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Qualities of Good Yoga Teacher


Top 10 Qualtities of Qualities of an Authentic Yoga Teacher  

Are you a Yoga teacher? If yes, then let’s evaluate ourselves and if not then let’s understand what all qualities should be there in a yoga teacher. Will only getting the certificate make you a Yoga Teacher? The answer is no, because you can get 1000 certifications at home and by providing the money. But in yoga, if you do so, you are just playing with your life and with others. It is said that "Half knowledge is hazardous." You cannot be a yoga teacher if you have a certification and know a few asanas. To be a yoga teacher, much more than just certification is required. Below are the few critical points that a person should have to be a Yoga Teacher and be called/addressed as a Yoga Teacher. Let's just dwell on all those points. 

• It takes effort to Be a Knowledgeable Yoga Teacher 

 A Yoga teacher should have a technical expert in the yoga field before teaching anyone else. He/she should have proper knowledge of yoga philosophy, anatomy, asanas, where to focus, the advantages of the asanas, and when to practice them to help prevent injuries during the practice. Proper knowledge allows the teacher to deliver and address student needs effectively and instills confidence in teachers. Getting only the certificate will not make you a yoga teacher instead, you are misusing that opportunity to heal yourself and others. 

• Grow and help others grow 

 This concept does not revolve around only sharing knowledge but also empowering them to discover their potential and capabilities. It involves providing encouragement, guidance, and support while allowing individuals to explore and find their unique path in yoga. Make your students aware of all aspects of the practice, including its philosophy, history, and physical and spiritual dimensions. Help your students understand the deeper meaning behind the postures, breathing techniques, and meditation practices. A yogi should know the importance of "seva” as a way to deepen their practice and contribute positively to the world. They seek opportunities to serve others with kindness, compassion, and generosity. 

• Learning is the Destination of the Journey  

 If you are a teacher, that does not mean you know everything. There is always a scope for new learning. A yogi/teacher should recognize that the journey of learning is endless and that there is always more to discover and explore. As a yoga teacher, you should always welcome feedback and guidance from your mentors/seniors and students because everyone has something valuable to offer. Yogis are dedicated to their practice, committing themselves to regular and consistent effort on and off the mat. They understand that true mastery and understanding come through sustained practice and discipline. 

• Building Trust Through Effective Communication 

 An essential aspect of delivering your knowledge and thoughts and also understanding what your students want to convey. Clear communication sets a positive and enriching experience for everyone involved. Suppose you are instructing your students for "trikonasana" with just a little information that first open your legs at a distance of 2-3 feet and then bends sideward. Will that be sufficient instruction? No, not at all. You have to tell your students first about the asana, the benefits, and who should practice it and who should not and then guide them step by step, instructing them at every step and telling them what muscles are involved in this asana and for how long you have to hold that posture, where to stress more and so on so that you provide an explicit instruction to your students. In this way, you educate them and provide the benefits of the asanas, and now your students build trust in you. 

• Discipline is the Foundation 

"Discipline breeds reliability and consistency". This is not just a word but a foundation for becoming a skilled, knowledgeable, and respected teacher, which empowers you to guide the students with integrity, authenticity, and dedication. Discipline allows teachers to dedicate time and effort to develop their skills practice, which in turn helps their students to become skilled and disciplined. If a teacher is not disciplined, how can one expect their student to be? And if you are not disciplined, how can you address yourself as a yogi? Yoga teachers serve as role models for their students. Discipline in their own practice and lifestyle sets a positive example and inspires students to cultivate similar education and commitment to their yoga journey. 

• Focus on steps and not on results 

Yoga is a self-discovery process that aligns with the principle of practicing detachment, known as "vairagya” in yoga philosophy. So, as a teacher, it is your responsibility to educate your students and tell them not to fixate on achieving a specific outcome but to focus on being present and present in each step during their practice to cultivate mindfulness, joy, inner peace, and contentment. As a mentor, you should emphasize learning, growing, and letting go of expectations and pressure to achieve profound growth and spiritual development.  

• Guiding Students Towards Balance and Fulfilment Through Positive Energy 

 A feeling of optimism, joy and enthusiasm for life. Positive energy can be achieved if there is a sense of balance and harmony within oneself, encompassing physical health, mental clarity, emotional stability, and spiritual connection. As a yoga teacher, you should have these qualities to guide your students to achieve a dynamic and transformative state that supports personal growth, happiness and fulfilment. 

• Cultivating Calmness and Composure Through Thoughtful Response 

A yoga teacher should be very calm. What does that mean? As a teacher, you should not react to the situation immediately. Instead, analyze the situation. Let understand this attribute with an example. There is one student who is very naughty in class. Every day, he is used to doing some sort of activity that annoys a few people, and they complain. Instead of reacting to the situation, you should know his intentions. Maybe he is just lighting the mood of the people by doing some activity. So in that situation, talk to that person. Is he doing it intentionally or unintentionally? If intentional, what is the actual reason behind it. What I am trying to say here is there are certain situations that he can handle without creating a fuss. So analyze, think, and then react. Do not listen only to one side of the story. 

• Staying Up-to-Date with Recent Trends in Yoga 

Earlier yoga was not in a trend as much as it is now. So now, people understand yoga and are continuously working on upgrading it. There are different types of yoga- Facial yoga, prenatal yoga, etc.- so you have to be updated on the current market scenario and what is happening. What are people talking about? Are they saying it correctly or are they just exaggerating things? Nowadays, a lot of props are used in yoga practice. People are building their websites for yoga using different tools, so a teacher and as a yogi you should know the recent trend in the yoga domain. 

• Mastering Decision Making is the Key 

 The most essential aspect of being a yoga teacher. You should know how to master decision making and you should teach your students as well. Decision-making is a holistic approach where you decide to correct things based on risks and benefits and not only abruptly correct things. And that decision can only come from a calm and composed mind. You cannot decide even a single thing if you don't have a clarity in your mind. You will always struggle.  

After all, Conclusion is Evaluating Your Progress as a Yoga Teacher 

By reading this article now you are in a better position to give yourself a number that how much you scored, if you are a yoga teacher. If you are not now you know what all things you have to work on more to be an ideal yoga teacher. Inculcate the above points in your day to day life to feel the difference in your life. These are the ideal point or the minimum eligibility criteria of a yoga teacher apart from 60-70% in their class 12. 

Surbhi Yadav

Updated on 19th April 2024