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Tag Archives: vinyasa yoga

5 Ways a 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Will Advance Your Career

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in San Francisco, London, or Hong Kong. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

kneeling | Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with Jason Crandell Vinyasa Yoga Method

It’s hard to make a living as a yoga teacher. Here’s why doing an advanced training is one of the most valuable, meaningful, sensible things you can do for yourself.

Despite teaching yoga for nearly 20 years, I have questionable forward bends, I can’t press into Handstand, and I’m not always perfectly present. But, teaching yoga has helped me mature and taught me a few things along the way. Never taking students for granted is high on this list. I understand that in the modern era of yoga, students have countless excellent teachers to choose from. I also understand that my students have a lot of pressure on their time and their resources—and, when people are stretched thin their own wellbeing gets shifted to the back burner. So, when my students show up, I show up.

I double down on this sentiment when it comes to yoga teacher trainings—especially advanced trainings. Let’s face it: Trainings are a significant financial investment, especially when you consider the time away from work and potential travel costs. There are so many trainings that it’s hard to know which one to choose and exactly how the training will help your practice and career. And, with the challenges involved in earning a living as a yoga teacher, it’s difficult to predict whether or not the training will give you a positive return on your investment—both regards to your personal wellbeing and your livelihood.

See also 7 Vital Things to Look for in a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training

If you have these questions and concerns, you’re a smart, reasonable person. I’m with you. I had the same before I committed to an 18-month, nearly 1000-hr advanced studies program 17 years ago. These are rational, legitimate concerns, but bear with me because they pale in comparison to the five reasons to commit to an advanced yoga teacher training (ahem, maybe even mine).

Why Enroll In an Advanced Yoga Teacher Training?

1. Develop the confidence to become more entrepreneurial

When I started teaching, I never imagined I’d say this. But, teaching yoga has been my livelihood for a long time and one of the most compelling reasons to do an advanced training is to develop the knowledge and skill that will give you the confidence to be more entrepreneurial. The truth is that it’s next to impossible to make a living by only teaching public yoga classes. In order to support yourself—and maybe your family—as a teacher, you’ll need the confidence to make entrepreneurial decisions and treat your enterprise as a small business. You’ll need to teach workshops, retreats, trainings, and private sessions. In the future, you’ll want to be able to figure out how to provide online content and pitch content to yoga websites and magazines. You may want to work with the medical industry. There will be countless opportunities for yoga teachers to create a livelihood, but it will be next to impossible to do these things

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16-Pose Sequence to Help You Progress in Compass Pose

16 Poses to Help You Progress in Compass Pose | Jason Crandell Yoga Method

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in San Francisco, London, or Hong Kong. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

I hear more sweet sighs of relief when I teach sequences that focus on side-bends than any other posture category. Side-bending in poses like Compass releases tension in the lats, obliques, and QLs, leaving students in a momentary state of suspension where everything feels better than it did a moment ago.

Compass Pose is a deep side bend that differs from its close relatives, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana and Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana (poses 14 & 15): The upright, regal nature of the pose requires you to engage your core and spinal muscles. Instead of using gravity and laying your torso down into the pose, you have to work a little harder to lift up and lengthen your spine.

To meet these increased demands, this 16-pose sequence will:
1) Open your hamstrings and adductors.
2) Bring your awareness to your core and spinal muscles.
3) Stretch your side-body, including your lats, obliques, and quadratus lumborum muscles.

Here’s a closer look at the logic of my Compass Pose sequence.

Poses 1-3

: These three versions of Down Dog will help you settle into your practice and begin opening your body for Compass pose. The one-legged variation of Down Dog will accentuate the stretch in your bottom leg, while the one-legged variation with the twist will provide your first side-bend of the sequence. Feel free to lean back—almost like you’re going to “flip your dog”—and indulge the stretch in your side-body. Stay for as many breaths in these 3 poses as you like.

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Peak Pose Sequence: Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)

Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose) Yoga Sequence | Jason Crandell Vinyasa Yoga Method | JasonYoga.com

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in San Francisco, London, or Hong Kong. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

In my 500-hour Teacher-Training Programs I have my students compare Bakasana and Titthibhasana, or Firefly Pose, with the aim of learning how to create effective sequences for each of these postures.

When the trainees look at the two poses side-by-side, they see something they usually haven’t noticed before: Bakasana and Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose) are nearly the exact same pose. However, the one major difference between the two postures has significant sequencing implications. We’ll get to the yoga sequencing implications in a moment. But first, let’s look at the similarities between the two poses. Take a moment to compare Bakasana and Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose) below.

titthibasana va bakasana images | Jason Crandell Vinyasa Yoga Method
Bakasana and Titthibhasana share the following similarities:

1. Both poses flex the spine.

2. Both poses broaden the scapulae while strongly engaging the serratus anterior.

3. Both poses require strong core engagement, most significantly the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, and the illio-psoas.

4. The shoulder joint (or gleno-humeral joint for you fact-checkers out there) is at approximately 90 degrees of flexion in both poses.

5. Both poses strongly flex the hip joints and require the adductors (inner thigh muscles) to engage to prevent the legs from sliding down the arms.

In simple terms, the arms, shoulders, shoulder blades, spine, core, and hips are doing the same thing in Bakasana and Tittibhasana.

The one significant difference between the two poses is that the legs are bent in Bakasana and they’re straight in Tittibhasana. That’s all folks.

But—and this is a big BUT—straightening the legs has far-reaching implications that makes sequencing for Tittibhasana different than sequencing for Bakasana. When you straighten your knees in Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose) you:

1. Stretch your hamstrings. The hamstrings are contracting in Bakasana, but they’re stretching in Tittibhasana. This means your students need plenty of hamstring preparations in the sequence that you create.

2. Stretch and contract your adductor muscles. Tittibhasana requires you to stretch the adductors since the legs open at a slight angle when you straighten the knees in this pose. At the same time, the pose requires you to engage your adductors so that your legs don’t slide down your arms. To facilitate this, your sequencing needs to include both adductor opening and strengthening.

3. Engage your core (even more). If your hamstrings and adductors are the least bit tight, they will pull the weight of your body down as soon as you start straightening your legs. To counteract this downward pull, you have to fire up your core and create even greater lift than you do in Bakasana.

4. Engage your quads: Engaging your quads straightens your knees in Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose). Your quads also work with your core to flex your hips and support the weight of your pelvis. Your sequence and your verbal cueing should include postures that help your students tune into these muscles so they know how to engage them once it’s time for Tittibhasana.

Practice the 16-pose sequence above and notice how all of these layers are incorporated. Let me know how it goes in the comment section below!

See also Essential Sequence: Bakasana 

When you understand the nuances of postures like Bakasana and Tittibhasana, you can help demystify these poses for your students. Even more, you can create logical, effective sequences that keep your classes fresh and help your students do more than they ever thought they could.

Developing effective sequencing for all levels, including more advanced postures like these arm balances is one of the pillars of my Teacher Training Programs.  I offer my 500-hour Advanced Certification in San Francisco, London, and Hong Kong. If you want to deepen your practice, advance your teaching, and learn to create more effective sequencing, please join me!

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{illustrations by MCKIBILLO}

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Peak Pose Sequence: Handstand

Handstand Prep Sequence | Jason Crandell Yoga Method

I know I’m not alone in my love for Handstand. It’s empowering, strengthening, and fun. Whether you’re working at the wall, in a studio, or trying to do the pose on a paddleboard, the following sequence will help you build a strong, stable Handstand.

Here’s a look at my thought process when putting together the sequence.

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Peak Pose Sequence: Build Your Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in San Francisco, London, or Hong Kong. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

Vasisthasana | Side Plank Yoga | Jason Crandell Yoga Method
In order to prepare your body for Vasisthasana, you need to open your hamstrings, adductors (inner leg muscles) and outer-hips. It’s also a good idea to awaken your core and learn how to work your shoulders safely in the posture.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to the peak pose sequence above:

Poses 1-2: Honestly, I love to start practice on my back—especially when I’m going to tackle demanding postures later on. Supta Padangusthasana is the perfect way to settle in, slow down, and open the hamstrings and adductors.

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