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Finding a Good Yoga Teacher

Teacher Training and Experience Questions

students in a yoga class

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 for you.

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 enrollment.


Yoga Classes in NYC and Long Island by Sivananda Master Yogi Grace Welch - 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




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