This month we are looking how you can retreat at home. Yoga is an important part of the programme here at La Crisalida Retreats, so in this article we share some tips that may help and inspire you to find a yoga teacher for you.
There are a number of reasons why you might be looking for a yoga teacher:
- Have you decided to make some changes in your life and start taking care of your body, mind and spirit?
- Are you practiced in yoga but recently moved and haven´t had time to look for a yoga class?
- Have you recently had a “one yoga class experience” and completely fallen in love with it?
- Has your regular yoga teacher moved or gone to deepen his/her knowledge in yoga and will be away for a long time?
- If you find yourself in some of these situations or a similar one, we hope this article might help you to find a yoga teacher most suitable for you.
How to find a yoga teacher for you
All of the following points could be considered during the process of finding a yoga teacher. None of them are more important than the other, because the whole process and the final decision, is a very personal matter.
- Trust your first impression:
Your yoga teacher should be motivated and motivating to you, somebody who can inspire you. It could be helpful that the person is in a similar age range to you, as it is perhaps more difficult to identify yourself with somebody who is much younger or older! Her/his voice should sound nicely in your ears. This will help you to trust and relax during your practice.If you would like to know more about the teacher, you might choose to follow them on the internet. Some yoga teachers have a strong internet presence, with lots of followers on Instagram, Facebook etc. On the other hand, if you are more of a personal contact type of person, and you prefer to pay attention to your impression on how/what you feel about this person while you are close to him/her, there are some yoga teachers that are very discreet referring to their internet presence. Every option is perfectly valid; it depends on your personal needs.
Can you think about other elements that are important to you in order to prefer a teacher over other? The more she/he awakes in you, the more likely is that you will keep on joining the class. A great candidate is a teacher who you can identify with, you find inspiring and a good example to follow. If you resonate with the teacher, your practice will be more pleasant and easy to follow.
- Certificates: their training
There are thousands of yoga schools that offer different types of yoga teacher trainings all over the world. Some trainings take many years (weekend by weekend); others are very intensive and last for a month. A good yoga teacher´s school should be member of a yoga body. There is an International Yoga Alliance (based in the USA). Many countries have a national body which aims to establish and maintain standards in yoga. For example, in the UK it is the British Wheel of Yoga. Once yoga training is complete a qualified yoga teacher can then choose to become a member of one of these bodies or alliances. In order to join these alliances, the courses should cover some standards which guarantee the quality of the training. If certificates are important to you, feel free to ask the yoga teacher where she/he did her/his training and if he/she keeps on learning. Most yoga bodies or alliances require continual professional development (CPD) from their members to maintain their training and skills.
- The place and the time – nice, cozy and at the “perfect” time
You want to feel comfortable while you´re practicing yoga, don´t you? Make sure that your elected yoga teacher teaches in a room that is appealing to you. It´s important that the room is tidy and clean, that you like the ambience, the decoration, the smell (some people love incense scent, others dislike it or even have allergic reactions to it).The room should be spacious enough for all the attendants and have sufficient equipment. Feel free to ask the yoga teacher how many people normally join the class. It´s up to you if you prefer to experience the strong energy of practicing in a full room or to enjoy having enough space to move freely, without having to check your sides before you stretch both arms.
The noise level of the room could be another element to take in account. If the yoga class takes place in a building where a spinning class with loud music is happening next door, it may be more difficult to relax and focus. But if your idea of yoga is more of a calming stretching after working out, maybe the short distance between the spinning class and the yoga hour is a plus for you!
The distance to the yoga studio or room where your teacher takes the class is an important element too, as well as the schedule. The closer it is to your workplace or home, the more likely is it that you will feel motivated to attend the class regularly. The same with the timing: make sure that the classes that your elected yoga teacher leads adjust well to your personal schedule.
- The Yoga style – same, same but different
There are so many different styles of yoga: flow yoga, alignment-oriented yoga, spiritually yoga, fitness yoga, hot/heated yoga, gentle yoga, speciality yoga… Think, reflect: what are your needs, what would you like to practice? If you find it difficult to calm your mind while being still, maybe a flow yoga style like Vinyasa is the right one for you. Are you more the kind of a person who wants to know exactly how to do the postures? Anusara would be an alignment oriented yoga style. For more spirituality or an internal energy focused yoga style you might prefer Kundalini yoga class. Some types of Restorative yoga could be more gentle and for people with special needs there are yoga classes for pregnant women or persons with reduced mobility or back issues. Yin yoga is great at helping you to relax and get present in your body. Again it depends on your personal needs and your likes and dislikes. Anyway, make sure that your future yoga teacher teaches the style that you feel more attracted to! Many yoga teachers are experienced in different styles and their classes could be a mix between them. You might also want to find two teachers – so that on the days you want a flow class you have that choice, and on another day you might want a Hatha or Yin class. A good thing to do, would be to go into a yoga studio or yoga holiday – like La Cridalida – where you can try different styles to find out what is the most suitable for you.
- The other class attendants – being in your element
The first time you participate in a class with a new yoga teacher have a look around you. The other participants will play a role too, in how you feel during the practice. Every yoga teacher attracts different types of people. Make sure that you feel comfortable around them. If you feel “at the right place” it will be easier for you to find the motivation to join the yoga class the next time.It can be helpful as well to talk to friends or acquaintances in your search for a yoga teacher or even join the class with them the first time, so that you already have a reference about how the “energy” can be like in the class.
- Be present – test different classes and teachers
Do some research before you join the class (e.g. about the yoga style that the teacher instructs and the place she/he teaches). This may save you some time and energy. But after all I think that the most important thing is to be really present the first time you “test” a new yoga teacher, listen carefully to your body reactions, observe your breath and trust your feelings and intuition.Check out all of the points discussed above. Sometimes you might need to try a few different teachers, studios etc. to find one that truly works for you. Some studios or gyms allow you to try a class for free before joining, so remember to ask them. After joining the yoga class, a sense of having progressed in your practice, feeling better than you came in, having a calm mind and breath are some signs of finding an appropriate yoga teacher for you.
If you find yourself in the situation of looking for a yoga teacher right now, here at La Crisálida Retreats we have different yoga teachers, offering different styles of yoga each week. To know more about our yoga click here. Joining our classes during a Yoga Retreat could give you more clarity about what is really important to you in order to choose the right yoga teacher for you, as well as helping you to get deeper into yoga.
Are there other things that are important for you by finding a yoga teacher? Let me know your comments and suggestions.
Good luck with your search and Namaste.