How To Tell If Your Yoga Instructor Knows What They Are Doing

The yoga industry is absolutely booming. There are yoga studios and teachers popping up everywhere and it is so awesome to see so many people starting this practice. I have taken classes from teachers who know their shit, like I leave feeling just so good. But I have also taken classes that have just felt wrong, off, or choppy.

 

Different styles of yoga benefit different people and everyone has their “thing” but here is a list of clues that your yoga teacher is knowledgeable and capable of putting together a safe, fun class for you!

 
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They know anatomy:

When I went through my yoga teacher training I was SHOCKED at just how much anatomy I learned. I learned all about the bones and muscles and poses that would stretch and strengthen different parts of your body. You want to hear your yoga instructor mention anatomy or different parts of the body. For example, in a low lunge you may feel a stretch in your psoas (front side of your hip) or when you have your arms up overhead you want to attempt to reach your pinkies higher than the rest of your fingers to help protract your shoulders.

They offer ways to make a pose easier or more challenging:

Our bodies are different and capable of different things. We are all at different places in our practice and our lives and very rarely is it that you will find yourself in a class where everyone can do everything.  Therefore, you want a yoga teacher who has a flow in mind but then can offer alternatives to a pose to make it more accessible or more challenging depending on your needs and the needs of everyone in the class.

 
 

They offer props:

Just like how you want a yoga teacher who makes the class accessible, you want to look for a teacher who encourages the use of props. Props are great ways to help with poses and anything from blocks, bolsters, straps, or wheels could make a class way more comfortable and fun for you.

They offer adjustments (but ask you first):

In yoga teacher training we learned a lot about adjusting poses to help keep our students safe. You want a teacher who can either verbally cue or manually adjust you in a pose to help you do the pose in the safest way for your body. However, make sure they ask your permission first! No one should touch you without your permission and if you don’t want to be adjusted, make sure you tell them!

Their flows well…flow:

Ever been to a class where the flow is hard to follow, choppy, or doesn’t make sense? We’ve all been there. You want a teacher who has created a thoughtful flow that moves from pose to pose in a way that makes sense.

 

These are some things to look for when taking a yoga class. Now, everyone has an off day where the flow isn’t quite right, they don’t offer blocks, etc. But if you are in a class where the teacher is consistently not doing the things mentioned above, you may want to try another class. Always listen to yourself and your body and make decisions for you!