7 Simple Steps – Finding a Yoga Teacher
They say when the student is ready the teacher appears. However, finding a yoga teacher these days may require some effort on your part. Here’s what you should do to find a yoga teacher.
1. Identify your needs.
Are you new to yoga? For example, have you never done down dog? Do you not know what down dog means? In other words, if this describes you perhaps you need 1-on-1 coaching.
Though more expensive than taking a class, private yoga lessons are a great fit for certain situations. For example, if you are a beginner, have special physical requirements, have time constraints, or can’t travel far, a personal yoga coach may be for you.
Or perhaps you’re an intermediate or advanced yogi. First, you know your strengths and weaknesses. Next, you have a more specific goal in mind. Therefore, your search for a teacher will be different than someone just beginning.
For now, let’s assume you’re not intermediate or advanced. You’re just getting started with yoga and you want to be taught.
2. Choose a format & location.
Most beginners want live, in-person instruction. Moreover, they need to focus on finding a yoga teacher who will be there to adjust them into proper alignment.
For cost savings some beginners choose to attend group classes. Still, others want or need individualized attention and search for teachers who provide private lessons. These teachers often travel to their clients. If you don’t have the time to travel to a gym or yoga studio for a group class you can pay more and your instructor will meet you wherever and whenever is most convenient.
For the most cost savings some beginners find a teacher who leads classes online. However, this is not the best format for beginners as the teacher may miss proper alignment.
If your favorite teacher is moving out of state and you really want to continue the relationship perhaps you can keep your teacher and practice with her online.
3. Ask friends, family, and coworkers for help finding a yoga teacher.
There’s a reason your friends are your friends. That is to say, you’re similar. There’s mutual trust. You enjoy the same things. If you have friends, family, or even coworkers you trust ask them for a yoga teacher recommendation.
4. Search – anywhere and everywhere. Be open.
Perk up your ears. Pay attention. Listen. When you’re open you’ll find yoga teachers everywhere. Don’t be shy. Introduce yourself and say you’re interested in trying yoga. Then, see what happens.
5. Test out different teachers.
You’ve switched dentists. You’ve switched doctors. When it comes to your health don’t be shy about trying different people. The only way to know who’s best for you is to try out different yoga teachers.
6. Ignore the inconsequential.
Many so-called experts recommend your yoga teacher be registered with the Yoga Alliance. Some argue this is not necessary. As long as you test out your teacher and enjoy his or her style it doesn’t matter if they’re registered with the Yoga Alliance. Registering costs money and is not necessary for most yoga jobs. Registration simply means your teacher attended an approved yoga training then paid to place their name in a database.
However, most yoga teacher trainings – even those certified by Yoga Alliance – do not provide enough of an education. There’s so much to yoga it’s impossible to absorb everything during a training. Therefore, the best yoga teachers attend a training and then continue studying yoga on their own. They teach classes, deepen their own practice, and self-study. Through these efforts they become better teachers. Ignore bad advice and judge your teacher based on your experience in class, not on the Yoga Alliance.
7. Listen to your instincts.
If you’ve read so far it’s no surprise we recommend listening to your instincts. First, delve into your self. Then, connect with your true essence. Finally, extend that connection to the source – the divine.
There’s the head, the heart, and the gut. The head is logic. Heart is emotion. Your gut is instinct. Your head and your heart may tell you conflicting things but the gut is never wrong. When it comes to choosing a yoga teacher listen to your gut.
Can finding a yoga teacher get you to the next level?
Finding a yoga teacher can absolutely advance your personal practice. Are you looking to deepen your practice? Does the thought of learning yoga at a gorgeous beach in India appeal to you? Shanti Yoga School offers Yoga Alliance International certified yoga teacher trainings. You can learn more here.