11 Qualities Of A Great Yoga Teacher
“Great” can be a subjective term to many people, but in the world of yoga, there are certainly common qualities that make some teachers stand out from others. Every yoga teacher is going to be different with their own qualities that make them unique. In this blog post, we will be going over 11 qualities that make yoga teachers unforgettable in a positive way.
Great yoga teachers are always authentic in their teaching. This means not striving for perfection or trying to be someone that you are not. We’re not perfect human beings as yoga teachers, so it’s okay to make mistakes from time to time. The more you show up as your authentic self, the more you’ll be able to connect better with your students and create a following with them.
2. Be Present
Great yoga teachers always teach to who is in front of them and stay present when offering guidance and cues. This means sometimes having to stray away from a lesson plan that you might have created, if you see that it’s not working for who is currently in your class. Leading classes requires a degree of flexibility and sometimes you may need to change up your sequence or offer more guidance on a certain pose if you see that your students need more help with something. By staying present, you can be aware of these things and be able to adapt more quickly in your teachings.
Communicating with your students is one of the most important skills you will need as a yoga teacher. Communication will be your key to connecting with your students. As teachers, we are often guiding students in our classes through our verbal teachings cues. It’s important to be fully educated on teaching cues and how to communicate these to your students in a way that is clear and that they understand.
A good yoga teacher is prepared but is always flexible in their teaching style and sequences to cater to students of different levels. Thinking outside of the box in your classes can help to bring flexibility and creativity to your sequences. If you find that your students are not responding well to the way you sequenced Dancer pose for example, you could take the time to break this pose down and demonstrate how to do this with some prop variations. It might throw off your pre-planned class sequence but your students will definitely appreciate you being flexible in order to cater to their needs.
Being personable, warm, open, and inviting will help your students to connect with you. From a business perspective, it will also help you build your class audiences. Teachers who are warm and always smiling make their students feel welcome and safe in class. Stay later after your classes are over to be there for your students if they have any questions for you. Another great tip is to remember your student’s names. This will make a big impression on your students and will keep them coming back to your classes.
A great teacher is always prepared for class by creating lesson plans in advance and rehearsing teaching cues before classes. It’s also a good idea to prepare what your class themes will be, peak poses, how you’ll be ending your classes, etc. Being prepared will lead to your success as a yoga teacher. Your students will also appreciate you being prepared as it will create a better class experience for them. Also to be prepared, you should always arrive early to class to help set up the room if needed.
Honesty is vital to being an excellent yoga teacher. Honesty means being true to yourself and to your students. If there is ever anything you don’t know, be honest with your students and let them know that you don’t know the answer to their question. It’s okay to admit that we don’t know everything as yoga teachers.
8. No Ego
Checking your ego at the door is important as a yoga teacher. Even if you might know more than your students, always be humble and kind when offering adjustments or yoga tips. Also, keep in mind even as a teacher, you’ll always be a student first and have something to learn. Sometimes our best teachers can be our own students. The more we can remove ourselves from our own egos, the better we can be open to learning new ideas that can help us to grow.
A great teacher knows how to inspire and empower their students to evolve and grow in their practice. This could be from offering inspiring stories, quotes, or inspiring sequences. Always be on the lookout for inspiring ideas or quotes that you could weave into your classes. Help your students grow in their own personal practice by encouraging them to explore how poses feel in their own bodies versus how the pose looks on everyone else. Going above and beyond in class preparation to make your classes inspiring will help you be a successful teacher.
Having a love of yoga and being truly passionate about it will show in your classes and to your students. Always be learning as a teacher whether it’s from reading books, attending classes with other teachers, or workshops. Your passion and knowledge will show in your teachings and will draw students to your classes.
11. Share Knowledge
Sharing knowledge is such an important role for yoga teachers. Sometimes it could be when you’re explaining the importance of a pose and its benefits. Other times it could be answering questions for your students after class. Remember that your gift is sharing the beautiful practice of yoga with your students. Share your knowledge with others and inspire them in their own practice.