The question how do you choose a yoga teacher came up in a workshop that I attended. At the time, my response to this was that it was intuition... That feeling you get when you come across a teacher that you seem to connect with. However, I have pondered over this some more. I have looked at what has attracted me to the yoga teachers (whom I still look to for guidance) and why I have let go of some teachers along the way.
My thoughts on this are:
- The yoga teachers that I really connect with are the ones who have something that I would like to learn myself.
- They display all elements of yoga, not just the physical asana practice. They teach with kindness and compassion.
- I trust them to adjust me in postures, especially poses that I am fearful of.
- My trusted yoga teachers have enabled me to work through some of these poses and move on when I was ready. They don't look to hold me back.
- A good teacher for me is someone who wants to share their knowledge and growth with their students and is able to admit that they do not have all the answers.
My yoga teacher once said “do not put your teacher on a pedestal, we are all human with human failings”. This to me says we do not need to be perfect. The honesty in that statement is very freeing.
I don’t think it is necessary to say what I do not like in a teacher. It is pretty clear what works for me and I can only speak from my own experience. However, I do think that people looking to choose a yoga teacher should try a few different ones before deciding which path they want to take. You may be lucky enough to find the one for you in your first class. Whatever you find, it will be the start of your yogic journey.