What are the main characteristics of a yoga teacher?

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What makes a great yoga teacher? There are no specific standards and regulations but we can name a few qualities of someone who would be a great yoga teacher.

Yoga teachers have a big influence on a yoga session. Each instructor adds his or her own personal touch to make their class unique. These differences are the reason why each yoga teacher will affect you differently.

Yoga instructors need to understand anatomy and physiology. Yoga teachers have their own reasons for teaching. They may just want to share yoga with others either as a form of exercise or because they find it emotionally and physically therapeutic.

At the end of the day, the definition of a ‘great’ yoga teacher will be different among students. There are certain basic qualities that always make a teacher likeable.

Traits of a great yoga teacher

Keep it Personable

To break down any anxiety someone may have towards starting yoga classes for the first time a teacher should be friendly, genuine and kind. A yoga teacher should be able to explain yoga in a way that will make sense to the students.

They should also be able to make the whole class feel comfortable. The class should trust the teacher enough to share with them if they have any injuries that could affect their performance in class.


Physical flexibility, as a yoga instructor, is a great asset when showing how to perform a pose but they need to be mentally flexible too.

Being able to think outside the box and adjust poses and verbal cues to the level of the class is important.

Maintaining an open mindset

To accept the differences of each unique student and be able to adjust the yoga practice accordingly will definitely make students feel like they have a great yoga teacher. An open mind allows the instructor to be mentally flexible and understanding of students’ needs.

Be knowledgeable but open to suggestions

Multiple hours spent training and learning doesn’t naturally make a great yoga instructor. Yoga teachers need to be informed and have knowledge about the discipline they are teaching, just like all instructors do.

When teaching classes they should be open to suggestions from students, but also challenge them to break free from their comfort zones.

Giving clear and effective instructions

Communicating clearly is key so that students understand what is happening and how to do something. Students need to be in control of their movements so they need to know how to execute poses properly. For safe yoga practice that students can benefit from it is important to give clear cues on how to enter and hold even the most simple poses. Visualisations can help with this.

These are a few qualities that are appreciated in a yoga teacher. As they teach they will also find out the best ways to communicate information to their students.

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