While I hesitate to label any yoga classes as “not enjoyable”, most of us have attended classes where we really come out feeling refreshed and find ourselves looking forward to coming back the next week. Such enjoyable classes are less about the modernity/facilities of the yoga studio, but depends much more on the person who is teaching it.
Although the ability of the instructor to perform the asanas and be diligent about consistent practice is important, the ability to do advanced asanas that looks impressive does not necessarily mean that he/she is a good instructor. Reflecting on the classes that I have attended, I realized that conducting a “good” class requires a wide range of interpersonal and communication skills, in addition to technical knowledge of yoga and the human anatomy.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of what I think makes a good yoga instructor (in no particular order):
- Clear instructions and good communication skills that are easy to understand
- Warm, genuine and engaging personality
- Ability to make personal connections so that students feel like you are genuinely motivated to help them improve and make the most out of each class
- Encouraging and positive empowerment of each student to be the best versions of themselves
- Ability to modify postures for students of varying experience/flexibility/pre-conditions
- Conducting the class in a challenging yet not too intense pace, depending on the abilities of the group of students present
- Energetic and radiating positivity instead of appearing bored or going through the motions
- Deeper knowledge of yoga, such as how each pose relates to our anatomy and how it can benefit various parts of our body
Although I still have a long way to go, but I will continue to attend yoga classes to observe what I (and other fellow students) enjoy most about them and try to pick up the good traits to bring to my own classes in the future. By always being open to constructive criticism and being willing to let go of my own ego and learn to improve the way I do things, I will be able to improve and become a better instructor with every class I attend/teach.