You all must have a favourite teacher from your school or university. You must have looked forward to that teacher’s classes more than anyone, right? Remember that teacher’s habits or why you used to like him or her the best? It’s probably the knowledge and personality of the teacher and how they made the entire class involved.
And especially when it is a yoga teacher, you are going to thank your mentor for guiding your way to transformation so soulfully. A yoga teacher enables us to learn, helps us get up if we fall, makes us an independent practitioner both on and off the mat.
There are some qualities that make a good yoga teacher. First and foremost is their ability to connect so the students they are interacting with feel as they belong to practice. The ability to connect also shows authenticity in their personality, positive vibes, passion for teaching and desire to inspire others.
Yoga in a broad sense is about the inclusion of everything so a good yoga teacher can always make you feel connected with your inner self, no matter how’s your mood.
In this article, we have discussed the important qualities of a good yoga teacher.
1. Self-Study and Practice
The most important quality of a yoga teacher that impresses students is their own depth and practice of yoga. A yoga teacher should be well-read and proficient in their personal practice. The experience that comes out of this personal practice is better than mere reading and teaching books.
Self-practice precedes oral descriptions of how to perform an asana or pranayama. If a teacher is well-practiced, he or she can guide better at adjusting the postures or breathing. When a yoga teacher is sincere and persistent in his or her personal practice, the students tend to listen to him or her more.
A good teacher also prepares better before classes. This can only happen when the teacher performs personal practice regularly. Good preparation leads to more engaging sessions that are loved by the students.
Out of self-practice emerges perfection. And that’s what students love about their yoga teachers. The teacher should be perfect before urging the students to strive for perfection
2. Knowledge and Expertise in Yoga
The perfection in practice is a result of constantly updating themselves to the latest trends or researches in yoga. A yoga teacher is appreciated more if he or she is well-informed about the area and possesses the expertise to the questions of the students.
Moreover, it is also important for a yoga teacher to have the right knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. Thus, a teacher who carefully gives yoga sequences and adjustments to the students depending on their abilities can make the best yoga teacher.
The understanding that every student is different physically as well as mentally makes the teacher more adaptable to their learning pace. When the students trust the expertise of the teacher, they practice more sincerely.
3. Belief in Yogic Values
A yoga teacher acts as a torch-bearer in the darkness and the light is yoga. To light the path of their students, a good yoga teacher must know the strength of the yogic processes and believe in them.
To learn the yogic principles, one has to be connected to the ground, leave their ego aside. A good yoga teacher is down-to-earth and feels no vanity of being a yoga expert. S/he is open to experiences with a clear mind.
The belief in the yogic values is important to practice it themselves and encourage others to practice the same. Hence, a good yoga teacher is a genuine believer in the yogic lifestyle and wishes to spread them in every way possible.
4. Love for Teaching
Sincere practise of yoga can emerge when the students enjoy the process of learning. A teacher ensures the interest of the students with their teaching skills. An important quality of a yoga teacher is to make students understand the meaning and significance behind each practice, whether it’s a pose, breathing exercise or as simple as a chant. A good teacher emphasizes this over mere demonstrating or orally instructing.
A teacher becomes favorite when he or she is willing to make others understand the topic in its depths. Excellent storytelling, engaging speech, teaching with practical, adapting different teaching methods are a few skills that show the teacher’s love for teaching. If these qualities are a part of yoga teaching, the students of that class have found their beloved teacher.
5. Clarity in Instructions
A yoga teacher is the one who introduces us to life-changing skills. He or she has to be particular while explaining the specifics. A good yoga teacher clearly instructs how a posture should be attained, its steps, movement, breathing in it, and everything that is needed. This quality of a yoga instructor makes the students learn precisely.
It is also necessary that the yoga teacher has a clear and audible voice. Good yoga teachers have excellent command over their classes in terms of the attentiveness of the students.
6. Ability to Connect with Students
Love and respect for each other come from a good rapport and communication. A teacher who is good at establishing one-to-one connections with the students is loved more.
A welcoming and smiling teacher forms a pleasant image in students’ minds. If the yoga teacher is a conversationalist or talks informally, the students quickly form a good relationship with them.
A good teacher knows every student in the class by name and understands students special conditions or abilities. He or she also talks to everyone in the class and understands their concerns. The students appreciate this quality and respect their teacher more.
A good teacher is never irritated with students if he or she has to repeat something. The students who come to learn yoga are of varied fitness and understanding levels. A good teacher is supportive and patient, who helps the students to learn and progress at their own pace.
A genuine teacher allows mistakes and accepts them too. He or she possesses the patience and stamina that is required to deal with all kinds of students.
8. Encouraging Presence
Regular practice of yoga in and outside class unknowingly makes one’s personality very positive. A lovable teacher is one who is filled with such positive energy, who roams around in the studio spreading encouragement and liveliness.
An encouraging yoga teacher will make sure that no sessions are turning boring or their students are not paying much attention. They know how to engage the students in a way that the process of learning yoga is exciting.
A yoga teacher who encourages students to perform better guides them if they are facing challenges, helps them overcome them, and urges them to never give up is the teacher they love the most.
The sensitivity of the yoga teacher displays their very nature. When a teacher is sensitive and understanding towards the queries or concerns of the students, he or she is respected more. Students of a yoga class can go through a lot of physical or mental troubles. A sensitive yoga teacher tries to understand and helps them recover.
Also, a sensitive yoga teacher understands that the class is lethargic for a Monday morning session and gives them the yoga sequences that get rid of the laziness. Whereas, he or she also knows when the class is tired and it needs more relaxation than postures.
10. Approachable and Friendly
A good teacher welcomes doubts and answers them with patience. But before that, a good teacher creates a friendly environment in the class, where the students feel respected. When this trust is built in the students, they become free and help create a better learning atmosphere.
A teacher who creates a calm, friendly flow in their class is loved by the students. A teacher is successful when they feel that students share their pains and pleasures, ups and downs with them.
A good teacher is approachable. They encourage yoga students to have doubts and come up with questions. A good yoga teacher believes in two-way learning and is willing to hear the students’ reactions.
11. Generous and Trustworthy
A true yoga teacher will not hold the knowledge to him or herself. He or she would be updated and wish to share their knowledge with the students. A good teacher is generous and likes to help others to the best of his or her capacity.
If students go to the teacher with a difficulty regarding asanas or breathing techniques or also any personal problems if they have, a good yoga teacher will not discourage them. But talk them out of their difficulties sensitively.
12. Promoting Self-care and Improvement
A teacher’s job does not end after teaching a few asanas and pranayama. But it lies more in constant encouragement and promoting the students to achieve more. A good yoga teacher does not ask for results to be validated but inculcates the habit of constant improvement.
Everybody needs a push from time to time. The students love their teacher if he or she is seeking to self-improve him or herself and motivating them for the same. A good yoga teacher works on being a better person every day and instills the same in their students.
A teacher is a guide for life. A dynamic, welcoming, smiling, and skillful teacher suffices to make us learn and remember it for the rest of our life. He or she influences our lives more than we imagine. Your yoga teacher is the reason you will fall in the process of rising and continue to grow to become a better yoga practitioner, believer, and also a better human.