7 Qualities of a Great Yoga Teacher
Get set to hire the best yoga teacher for your lessons with insight from Jeneva Leonard-Kutler, a professional yoga teacher on Bidvine. Keep reading for Jeneva's tips on everything from finding a teacher who can help you practice yoga safely to how empathy, patience, and respect all lay the foundation for a great yoga class.
7 Qualities of a Great Yoga Teacher
When looking for the most suitable yoga teacher for you it is important to consider what you would like from your yoga practice. Many teachers have great diversity and others like to focus on something more specific so it is important to find the right teacher for you as an individual.
“A great yoga teacher will open the door to your awareness of what it means to integrate the practice of yoga into your daily life encompassing your whole being, Mind, Body and Soul”.
1. A Safe Practice
First and foremost, you want to consider a safe yoga practice free from potential injury. There are many crash-courses in yoga teacher training and four-week online teacher training courses, so it is important to find someone who understands the importance of safe yoga practice. This requires a deeper understanding of the importance of correct alignment. A great yoga teacher pays attention to detail and won’t let you slip into bad habits.
Many teachers use props such as bolsters, blocks, and belts to help facilitate a safer practice that is modified specifically for you. This is a good sign, especially if you have an injury.
2. Intuition & Openness to Adapting Yoga Poses
Everyone’s body is different. It is essential for the teacher to try and intuitively understand you as the student. A good teacher will take notice when something’s not right and correct it with kindness.
Work with a teacher who listens and pays attention to you as an individual. They should express willingness to work with you by listening to your needs both physically, mentally, and spiritually while guiding you towards the yoga practice which best suits you and your lifestyle.
A good teacher isn’t afraid to push you to achieve your best. At the same time, they'll also know when to hold back and will be happy to adapt poses to suit your needs. They'll also have an understanding of the correct physical alignment and how this can differ slightly from person to person.
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Yoga can be a scary thing to start for the first time for many people. A great yoga teacher will do their best to make you feel comfortable. They'll let you know what you’re doing well as well as share any corrections. You should never leave a class feeling like you’ve failed, this isn't what yoga is about.
Yoga can also bring many things to the surface such as deep-rooted feelings and emotions. It’s important for the teacher to embrace when these things might arise without judgement. A great teacher isn’t afraid of a few tears or some accidental laughter.
A great teacher will show patience and compassion allowing you to learn at your own pace. Everyone learns differently and at a different pace so find a teacher who will patiently work with you at your own speed.
4. A Deep Personal Understanding Of Yoga
Your teacher should possess a deep personal understanding of yoga as a whole through their own yoga practice and experience. They'll be familiar with the foundations of practising yoga and will have an understanding of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Most established teachers will also know the basic poses in Sanskrit and have knowledge of yoga's philosophy.
5. Confident Communication
A great yoga teacher is also a confident communicator who can guide you through each pose while correcting any alignments to make sure everyone is practising safely.
A good teacher will get you into a pose - a great teacher will explain poses to you and break them down. That way you can follow with calmly guided direction at your own pace.
6. Mutual Student-Teacher Respect
It is very important for there to be mutual student-teacher respect. Everyone should be comfortable and students shouldn't feel like they have to do something just because the teacher said so. We have all heard of the Guru culture not just in yoga but in many industries. Just because they are teaching you it doesn’t mean you have to take on everything they say.
At the same time, there should also be respect for your teacher. Many teachers work long hours on and off the mat so try not to cancel lessons last minute. Your teacher needs to make a living and have time to rest just like everybody else.
When this mutual student-teacher respect is present, we are able to give you the best yoga lessons we can.
7. Authenticity & a Love of Yoga
Find a teacher who radiates from their true self and teaches straight from the heart expressing their own love of yoga. We all have our good and bad habits teachers included. A good yoga teacher will provide a safe environment which allows you to be open, and embrace who you truly are Mind, Body and Soul.
My favourite yoga teachers are open and confident in who they really are with authenticity, a good sense of humour, and a smile.
I hope this helps when finding the best yoga teacher for you and I wish you luck on your yoga journey!
Jeneva is a keen yoga practitioner and teacher who has completed a variety of yoga teacher training in India and taught all over the world.
Introduced to yoga by her mum as soon as she was able to walk, Jeneva fell in love with yoga as well as dance and drama which she also studied before training to become a yoga teacher.
She loves to teach authentically and intuitively and help her students find the yoga practice which best suits them, paying specific attention to correct alignment, technique, breath and mindfulness.
Interested in booking yoga lessons with Jeneva? Click here to visit Jeneva's Bidvine Profile!
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