I’ve had the opportunity to experience group yoga classes by a variety of instructors. The best classes made me feel like something had awakened inside me, that I walked out the door with more clarity and lightness than when I entered, and that I couldn’t wait to come back again.
What sort of teacher does that for me? One who:
Sees the potential in every student, helping them push boundaries to develop it but always remaining respectful of each body’s current capabilities. He/she would be mindful of different levels of ability and experience within a single class, helping newer students with modifications and assisting more experienced practitioners in deepening their poses.
Communicates well by giving crystal clear instructions on what to do with the body and breath, such that all one needs to do is to listen for cues, and devote the rest to focusing on postures and breathing.
Genuinely wants to help people and see them thrive and progress, whether by teaching proper alignment, by sharing a wealth of anatomy knowledge, or by weaving yoga philosophy into asana and meditation classes.
Has a sense of creativity and playfulness that manifests in changing things up all the time, such that students look forward to each class.
Maintains humility by being open to opinions, suggestions, and generally retaining the attitude of lifelong learning.
The best inspiration comes not from the teacher being able to pop into some fancy-looking posture, but from their balanced outlook on life and the way they live it with integrity and equanimity. When I realised how centred and peaceful some of my favourite teachers always seemed to be and how much wisdom they have built up from experience, I started hoping to find the same place for myself and if I could, to invite others in as well.
~~Jasmin [200hr TTC Sep 2014]