With so many options for yoga classes, from in-person to online, it can be overwhelming trying to choose the right yoga teacher. It’s important to find a teacher that is welcoming, qualified, and who supports your yoga journey, whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi.
Type of yoga
Yoga has so many different variations and styles. When it comes to choosing a teacher, you might want to start with finding which out which style of yoga you want to practice. Heated or non-heated? Restorative or power? For how long do you want to practice? Vinyasa, Kundalini, or Yin? In-person, or online? The best way to start is searching for yoga studios in your area, and then finding out what kind of yoga they teach. Many will have a variety, so you’ll have the chance to try out different options at the same studio.
Most teachers will have at least a 200-hour certification. This means that the teacher has learned and practiced in a teaching program for at least 200 hours. The most popular organization that certifies yoga teachers is Yoga Alliance. To be a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, yoga teacher training programs must qualify as a registered yoga school. Some yoga teachers may opt to do an additional training for 300 hours or 500 hours. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are “more” qualified than a 200-hour teacher with the same amount of teaching hours but didn’t decide to get another certificate. If you’re brand-new to yoga, you might want to choose a teacher that has lots of experience. Most studios will have the bios and qualifications of their teachers on their websites. You can also look up the teacher on social media, which is another way to find out if they’d be a good fit.
If you’re taking an in-person class, your teacher might offer hands-on adjustments, or they may not. Some teachers are very active in walking around the class and offering suggestions, while others prefer to stay at the front of the class. You might decide that hands-on adjustments aren’t for you, so it’s a good idea to ask before the class starts if you can opt out. Or your teacher may ask “can I offer you an assist?” and you can choose to opt in or out then. If adjustments are important to you, it’s best to ask questions prior to class.
Take a class
It can be hard to tell from an Instagram picture, or a nice bio on a studio’s website if you’re going to click with a particular teacher or not. The best way to choose the right teacher for you is to take one of their classes. Many studios will have a first class free, or reduced rate for new students, so be on the lookout for deals. Arrive before the class and see if you can get a moment alone with the teacher or someone from the studio to ask any questions you may have. Keep an open mind and stay for the duration of the class. When you class has finished, take a moment to see how you feel. Were there any particularly good nuggets or quotes the teacher shared? How was the teacher’s energy? Did it feel like you got what you needed from the class? When you left the class, were you feeling positive? You may want to review the class immediately, so you don’t forget your first impressions.
Are you looking to go deep into your yoga journey? Is learning independently one of your skills? Check out our Yoga Teacher Training Basics program. You’ll get access to all 8 modules of our program, including the history of yoga, proper alignment, yoga ethics, meditation, and more. The program also get a membership to our On Demand Library of over 200 classes, as well as our Mind, Mood, and Muscle online wellness program.