By Jenny Park
Maybe you have a passion for yoga, and you’re considering making a career out of it with yoga teacher training. It takes more than an appreciation of yoga to become a good yoga teacher. What sets some people apart as exceptional yoga teachers?
A love for people is central to being a happy, successful yoga teacher. Most teachers need to love people, but for some a great appreciation of the subject they specialize in will suffice. Yoga is so focused on people that it’s absolutely essential for a yoga teacher to be comfortable around others. The more passionate you are about helping and teaching other people, the better. Take a step back and look at how you are with people in your everyday life, and consider asking the opinion of a few trusted friends as well. Are you comfortable with meeting new people on a daily basis, or does it take a while for you to warm up to others? Are you bold and outgoing, or shy and reserved? Do you think that you could be happy with having a lot of contact with people on a daily basis?
It’s also helpful to be comfortable with physical contact. There is always the occasional student who can’t understand a verbal correction to an improperly done asana, and these students will need to be guided in a physical manner. Having a tolerance for this sort of thing is extremely helpful for a career as a yoga teacher.
Having a great passion for people can go a long way in making up for deficiencies in other areas, but good communication skills are certainly helpful in passing ideas and concepts on to students. If you can express yourself clearly in a positive, encouraging manner that motivates others, that is a huge asset.
Beyond those basics, having good physical conditioning and a love of yoga itself is also essential. Do you love yoga enough to commit to it as a career or would you rather teach part-time? You don’t have to be the most flexible or the strongest person in the world, but you do have to have a strong devotion to the practice to be successful as a teacher. There is no substitute for passion.
If you find that yoga teacher training is right for you, go for it! Yoga teachers make the world a better place through their patience, insight and caring for people. There is no better feeling than leading a life of service to others.
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