Finding a great yoga teacher can be a breakthrough step in your journey to becoming the yogi that you want to be! With the right balance of encouragement, professionalism, and inspiration, your yoga teacher can push you forwards and keep you balanced.
If you are a yoga teacher yourself, then you will likely already know how competitive the industry is. There is an abundance of teachers all looking to make their mark – but how many truly great yoga teachers are there? Even though there are so many to choose from when it comes to taking a class, the really good ones can be hard to find!
Qualities of a Good Yoga Teacher
The things that make a yoga teacher great in your book will likely be totally different from the next yogi is looking for. For example, you may want to learn from someone who is patient and kind, and helps you to conquer each pose slowly – step by step. Whereas another student may prefer a teacher with a stricter learning style who pushes them to the max with every session.
Although our expectations of our dream yoga teachers can differ, there are some core qualities that I'm sure we can all agree that the very best yoga teachers have!
Many people practice yoga because it is a physically demanding activity that doesn't require going to a conventional gym, however, many people also choose it for the spiritual and emotional benefits.
Mastering the physical aspect of yoga – the poses – is one thing, but being able to guide your students to think differently, live differently, and approach each day in a more optimistic way is another ball game entirely.
Choosing a Mentor
If you are a yoga teacher yourself, then having a mentor to guide you as you continue to learn can be the key to your own progression.
As you are searching for this mentor, you may dip into several different classes and experiment with varying styles of yoga. You may think that you have found the teacher of your dreams and then very quickly change your mind! This is a long process, and there's no need to rush it – nor is there any benefit from doing so!
If you believe that you have found the yoga teacher for you, then ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I naturally magnetise to this teacher?
- Does this teacher truly challenge me?
- Is this teacher always honest with me?
- Does your teacher have a teacher?
- Does your teacher have an answer for everything?
A Magnetic Teacher
Do you feel drawn to your teacher for reasons you can't quite put your finger on? Often in life we are attracted to people for no logical reason whatsoever, but this chemistry allows for a natural relationship to develop and evolve.
When it comes to choosing a yoga teacher, you may experience this magnetism, and trusting your instinct on this one could be the best decision that you make!
A Challenging Teacher
Your evolution as a student of yoga is something that both you and your teacher have to push for. Your intentions should be matched by the guidance of someone who wants to see you succeed, and who is going to push you far away from your comfort zone.
Learning from a challenging teacher isn't always going to feel good! They will tell you when you're doing it wrong, let you know when they don't feel you're putting the effort in, and they will be sure to not let your practice stagnate. And this leads us into the next point…
An Honest Teacher
If your teacher consistently tells you that your practice is perfect and your poses are flawless then this is of course great to hear – but is it really pushing you to progress?
On the other hand, if your yoga teacher has ever made you feel as though you aren't really doing your best, then this is a good thing! It means that they are prioritising your personal development above all else. They aren't worried to tell you the truth because they understand that this is the only way to move forwards towards and to grow.
If you are upset about a negative comment that your teacher has made towards you, then fight the urge to head for the door. Focus instead on taking something positive from this feedback and turning it into fuel for motivation!
A Student Teacher
If your teacher isn't also a student of someone else, then this is a sign that they aren't committed to their own personal progression.
Ever yoga teacher will of course have had to start somewhere, and there is no real reason for this journey of consuming knowledge to ever end. The decision to no longer take instruction from someone else will likely relate to the ego, and a sense of having become the best that they can be. This is a problematic attitude for a yoga teacher to adopt, and will generally indicate that you should steer clear of them as a mentor.
An Imperfect Teacher
It takes a good teacher to admit when they don't know something, and if your teacher has an answer to absolutely everything then be wary of their answers!
As yoga teachers, we are all constantly learning, and can't possibly speak with authority on all topics. If your teacher is honest with you about the extent of their expertise, and is more than happy to tell you when they are uncertain of something, then this is likely a teacher that you can trust!
Becoming a Great Yoga Teacher
As you continue in your career as a yoga teacher, you will eventually become the great yoga teacher that other people strive to find! One way to guarantee that this happens, is to always look for ways to improve your own practice and grow spiritually.
My Mandala and Mentoring Course exists to help existing yoga teachers become the best versions of themselves, and to inspire them to get more creative with their teaching style!
I have just finished the first ever round of teaching this course, and will be opening registration for the next one soon!
Click here for more information on the course! You may also be interested in my brand new online course – Build Your Yoga Brand! This course is launching soon and will allow you to learn how to build your business from anywhere, anytime!