a Good Yoga Teacher
Training and Experience Questions
Yoga is very popular
these days, so finding a class for most people is usually
not an issue. However, finding the right yoga teacher
for your specific needs may be a bit of a challenge. As of
this writing, there is no governmental licensing for yoga
teachers. A teacher who says he or she has a training certificate
may mean a several week correspondence course or years of
study with a master yogi in India.
A good way to find
a teacher is to ask your friends, relatives and coworkers
for references. If that doesn't work out try the Internet,
local gyms, the Y, bulletin boards at local health food stores,
or the phone book. Teachers vary greatly in their talents,
so it may take some shopping around to find one that is right
The magazine Yoga
Journal has an online
teacher directory. There is also an extensive
list of teachers and classes at the Yoga Finder site.
Here are some questions
to ask a prospective teacher:
1. Where did they
train, and under what teachers? (If you are not familiar with
any of the schools or teacher names provided, run them through
Google or your favorite search engine).
2. Is teaching
yoga his or her full-time career?
3. What yoga organizations
does the prospective teacher belong to?
4. How long have
they been teaching and how many classes, on average do they
teach a week?
5. How many students
are in the class? I once signed up for a yoga class at the
local adult center and 50 people were in the class for one
instructor. The class was inexpensive, but with that many
students there was simply no time individual feedback with
each student. Personally, I'd rather pay more for a class
with more individualized instruction.
Another area to
be concerned with is the safety habits of the instructor.
Some complex yoga positions such as the headstand and shoulder
stand are generally not recommended for beginners. I was in
a class once where the instructor was trying to class members
to do headstands even though we told her we didn't feel ready.
She persisted, practically mocking the students who did not
want to do headstands in front of the other class members
for being overly cautious. I finished out the class that niht
but never went back.
Oddly, the teacher
noted that many other people had not returned after the prior
class, but somehow the teacher did not link her pushing students
beyond what they felt were their own safe limits to her shrinking
Classes in NYC and Long Island by Sivananda Master Yogi Grace
- Grace (Durga) offers personalized yoga - beginner, intermediate,
advanced, Cardiac Yoga(R). Manhattan & Islandia (Exit 57 LIE).
Group, Private, Corporate. Japanese Meditation Garden. Italian
language by appointment. Member: NYYTA, LIYA