For a lot of people who do yoga, they end up sticking with the first instructor they visit. This is out of convenience or fear of the unknown more than anything else. Maybe it’s because the studio is close to their house or maybe it’s because they get a great discount for buying class sessions in bulk. There’s no shame in this, but perhaps you're wondering if your teacher is actually any good.
After all, there is a reason you continue to go to their class, but is it because you are learning from the teacher or some other non-experience related reason? Here are 6 questions to ask when trying to better understand if your yoga instructor is good.
Does your yoga teacher make you feel comfortable?
This is something a lot of students don’t necessarily realize until after they reflect upon the question. A big part of yoga is mental and if you don’t feel totally comfortable during your class because of something the teacher is or is not doing, then that’s a problem. For instance, if you don’t like being touched, having a hands-on instructor might make you a little uncomfortable. A good yoga teacher will take the time to understand you and help you find your comfort zone during their class.
Where’s the teacher's attention going?
We have heard our fair share of stories that involve male teachers, and even a few female ones, paying attention to a handful of the best looking students and basically ignoring the rest of the class. This is a sign of a bad instructor and one who is not in tune with the basic principles of yoga. A good teacher is aware of his or her surroundings and will assist those students who may be struggling as well as provide support to everyone, not a select few people in the class.
How prepared are they?
Each yoga instructor has a different style, but it’s pretty easy to tell if one is unprepared. You don’t want a teacher who rolls into class five-minutes late and just starts throwing out poses for everyone to do without any rhyme or reason. We aren’t saying a yoga teacher needs to have the entire class planned out from start to finish, the good ones are able to read the class and go with the flow, but they must be prepared to teach.
Are they flashy?
There are yoga instructors out there who will make sure their students know just how great they are by doing ridiculously complex poses and bragging about how much their yoga mat costs. These are arguably the worse kinds of teachers because they don’t understand that the class should be about you, the students. If the session has become focused on the teacher then the class dynamic is backwards and it can be difficult for anyone to learn.
Do they challenge you?
One of the most important aspects of yoga is challenging yourself, both physically and mentally. A good yoga teacher will help prepare you for these challenges and push you when you need it. We tend to not test our boundaries and instead try to find a routine which we can stick to. A good yoga teacher will make sure this doesn’t happen and present you with challenges when you are ready for them.
What do other students say about the teacher?
While you’re entitled to your opinion, it’s good to ask around to see what your classmates think about your yoga instructor, especially if you haven’t practiced with a number of other teachers. If they share similar complaints you might want to consider what they are saying and see for yourself if it is true or not.
The teachers at our studio always put students first. No matter what your level is, our yoga instructors will help guide you on your journey.