6 Things You Should Know About Being a Yoga Teacher

1. Teaching yoga and practicing yoga is completely different
Being an advanced yoga practitioner doesn’t make you an advanced teacher. There is a big difference between knowing something and being able to explain and transfer that knowledge to students. When practicing yoga, you don’t think about small details of how you do your asanas anymore, you just know.

Therefore, it is important to follow a good yoga teacher training course that teaches you how to give proper instructions and cues. You will also need to learn proper alignments for different body types and how to give personal corrections to these people.

2. A teacher is different from an instructor
Most people get confused between their role as a teacher or an instructor. An instructor is someone who simply provides or explains instructions to do an asana or exercise. Mostly an instructor will stand in front during most of the class and demonstrate the asanas for students to follow. An instructor is more concerned with what to do and how to do it, and will follow a set pattern, sequence or instructions during the class.

Whereas a yoga teacher is more concerned with helping each student meet their goal of coming to the yoga class. A teacher is aware of each student’s personal goals. He or she is aware of the strengths as well as the challenges of each student, and offers guidance on how to improve. A yoga teachers walks around the class watching, helping, correcting and adjusting the students. You should make a clear choice about which you wish to be.

3. You don’t have to be a super asana performer
Many people are afraid to start teaching because they think their personal practice is not good enough. Don’t forget that everybody has some limitations in their bodies. Some people are very flexible but lack strength, some people have strength but lack flexibility, and some have both but lack balance and concentration. Every yoga teacher has difficulty with certain poses.

My best teacher was the one in a wheel chair, but his knowledge and teaching methods made up for that. It is much more important to know the alignments of the asanas and their benefits and to be able to explain this very clearly to the students than it is to be able to do all the asanas perfectly. Most of the students understand this and don’t expect their teacher to be a super asana performer.

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