Your yoga teacher is an important person in your life. Whether you are getting ready to begin a yoga practice or have been casual about going to classes, but feel the need to step up the level of your commitment, you need a yoga teacher that will keep you enthusiastic about yoga and free from injury in the process. Here are a few things to look for if you are just starting yoga or looking to change teachers.

A Yoga Teacher That Others Like

Find a yoga teacher that other people like. Ask your friends that are taking yoga classes for recommendations. If you are starting at a new studio, ask the other students who their favorite teacher is. Don’t forget to ask what it is they like about the teacher. They may have different traits they are looking for in a yoga teacher. Remember, the most popular teacher is not necessarily the best teacher of yoga.

Experience and Certification

Experience and credentials are not the only measure of a good yoga teacher, but they are important. Well trained yoga teachers should have a basic understanding of anatomy, how to sequence a series of yoga poses and how to address typical health issues such as knee pain or back pain. A yoga studio should have information available about the training of each of their teachers.

Yoga teachers that have been certified by a method of yoga such as Iyengar, Bikram or Ashtanga have met rigid criteria and will be very knowledgable about their style. More generic forms of yoga like vinyasa, hatha and hot yoga have less specific requirements for certification. The teachers may still be excellent, but that ability is more likely to have been gained through years of experience. 

Someone That Inspires You

Look for a yoga teacher that makes you want to come back to class every week. They should inspire you not only on the mat, but in a way that encourages you to continue yoga practice at home and as part of daily life. Different qualities will connect with different people. It may be a sense of humor, enthusiasm, a calm demeanor or attention to detail that keeps you coming back.

Helps With Your Issues

We all have specific areas in our yoga practice that need special attention. It may be a particular health issue, injury or imbalance that causes minor or major problems. Your yoga teacher should be able to help you address these areas. Be sure to let them know if you have a health situation that causes you concern. 

You can usually sense whether your yoga teacher is dedicated to their own yoga practice and lives their life accordingly. Hopefully, they share with their students the ways that yoga has improved the quality of their own life. In doing so, they transmit the potential that yoga has to benefit you physically, mentally and spiritually.