How To Choose A Good Yoga Teacher? A very short and primitive guide to help you to answer this question.
A Yoga Teacher is the most important “element” of a good yoga class and your practice in general.
There is obviously always a “gut feeling” that will help you to sense who is the right person for you! But still I would like to summarize and share the most obvious and simple things, which I personally value in a Teacher to help those of you, who are new to yoga or are interested in having a critical mind
- Choose a Teacher, not an Instructor. There is a huge difference, including the length of their education (often one month vs. years of studies);
- Learn the background of the lineage they follow; do they even have a lineage or work in their own, like fitness instructors or modern yoga-schools? (Classical Yoga values such a thing as parampara or a succession of teachers and disciples, who transfer the knowledge to their students);
- You may wanna learn if they have their own teacher(s)? (From the perspective of traditional Yoga, it is crucial for any student and teacher to have their own teachers who serve as a mirror to reflect our true self);
- If they practice regularly themselves? Especially, if they practice mindfulness and meditation?
- If they follow more or less yogic lifestyle (this may include the way your teacher speaks, acts, eats, treats people, animals, the environment etc.);
- Observe the way your teacher dresses for classes (is it not too revealing, inappropriate etc.);
- Observe if the teacher knows what is safe for their own unique body and how to take care of it (a good teacher has a good contact with herself/himself);
- We all come in different shapes and sizes, and yoga teachers are not an exception, but in order to serve others, they should lead by example of taking care of themselves first;
- If your teacher is capable enough to answer your questions on the base of ancient scripts (such as Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutra-s etc.), and their own experience and practice;
- and the last, but not the least: if your teacher guides you to breathe...
(As Sri Krishnamacharya used to say: “if you can breathe, you can do yoga”)
There is definitely much more to a traditional Yoga Teacher, but it all comes down to our ability to be present and love.