Qualities of Competent, Trusted Yoga Teachers
Written by Cathy Geier.
I have had ample time recently to reflect on many areas in the field of yoga, study, teaching and my likes, preferences, needs and dislikes. As my journey continues, I am reviewing my choices for instruction as well as training opportunities. I find that the qualities of yoga teachers which create a desire in me to return to their classes and to trust their judgment are those which I hope to find in a training program and to build, strengthen and express in myself and for my own teaching.
Following is a personally derived list:
- Positivity about life and people in general
- Loving- kindness in approach
- Competence and knowledge about poses, anatomy, safety
- Thoughtful in learning about students
- Listening to students without projection or blame
- Observes change and advancements in students' practices or poses
- Good simple job skills: arriving early enough to be available, being neat, clean, no venting in front of students about studio politics or problems, taking responsibility
- Problem-solving skills
- Show respect for others' opinions even if differ greatly from ones' own
- Capable of providing accommodations or alternatives for new, injured or advanced practitioners
- Knowledge of pose names and purposes
- Can include basics about breath, meditation and spirituality without proselytizing
- Ability to be human- accept that he/she may make a mistake
- Ability to forgive, to apologize and to live and laugh
- Respectful to students and teachers
- Certified in a training program
- Knowledge of more than one routine and/or yoga style
- Knowledge of fitness and health principles
- Continuing to update personal knowledge in yoga
- First Aid certified
I notice personal spark, dedication to good, openness, interesting music (I am partial to spiritual based music). I appreciate those who read, write and contribute through volunteering, speaking, donating, educating and asking others to be included in these pursuits (walking their talk).
These qualities have been exemplified by many great teachers and studio owners over the years; notably for me in the last 16 months of more frequent practice by teachers at hauteyoga, 8 Limbs and ILoveHotYoga, in my little area of the city. What a joy and blessing to live in Seattle where we have so many wonderful yoga teachers and choices of good studios!
Now, a little on the flipside!
I learned from teachers who gave me an angry or hurt experience! Please note- these have only happened a few times in my recent spurt of 230 classes. That I was sparked by actions is my own response. My truth is that these cause concern or hurt in me. Others may have a different take on situations. I choose to let these incidences help me decide how I will teach, what my actions will be.
- Arriving late means you do not hear what a student may need to tell you
- Yelling at a class or picking on a student may hurt peoples' ears or feelings
- Adjusting a shoulder by cranking on it may hurt a student and can unsettle students
- Demeaning remarks may be noted in students' minds and create dissonance
- 'Change your life' dogma may insult or distract students from their purpose of body movement, strength-building, breathing and flow
- 'Laughing off' certification as inconsequential.
All of these are my lessons. Thank you. The California Yoga Teachers Ethics Board has published an Ethics Code with 10 sections and over 40 sub-statements! Whew! There is a lot to learn and practice in this business called yoga! I welcome comments and contributions. Thank you.
- Read more of Cathy Geier.
- Finding a Good Yoga Instructor
- Yoga... An Exercise with a Difference
- How to Choose the Right Yoga Style
- Power and Strength Given to Yoga Teachers
- Acro Yoga - Acrobatic Concepts on Yoga
- Magic Behind Number 26, Bikram Yoga
- Top 6 Hot Yoga Studios in Toronto
- How Bikram Yoga Saved My Life
- The 90 Day Yoga Challenge
- Power of Present Moment
- Benefits of Hot Yoga
- Hot Yoga in Toronto
- Why 'Hot' Yoga?