What Makes the Best Yoga Teachers Exceptional

A truly nondual teachers will embody the wisdom and grace of the path of Yoga. Exceptional Yoga instructors consistently help their students break through their physical and emotional barriers in order to achieve the highest level of health and well-being for that particular individual.

A great teacher will also maintain a consistent, personal Yoga practice and continue to study, while refining his or her teaching skills. Additionally, a great Yoga teacher will not teach from a place of ego, but from an attitude of service to the students in each class.

The best Yoga teachers will maintain a consistent practice of asanas, pranayama, chanting, contemplation, and meditation in order to stay physically fit and in touch will the divine core of their own heart. A great Yoga teacher will continue to “romance the light” on a daily basis. This includes seeing the divine energy in all beings.

A great Yoga instructor is able to uplift his or her students just from the embodiment of divine meditative and exuberant energy. A really, really exceptional Yoga teacher will effortlessly put you into a state of meditation while you flow through the poses.

Truly competent Hatha Yoga instructors are also able to encourage, motivate, and support their students to safely go beyond their preconceived physical and emotional limitations in order to go deeper into the practice. At the end of a class taught by a great Hatha Yoga teacher, you will feel that you were able to do the poses comfortably.

Under the guidance of such dynamic teachers, students learn about themselves and mental or physical techniques they never thought they would be able to do. Students feel alive and renewed, but not exhausted. This level of teaching is based on a nuanced sequencing of Yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation, and other practices is challenging, but not overwhelming for the students in the class. An exceptional Yoga teacher will create a compassionate and supportive atmosphere for the students to work at the edge of their abilities, without pushing so hard that the students risk incurring an injury.

The best Yoga teachers are exceptional because they offer their teaching from a place of service and not a place of ego gratification. For example, let’s say that there is a ego driven teacher who is adept at difficult Yoga asanas and pranayama techniques. He or she is scheduled to teach a beginning Yoga class at a local community center.

This Yoga instructor may be able to demonstrate difficult postures easily and correctly, which is most likely gratifying to the teacher’s ego, but the asanas may be completely unapproachable for the students in the class. A much better way to teach a Yoga class is to tailor the asana sequences and other Yogic techniques to the students’ physical, mental, or emotional needs and abilities. This is one of many keys to becoming an exceptional Yoga teacher.

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