Who is the Right Yoga Teacher for You

Seeking a
qualified instructor can be
challenging, you have to trust your
gut on some levels but on other
levels there are certain basic
qualifications for excellence if you
want good results from the yoga
practices you are learning. All
teachers should be practitioners as
well, not theorists. They should be
able to give masterful
instruction of any of the postures
they teach. Intellectual instruction
including history and studies about
the practice of yoga are most
helpful in insuring a deep and
thorough understanding and respect
for the ancient science, vast art
and spiritual practice that is Yoga.
Most, if not all masters have made a
lifetime of practice in yoga
and have not always had an easy
road. Many teachers have had
difficult pasts that prove they have
come a long way with much practical
experience in personal growth,
healing and spiritual evolution.

But I have also
encountered dark teachers who had
negative and hidden agendas, having
taken advantage of naïve newcomers
financially, emotionally and even
sexually. One must seek to never be
naïve. If there is a warning sign
about a new instructor, such as
angry outbursts, unseemly behavior,
indiscretions with private matters
and information about others, poor
manners, slovenly appearance or
suspicious and incongruent signs
regarding their message and the life
they really live, RUN! Some
teachers or teachings may be too
athletic for you, as some forms of
yoga are highly athletic or YANG
such as Ashtanga and Bikram yoga. If
you have an injury or illness, a YIN
or gentle practice is essential
until you are strong and your health
is vibrant again and you are
energetic enough to approach a more
physically challenging or YANG
practice. Ask around as most
teachers will invite you to try a
class first for free without
expecting you to pay for a several
week session in advance. A
knowledgeable and experienced
teacher is not necessarily one who
has a certificate or a pretty body
and a peaceful demeanor or a fancy
studio. A master may be quite old,
having practiced an entire lifetime,
or quite young having been
introduced to a lifetime of yoga as
a child in a family that has
practiced daily. One thing for sure,
a good teacher will stimulate your
mind and instill in your heart a
deep and enduring respect for the
depths of yoga. You should feel
challenged but not so much so that
you do not have ample opportunities
to make progress quickly. The
process may seem a bit alien at
first as this Eastern based
philosophy is more holistic than
anything we have in the west. But if
it is so esoteric that you simply
don’t understand the meanings or
feel uncomfortable with any of the
processes, that teacher isn’t for
you. There are a lot of fruity tooty
teachers out there who have no
business teaching and are not here
to serve and heal. Some are down
right nuts just like there are
doctors who are fakes and quacks as
well.

If they have
university level
of studies in
physiology, anatomy, kinesiology,
physics, biochemistry and psychology
this is most excellent as they will
have a rich understanding of the
body, mind and energies that propel
us through this complex world. The
ancient Sutras (the Sacred Text that
are the foundation of the yoga
philosophy) state that it is
necessary to have understanding of
all of these disciplines and even
including metaphysics to understand
the true nature of Yoga.

Most of all, a
master lives a life that is
reflective of their teachings.
Although this might be hard to
discern at first, a master teacher
or therapist will reveal regularly
through their empathetic,
sympathetic and healing nature how
awake and aware they really are by
how readily they connect and the
healings they affect. A master
teacher is renowned as intelligent,
intuitive, revered as a healer and
much respected as an altruist who is
open to all people, races and loves
life with both their heart and mind.
Most importantly, a Master empowers
you to become one too!

Like the saying says, when you
are ready, the teacher will appear.
If you are truly seeking a real
teacher, a real teacher will appear.
Remember though that they, like you,
are human and that the ultimate and
true teacher is you, your intuition
and your inner guidance which
discerns all teachings and learns
what you need to know for your own
purpose, path and connection with
Source and all others. So take what
serves you from each teacher you
meet respectfully and leave behind
that which does not serve you
personally. You are allowed to be
discerning. Listen to the voice
within and follow it as it will
always guide you in the right
direction.

Namaste

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