We have really incredible, wonderful, caring yoga instructors at Sunrise Yoga Studio!
If you’ve taken yoga classes at Sunrise Yoga, no doubt you agree that our yoga instructors are top notch. But what makes a yoga instructor top notch?
Researching this question led to quite a few lists of the must have characteristics of a good (better yet, great) yoga instructor. What quality would be at the top of your list?
Of the eight resources reviewed, every one of them noted a good yoga instructor should have the ability to observe the surroundings and situations of the classroom, and, by paying attention to detail and drawing from the instructor’s yoga knowledge base, adjust the pace and difficulty level of the class. Leave out the word “yoga” and you have a description of a good instructor of any subject! Remaining aware of your surroundings means watching students without making them feel uncomfortable and, as they practice each pose, assisting them when necessary. Having the mental flexibility to adjust lets students know the instructor is aware and cares about their students’ wellbeing.
Another frequently mentioned quality is language or voice. The yoga instructor’s voice is a powerful tool used to guide students in and out of poses. The language and the tone of voice help the instructor tell the yoga story. The better the communication from the yoga instructor, the deeper the students can immerse themselves in their yoga practice. A good yoga instructor knows how to use language and voice to calm or energize, support or challenge, reinforce or educate. Adjusting language and voice ties back to the ability to observe the surroundings and demonstrates compassion in both words and actions.
Awareness and adjustments also relate to being present and authentic. While presence may seem a bit vague, a good yoga instructor’s teaching will reflect his or her presence and help the student stay focus and engaged. The yoga instructor’s authenticity will come across in the messages shared and the manner in which they are shared. Personalization will infuse the instructor’s energy level into the class and create the appropriate type space for each yoga class.
It would seem to go without saying that preparation, study, attention to detail, and an emphasis on safety would be evident in all yoga instructors, not just good ones, and yet these attributes were mentioned less frequently than the qualities above. A love and respect for yoga would also be expected and might be manifested in the instructor’s desire to continue learning as well as in the instructor’s own ongoing practice of yoga.
One quality mentioned only once but that would be at or near the top of our list is trust. Yoga classes can be a place of sanctuary, a place to be open to trying without fear of failure or ridicule, a place to let go of the rest of the world for a brief time. If the student doesn’t have a sense of trust in the yoga instructor to create this type space, the student will not have fully experienced quality yoga.
Sunrise Yoga holds our instructors to high standards. Our instructors have all undergone rigorous study and testing to acquire the certification necessary to teach. They must demonstrate their teaching and leadership abilities before joining the Sunrise Yoga staff.
You, however, hold our instructors to even higher standards. You come to Sunrise Yoga expecting good instructors and quality yoga classes. You are looking for an instructor who will share not only knowledge of yoga but who will also be a light and an inspiration for you.
The instructors themselves hold themselves to standards even higher than we do or you do! Some things simply can’t be learned and our instructors have inborn desires to learn, to teach, to lead, to grow, and to inspire. They continuously challenge themselves to bring yoga classes to you that bring yoga into your world and help you see your world through the eyes of an enlightened yogi.
To conclude, we quote from yogapedia.com. “Perhaps most crucially, there is no one perfect yoga teacher and yoga teaching is not an exact science. There is space out there in the sphere of inspirational yoga classes for a huge variety of teaching styles and techniques. The common denominator, though, is that all good yoga teachers care deeply about their yoga and about their students.”
Today is not a “salute your yoga instructor day” or any special day related to yoga instructors. Every day at Sunrise Yoga is a day we are proud of our instructors and honored to have them as part of our staff. We hope you concur.
If you have a quality you look for in a yoga instructor we haven’t mentioned, please comment. If your Sunrise Yoga instructor has a quality you particularly admire, please let us know.
We thank you as students for being a part of who our instructors are and what Sunrise Yoga is. You elevate our good qualities and help direct us to be our best!
Check out all our instructors on our web site.
Is yoga instructor in your future? We offer yoga teacher training! Find out more here!
Commentary about the qualities mentioned above for a good yoga instructor can be found on the following web sites: