Yoga Teachers Come in Variations of Style and Quality…
March 24th, 2012 by Aldouspi

Teachers of Yoga Come with Variations of Style and Quality...

Yoga Teacher

by wieland7 under CC BY-SA  with wpseopix.com
Yoga Teachers

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To find a quality yoga instructor, you need to know what to look for. As there is no universal certification program for yoga teachers, the style as well as the quality of a yoga instructor can vary, as you can see by the following example:

I had been practicing yoga in my home for a while, when I decided to take some classes at a local center. My at home "teacher" had been a collection of yoga videos and DVDs created by senior instructors with impeccable form. I was expecting the same quality of yoga instruction, when I arrived at my local class. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met.

The teacher who taught the class was sloppy in her style as she moved through the poses. It seemed to me that she were doing her own practice, rather than leading the class. She never came around and adjusted the alignment of any of the students. And this really annoyed me because that was the main reason I decided to attend the class. I was in need of a good teacher to see my entire body and let me know where I was missing the poses. And, finally, she was facing one way and the students were facing the opposite way, making it difficult to see what she was doing. Needless to say, I was sadly disappointed.

But being optimistic, by nature, the next morning, I took another class at the same center. This time a different teacher lead the practice. Her style was more of what I was looking for. Her execution of the positions was excellent. Here technique was more to my liking as she showed the students first how to do a pose. Then she moved about the room, checking the alignment of the students and making necessary adjustments. She brought attention to those students who did a pose particularly well, so that we could follow their examples. And she encouraged all of us to go a little deeper.

I was very happy with the teacher, and even though the class did not fit my schedule particularly well, I attended it on a regular basis.

While my initial endeavor in finding a good yoga classes was somewhat hit or miss, by asking certain questions and checking some details, you can more quickly uncover the right yoga instructor for you.

Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Know what your goals are for your yoga practice. - Do you want to practice yoga to relieve stress, heal an injury, gain strength and flexibility or find peace of mind? If a center offers yoga that is very fast paced and very physically challenging, it may not be the right match for you. Especially, if you want to learn how to relax.

  • What style of yoga interests you? - Make sure that the center offers that particular style.

    Are you interested in a certain level of yoga instruction? If you are a beginner, don't take a class that lumps all levels together. Find one for beginners where the pace is slower and the attention to individual students is greater. This is a class where you can keep up with other students and avoid injuries. Later you can take a class that is more advanced when you are ready for new challenges. Look for a class where the instructor takes the time to explain the postures and then helps students achieve the correct alignment.

  • Ask about the teacher's level experience - Find out how many years the teacher has been practicing yoga and how long he has been teaching. referring to my example above about the two different teachers at the local center, I was not surprised to learn that the one who didn't impress me had just become a teacher. The one I liked and continued to study with, had been teaching for quite some time.

    Asking about how many hours of personal training the teacher has received is also important. Although there is no universal yoga teacher certification, many quality studios require that their instructors complete a minimum number of training hours before they they can teach classes. If the instructor has 200 or more hours of training, there is a good chance that he has solid skills to work with.

    Does the instructor know the benefits and contra-indications of each pose? Can he offer modifications for students who have physical limitations? A teacher who can provide information about how each pose relates to your unique physical condition is what you should seek.

    And, finally, find out if the teacher has specific training in basic anatomy. I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough. In my early twenties, I took a gymnastics class which was taught by an instructor who had no training in anatomy. Each week he stretched my body in a position that caused me a great deal of pain. If he had known about body mechanics and physiology, he never would never have used that stretch, because it is almost guaranteed to cause injury. The end result for me was years of pain and permanent injury. If the teacher has no training in anatomy run, don't walk, out of the class.

    A Yoga Teacher Designs The Course For You

    Many people mistakenly believe that Hatha Yoga requires a great deal of strength, flexibility and balance. The truth is that a competent Hatha Yoga teacher can design a yoga program that suits the physical and emotional needs and limitations of any yoga student. So whether your students are younger or older, male or female, more flexible or less flexible, high energy or low key, your teacher should be able and willing to design a Hatha Yoga routine that suits your needs.---- Source: Hathayoga.net - Designing a Hatha Yoga Routine.

  • What is the teacher's personal style? - To get the most out of a yoga class, you should feel comfortable with the teacher. Is the teacher friendly, encouraging, and supportive? Does she treat students and others with respect?

    Yoga is intensely personal so it is critical that you like and trust the teacher. She will be touching your body to adjust your alignment, so you need to feel totally safe with her. A good instructor will make the class a secure and peaceful experience for students.

    How clean is the studio? - This may seem like a no-brainer, but again it is important. As you look around, do you notice dust or dirt? Is there a musty or sweaty odor? A yoga class encourages you to practice barefoot and breathe deeply. It is very difficult to get the most from your yoga instruction, if you are worried about contracting a disease from an unclean studio.

    Does the teacher respect your personal beliefs? - A good yoga teacher does not impose her or his personal beliefs on students. Yoga is not a religion. You should be able to practice any religion, or none at all, and still feel comfortable in the class. You also should not be required to eat or act a certain way (beyond normal courtesy) to be considered acceptable to the teacher.

    Yoga promotes freedom, so you should not be held bondage to someone else's beliefs. You should be free to live whichever way is right for you.

Quality yoga instruction can be very important for you in your yoga journey. By keeping these ideas in mind when you search for a yoga teacher, you are very likely to find the one that is just right for you.

About the Author:  Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: Sherlock Holmes Pastiches


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