What Makes a Great Yoga Teacher

We love this piece from Rainbow Yoga on What Makes a Great Yoga Teacher!

Rainbow Yoga regularly leads weekend-long kids yoga teacher training courses at Yoga One (and around the world!) They will be back at Yoga One, August 4th – 6th, 2017 leading their 3 Day Kids Yoga Teacher Training. Join us for this great adventure in learning!

This article originally published on RainbowYogaTraining.com

by Gopala Amir Yaffa

Rainbow Yoga TraineesWhat makes a great teacher? Well, that’s like asking what makes a great day!

There are so many ways to make things rock as an awesome yoga teacher, but here are some quick pointers you can try.

Be Awesome

First, what makes an awesome teacher is simply being an awesome person. But in addition to being awesome, you need to let it shine so that the world can know how amazing you are! So whatever your coolness is, let it shine!

Who are you? What do you want to be?

The best way to learn is to teach; and teaching is sure to help you become a better you. When you teach, you need to be your ideal self; an expression of love, knowledge and kindness.

This is not to say that you should be fake. Just give it the best of you every time.

Be Real

At the same time, you have to be authentic to where you come from, who you are now and your challenges and struggles at the moment. We teach best from our own genuine failures and experiences.

If your life has been and is always perfect, you will have nothing to teach. It is often the most broken people that make the best teachers. They have overcome enough challenges to understand and relate compassionately to other people, they have real experiences and wisdom from the inside to share.

You don’t get the lotus without the mud and the more mud, the better the flower. Teach from the inside, from those life experiences that have transformed you.

  • Don’t be afraid to show your own limitations, it will help your students feel more comfortable with theirs.

  • Don’t pretend that you know something you don’t or you will miss an opportunity to learn something new.

If you are not Indian, don’t try to be one by wearing Indian clothes and speaking Sanskrit. If you are not all Om Shanti and relaxed, don’t act as if you are… people will know if you are faking it, and really not all of us need Om Shanti yoga – some of us need to be shaken to awaken.

“Be the best version of yourself rather than the second best version of someone else.”

Trust that you have meaningful gifts to give to the world that someone will need. Nothing is good for everyone, and everything is good for someone.

Offer your authentic gifts from your heart, they are sure to be a great service to someone.

Be New

There are a million yoga teachers out there, so don’t be like everyone else. Make it your own. Make it new!

What are your passions? What are you really good at? What have you been working on already for your whole life that has made you who you are today?

You don’t need to forget about all of those when you shift into teaching yoga. Life is an evolution rather than a revolution, and everything you will build from here on has, in one way or another, a foundation on what you have achieved and experienced in your past.

Combining your passions is a great way to come up with something new.  The possibilities are endless and this is how people came up with ideas like:

Kids Yoga, Partner Yoga, Senior Yoga, Aqua Yoga (yoga in the water), yoga and weight lifting, Doga (yoga with your dog), yoga on exercise balls, Yoga Fight Club (yoga and martial arts), Yoga Canvas and Cabernet (yoga, painting and wine drinking), Yoga for Surfers, Yoga for Golfers, Equestrian Yoga (yoga on a horseback), Naked Yoga, Acro Yoga, Aerial Yoga (yoga suspended from the ceiling by straps)… and there are many many more!

Yoga is not set in stone; it has been evolving since ever. Even the most “traditional” yoga teacher trainings have very little in it that was called yoga a hundred years ago.

Don’t be like everyone else! Have some style! Dare and live a little! Experiment!

Be Now

Start teaching right away! Don’t wait until you know everything before you start teaching, because no one knows everything.

Don’t wait until you are perfect before you start to teach, because no one is perfect. You learn as you go. You evolve with your students.

Waiting will just make you stagnant and dull your energy. Get out there and share yourself with the world now!

Be The Change

Whatever your new yoga is going to be, what is your job description as a yoga teacher?

In my opinion it is making people happy! You are AMAZING – we all are in our own special way! And you are going to change the world, one person at a time… and not by talking, but simply by being the awesome you that you have now freed.

Are you ready?

The real question is, is the world ready for you? Well… it better be, because you are going out there today to rock it!

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2 Responses to What Makes a Great Yoga Teacher

  1. Edgar Wang says:

    There are so many ways to make things rock as an awesome yoga teacher, but here are some quick pointers you can try….

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