LET’S DEFINE WHAT REALLY MAKES A “GOOD” YOGA TEACHER
What makes a yoga class or yoga teacher go from good to great? Sometimes it can feel like some teachers are reading off a script….and sometimes it can feel like you just did Yoga for the first time ever, because the teacher was THAT good.
So what makes the difference?
While there is no standard for what makes a great yoga teacher, these are some of the qualities that certified yoga instructors have. Let us look at what those are…
- Ability to Connect
No matter the size of the yoga class, certified yoga instructors make everyone feel comfortable and have an impact on each person so that the person feels like they belong. Every great yoga teacher will touch the heart of their students in some way.
Any successful teacher must command the attention of the students. Yoga students should want to watch every move the teacher makes! It’s an indescribable quality, like a natural confidence. As the yoga teacher works the room, a subtle touch, a shout-out, or even a glance can be enough to uplift the students.
- Energy and Personality
This can vary greatly between yoga teachers. Some warm your heart with the way they teach, while others bring a light heartedness and sense of humor. Ideally you want your energy to be focused, calm, centered, and enthusiastic.
Having a plan for the yoga class is always a great idea. Know what you are going to do in class that day, arrive early, talk to students, and create a peaceful environment before the class even begins.
The meaning here changes depending on who you ask. Some say it means a yoga teacher should have a certain teaching style, a signature look or phrase, or simply the ability to cater to both beginners and advanced students at the same time. Choose what you want to bring to the class and make sure you bring it to every class.
The best way to lead is by example. While you don’t have to be the most gifted physically or the most flexible, you do need to have an understanding of movement, alignment and physiology, and a consistent practice of your own.
- Love of Yoga
You can always spot the teacher who loves what they do. There are some yoga teachers who feel burned out, and those that will never know the feeling. Yoga aims to improve the mind, body, and spirit. When the yoga teacher loves what they do, that feeling is transferred into the students as well.
- Attention to Detail
Sometimes simple adjustments are needed, and sometimes bad habits need to be kicked to the side and re-learned entirely. A great yoga teacher will watch their students, making sure no one is going to get injured and that everything is executed properly. A certified yoga instructor who focuses more on their students will have happier students.
The person must want to teach, want to improve, and want to inspire! While none of us want to hear a lecture, it’s great when a yoga teacher really knows their stuff. A simple explanation of the medical benefits of postures or variations for people with injuries or physical limitations can go a long way in demonstrating knowledge and gaining credibility.