By Nancy Gerstein (Review by Karen Rider)
Guiding Yoga’s Light is a wonderful teacher’s resource consisting of 74 lesson plans created around key themes of yoga philosophy and practice, including yamas and niyamas, pranayama, varied themes for salutations, emotions, and the chakras to name just a few. Each lesson follows the same six-step format:
- Duration of Practice
- Core Lesson
- Asanas to Deepen
- Practice off the Mat
- Wise Words
In this second edition of the book, author Nancy Gerstein has created a resource that is ideal for both beginning level and seasoned instructors. More than just a selection of asana sequences, Guiding Yoga’s Light inspires and enables students to deepen their practice both on the mat and off the mat. It helps both teacher and student embrace and integrate yoga wisdom on all levels—physically, emotionally, spiritually—and carry that wisdom into daily life and all it’s challenges.
Each lesson is a well-thought out and planned approach to teaching, but there is flexibility to add or otherwise edit a given lesson to suit specific class needs. Nancy’s approach is honest, genuine and relatable for students and teachers of all yoga traditions.
Teachers can build a multi-week class curriculum with just this one book. Choose your theme, for example, “Exploring Salutations” and you have 5 lessons covering Sun, Moon, Star, Earth and Self Salutations. Want to help your students deepen breathing practices…there are 5 lessons designed around pranayama exercises. Looking for a special class for the holidays…there’s a lesson for Holiday Gratitude.
Two of my favorite sections are Salutations and Emotions. I just love having an easy to follow resource for a variety of salutations other than the Sun Salute. It helps me take my own practice, and my students’ practice to new and deeper levels as so many classes build upon only the Sun series.
In Emotions, the practice focuses on the role frustration, expectation, and fear play into how the body-mind holds tension. The aim here is for the practice to be a pathway to letting go and cultivating patience with the process of change and growth. Each of these lessons encourages the student to “take yoga’s lesson with them” into the home, school, office where they can “sweep clean” mental, energetic, and physical debris and make space for growth.
Guiding Yoga’s Light is highly recommended and will be a go-to resource in your yoga library for years to come.