A good yoga practice has a lot to do with finding a good teacher. Here are some tips to help you move in the right direction.
There is no credential or license required in order to teach yoga in the United States. While most yoga teachers are sincere and dedicated, it’s still a smart idea to learn more about a teacher in advance, and a good way to do this is to observe a beginning class. Be sure to call ahead and make arrangements with the teacher, explaining that you are new to yoga, are looking for the class that will be just right for you, and thus would like to observe a class.
As you watch the class, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the teacher treat the students with kindness?
- Does the teacher pay attention to all the students or play favorites?
- Does the teacher seem sensitive to the level of the students, neither pushing them too hard nor inspiring them too little?
- Does the teacher use humor?
- Does the style of yoga (and there are many) appeal to you?
- Do you like the pacing of the class?
- Is there relaxation and/or meditation at the end of class?
- Does it just seem like an exercise class with Sanskrit names?
After class you may want to ask the teacher about his/her training and if they themselves practice each day. Good teachers still have a regular personal practice and continue to learn. They also are very clear about the student-teacher boundary, and they welcome questions. Finally, trust your intuition about which class feels right. No doubt that intuition will lead you to a teacher who will facilitate the best yoga practice for you.