Serving Raleigh, Smithfield, Clayton, Benson & Goldsboro, NC areas.

Top 10 Qualities of a Great Yoga Teacher

great yoga teacher qualitiesWhat makes a yoga class or yoga teacher go from good to great? Sometimes a class may have a great technical instructor but be boring, or the class could be fun but the instructor a bit lacking in expertise. So what makes the difference?

While there is no standard for what makes a great yoga teacher, these are some of the qualities that our certified yoga instructors in Smithfield and Goldsboro have and that we train new yoga teachers to be mindful of as well.

1. Ability to Connect

No matter the size of the yoga class, our certified yoga instructors make everyone feel comfortable and have an impact on each person so that the person feels like they belong. Every great yoga teacher will touch the heart of their students in some way.

2. Presence

Any successful teacher must command the attention of the students. Yoga students should want to watch every move the teacher makes! It’s an indescribable quality, like a natural confidence. As the yoga teacher works the room, a subtle touch, a shout-out, or even a glance can be enough to uplift the students.

3. Energy and Personality

This can vary greatly between yoga teachers. Some warm your heart with the way they teach, while others bring a light heartedness and sense of humor. Ideally you want your energy to be focused, calm, centered, and enthusiastic.

4. Preparation

Having a plan for the yoga class is always a great idea. Know what you are going to do in class that day, arrive early, talk to students, and create a peaceful environment before the class even begins.

5. Personalization

The meaning here changes depending on who you ask. Some say it means a yoga teacher should have a certain teaching style, a signature look or phrase, or simply the ability to cater to both beginners and advanced students at the same time.

6. Flexibility

Flexibility is important not just for your body. Great certified yoga instructors adjust their teaching based on their audience. They have a plan, but that plan can be changed to cater to their audience. There is a certain intuition required, to listen and care for your students even if they are not directly giving you feedback.

7. Physicality

The best way to lead is by example. While you don’t have to be the most gifted physically, you do need tohave an understanding of movement, alignment and physiology, and a consistent practice of your own.

8. Love of Yoga

You can always spot the teacher who loves what they do. There are some yoga teachers who feel burned out, and those that will never know the feeling. Yoga aims to improve the mind, body, and spirit. When the yoga teacher loves what they do, that feeling is transferred into the students as well.

9. Attention to Detail

Sometimes simple adjustments are needed, and sometimes bad habits need to be kicked to the side and re-learned entirely. A great yoga teacher will watch their students, making sure no one is going to get injured and that everything is executed properly. A certified yoga instructor who focuses more on their students will have happier students.

10. Teaching!!!

The person must want to teach, want to improve, and want to inspire! While none of us want to hear a lecture, it’s great when a yoga teacher really knows their stuff. A simple explanation of the medical benefits of postures or variations for people with injuries or physical limitations can go a long way in demonstrating knowledge and gaining credibility.

 

What other qualities do you find important and who is your favorite yoga instructor? Share with us below!

Though introduced to yoga over 30 years ago, Martha has been teaching yoga since 2001. She received her 200 hour yoga training in 2003 and is now an E-RYT 500. Additional education: M.S. in Health Psychology, Integrative Health Coach and Mindful Awareness Meditation instructor (Duke Integrative Medicine), and over 800 hours of Yoga Therapy training. She has a school for 200 hour and beginning in the winter of 2014, a 300 hour advanced yoga certification which will award a cumulative 500 hour teacher training in compliance with Yoga Alliance. Martha's envisions yoga as a form of health, healing and well being for all people. Her students range from health professionals to yoga practitioners seeking a deeper understanding of the benefits of yoga. See all of our yoga classes.

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