I often get asked to recommend ‘good yoga teachers’ and this is especially the case through the times of Covid, where a lot of people are taking up Yoga. I am always happy to recommend teachers that I rate, but that doesn’t mean that they are right for everyone, of course.
So here are 5 things that you might want to look for when you try out a new teacher and class:
- Trust your gut
You’ll usually have a sense somewhere in your body that veers somewhere on the spectrum between ease and towards anxiety. Take your time to feel into this. Do you feel safe? Do you feel welcome? Trust yourself.
All yoga teachers should give you a chance to tell them about injuries, or anything else that may impact you in class (for example, being on your period). This can indicate that they are mindful of the different bodies and experiences in the room and can adapt the practices to meet you where you are.
You should be encouraged to listen to your own body and what feels right for you. We are so conditioned to defer externally to another (usually someone in authority) and yoga can be a transformative way of cultivating deep listening to oneself.
A good yoga teacher will encourage you to be kind to yourself, not to push yourself. An example of this is when a teacher encourages you to rest whenever you want to. There’s enough struggle in our lives without turning our yoga practices into yet another site of struggle.
There is never a one-size-fits-all yoga class. There should always be variations on shapes (“postures”/asana). Each one of us has a different body and no shape is of inherently more value, nor more “advanced” than another. A good teacher will always offer choice.