"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance" B. Franklin
Yoga has become one of the most prolific businesses of the 21st century. Numerous offers to become certified Yoga teachers flood the market. The "Teacher trainings" are everywhere. In a world where sects and gurus abound, it is important to have a notion about what we can expect from a good Yoga teacher.
1- Yoga is not just a physical practice:
A good Yoga teacher should know and take into account other less tangible aspects from Yoga, such as Pranayama or breathing exercises. Also its philosophy and history, ethical precepts (Yamas and Niyamas), its main precursors and, without doubt, a he must know about anatomy as well. Yoga is vast and has evolved infinitely in the last century, it is not enough to learn some positions and instruct them, he must know the huge universe behind. The more knowledge about other aspects of Yoga he or she has, the better.
2- Sequencing with wisdom:
It is not the same to do a twist before an inversion than doing an inversion before a twist. And is not the same practicing in the evenings before going to sleep than practicing in the mornings. Each group of postures causes different results on our body, mind and energy. Each Asana itself differs from the others in its form of execution, purpose and main and secondary physical effects and on top of that, the combination of them can alter the outcome radically as well. Within a range of more than 200 positions, knowing how to organise them wisely to obtain a specific goal is really important.
3- The self-practice, a personal path:
Yoga teachers are catalysts in the personal growth of their students, so we have the huge responsibility of taking care of ours. We can not give something that we haven't integrated in our path or teach something that we don't know, haven't practiced or haven't experienced. That is why the Yoga teacher must be a Yogi himself, a candid amateur, a practitioner, always willing to learn with humility and incorporate to his teaching new knowledge and experiences that come, above all, from his own practice .
4- Kindness, ethics and good communication:
No matter how much experience, fame or prestige a Yoga teacher has, his actions and deeds should be full of kindness, compassion, humility and ethics, especially when it comes to recognizing his own mistakes and imperfections. A good Yoga teacher should also know how to transmit the knowledge in a didactic and assertive way, have communication tools and be able to correct his students with firmness but docilyty at the same time. Corrections can be shown physically, said verbally or done with his own hands when necessary. Any good Yoga teacher should be able to do it all.
5- He will always encourage your own freedom:
Any message that make you feel dependent or coerced and that tries to convince you that he or she is the best in the field and that you should not develop independence in your path should turn on all our alarms. A good Yoga teacher will always encourage your own sense of freedom and empowerment, with love and respect, even when it means to stop attending classes with him. The manipulation is worthy of sects and false gurus. Watch out!
6- Less Instagram and more pedagogy:
Being able to make different positions with our body is beautiful and liberating and showing us in social networks is an excellent comercial strategy to attract new clients into the Yoga practice at our hands. That is legitimate, no problem. After all, the performance of the physical body is the only performance that can be measured in a tangible way, right? But remember: a good Yoga teacher is not necessarily the one who exposes his exotic postures, his
flexibility or talent for physical yoga, but is the one that knows how to take YOU there progressively and safely.