling effect on your muscles, like my shoulders and neck.
Watch the video of Kat Fowler sharing her “yoga truth” + the secret to a happy, healthy practice.
My hope for yoga is that it becomes more integrated into daily life. With the popularity of yoga continuing to grow, ideally yoga will become more and more integrated within medical systems and school systems. College in particular is a great environment for yoga to spread. College students are at an age where people are thinking for themselves and make choices about how they want to live their lives. One day we’ll see yoga programs as mandatory in hospitals and schools.
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