I had the privilege of having a lot of teachers and I liked cq loved almost each of them. I take something with me in my lessons I take and give from every single teacher I had. There is a lot written about good teachers, but the things that *I* appreciate and try to incorporate in my classes are:
- Let you SMILE and enjoy the class
- Clear cues and directions because I practice often with the eyes closed
- Interaction between the teacher and the students during the class. Without I could also watch a YouTube video of Kino of Tara. And keeps the eyes open and the gaze around. It’s about *my* practice, not yours. (And how could you see the need for modifications or adjustments if you’re turned inwards?)
- Connection between the students and teacher before and after the class. Also nice when there’s a connection between the students. “Say Hi to your neighbours“. Unfortunately often after the class everybody rolls up the mat and hurries to go out.
- Spiritual messages and life lessons but please, not too esoteric. Gives grounding in the beginning and end, messages, intentions, themes and brings deeper level to the classes.
- Variation in classes (otherwise I’d do bikram) and surprising sequences
- Gives adjustments, assists (to those who want it) and modifications to make it more or less challenging or deepening the poses
- Social media presence. If I can choose between a class of a teacher not present on social media or somebody with an appealing Facebook or instagram page I choose the last one.
All this leads to a list to be used for peer review or self evaluation, which is always a good idea to grow! (As said in this article : how to maximize your potential as yogateacher). Of course it’s not only about the technical aspects, most important is that the teacher resonates with his students. See it as a guideline, not as a quality system checklist.
- Is friendly and warm
- Is enthusiast, smiles and energetic
- Has a good voice volume and modulation/variation and is understandable
- Makes connection, eye contact and interacts with the students
- Has the right amount of spirituality
- Works with sankalpa’s/messages, intentions, themes and brings deeper level to the classes.
- Is available before and after the class
- Promotes connection between students
- Resonates with his students
- Asks for medical circumstances before the class
- Has a natural voice (doesn’t act)
- Has the right amount of speaking
- Uses original words / no clichés
- Balance between demonstrating and explaining
- Lets the students stay in the sweet spot between comfort and safety zone.
- Announces the poses
- Gives clear cues
- Explains and has attention for the target (what and where should you feel), alignments and benefits of the pose
- Warns for contra-indications of a pose
- Asks permission for adjustments and assists
- Gives (safe) adjustments and assists (but space to beginners/first timers)
- Gives equal attention to everybody
- Gives the right amount attention to individuals
- Connects breathing with the movements
- Proper use of bandhas and dristhi
- Lets you smile
- Sequence is safe (proper warm up, proper use of counter poses)
- Sequence is given with right tempo (time in the pose, between the poses and rests)
- Sequence is original and or surprising
- Sequence follows tradition (ashtanga/bikram)
- Sequence is logical
- Adapts sequence to the (energy/technical) level of students in general
- Gives variations to individual students (level, blessures)
- Enough time for grounding (beginning and during the sequence) and savasana (end)
A lot of inspiration about teaching yoga can be found at the teaching section of the Yoga Lunchbox