10 qualities of an inspiring yoga teacher feature

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10 Qualities of a Yoga Teacher

As yoga continues to grow in popularity, so does the interest in yoga teacher training. Perhaps you’re thinking of taking yoga teacher training, and wondering what it takes to be a yoga teacher. These 10 qualities of a yoga teacher might surprise you.

After teaching yoga and training teachers for almost two decades, I’ve seen–and heard–a lot of feedback regarding the positive qualities of a yoga teacher. So I compiled the years of feedback into a top ten list.

Prefer videos? Watch 10 Qualities of a Yoga Teacher.

10 qualities of a yoga teacher

The number one quality participants want their yoga teachers to teach with no ego. The teacher who shows up with an attitude of service and humility ranks the highest. A teacher who uses class to show off his or her abilities ranks the lowest.

#2 be relatable

Imperfect teachers model to their classes that the participants can be imperfect too. Be able to laugh at yourself, show your humanness and vulnerability, and you’ll create a non-intimidating presence.

#3 be welcoming

Teachers who encourage and support their classes create a more positive environment. You set the tone for participants to practice in and, when it’s welcoming, the intimidation factor decreases.

#4 be authentic

Such a buzz word, but participants want teachers who can be themselves and let their personalities shine through. No need to downplay or pretend to be something you’re not. No fake attitudes or yoga voices wanted.

#5 create an experience

When you put time and effort into sequencing, the participants notice. Make the yoga class an experience, and participants will remember how they felt long after the posture-portion ends.

The Ultimate Yoga Class Planner can also help you create experiences with hundreds of themes, quotes, and affirmations at your fingertips.

#6 safety first

Participants want teachers who understand the postures and can safely guide them in and out of the poses. Alignment, and knowing when to apply it, also ranked high.

#7 voice quality

No more Stepford-Yoga voices. Refer to #4 with regards to authenticity. And HOW you say something means as much as the words you use.

#8 be approachable

How does a yoga teacher make herself approachable? By being friendly and sincere. Arrive a little early and stay a little later to answer questions and make others feels comfortable.

#9 be present

Good yoga teachers practice what they preach. We guide participants to exist in the present moment, there we must also practice teaching in the present moment. Leave the fights with your spouse at home, and be there for the class.

You can also check out 5 Ways to Fail as a Yoga Teacher for tips on being a quality yoga teacher.

#10 Be a student

In my experiences, yoga teachers possess an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Yoga is a life-long journey and we are all students in this body of work.

Did any of the 10 qualities of a yoga teacher surprise you? Share in the comments what YOU look for in a good yoga teacher.


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Shannon with Purple Lotus Yoga
Hi! I'm Shannon

For 20 years, I’ve helped women of all ages and sizes to realize their dreams of becoming inspiring yoga teachers. 

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