Have you ever found yourself in a yoga class where you’ve wanted to leave as soon as it started because you felt that you didn’t really fit in, that things just didn’t click? Chances are you just weren’t connecting with the right teacher, but don’t let that put you off yoga. In fact, finding the right teacher will transform your experience and your practice. Once you’ve found your yogi guru, you can make a plan for what you want to learn and how.
Here’s what you need to consider when looking for the right teacher.
Think about your goals.
Being clear about what you want to achieve is a great place to start. People come to yoga for all kinds of reasons, such as to understand how to breathe effectively, to find balance, or to become stronger and more flexible. There are different types of teachers for all of these needs. Once you have decided on your goal, the next step is to try out a few different disciplines and teachers to see what best suits the kind of practice you want to have.
Study the different disciplines.
Yoga is a diverse practice with many different facets. If you’re new to yoga, the names alone may be a bit overwhelming. How do you decide between Hatha and Ashtanga? Is Yin right for you? One easy way is to visit www.core-8.com or download the Core 8 app. Here, you will find an explanation for each discipline as well as a list of the teachers whom you can book through the platform. It’s a wonderful way to explore what yoga has to offer in the privacy of your own home.
Yoga teachers are exactly that – teachers. They do their job because they are completely in love with the practice of yoga and enjoy sharing their knowledge, so they will welcome questions. Don’t be afraid to speak to them to get a better idea of their experience and style. Ask about the type of class they like to teach and discuss what you want to get out of your new practice.
Look into certifications.
While all yoga instructors should, at the very least, have passed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and be Yoga Alliance-certified to teach their respective disciplines, don’t be afraid to ask a teacher where they studied and with whom. Ask about the kind of training they have done and if they continue to study. Yoga is a continuous practice; the more you learn, the more there is to learn. As your teacher continues to study and learn, so should you continue to learn from them.
Follow your instincts.
It’s important to find a teacher who makes you feel at ease and also makes it easy for you to ask questions. We all have a first impression when we meet someone. Trust your intuition on this one and know that it’s okay not to get along with everyone. It’s important that you feel comfortable building a relationship with your new teacher.
In a perfect world, we can dedicate ourselves to a daily yoga practice and float down the road to enlightenment and physical transformation on blissful clouds. In the real world, however, working hours, family time, and cost are important factors to consider. Set yourself up to win from the get-go. If you are going to a studio, choose one that is easily accessible, has class times that suit your lifestyle, and where you feel at home. For private classes, Core 8 hosts some of the UAE’s best teachers. Download the app and book the type of class you want, when and where it’s convenient for you.
Nikki Meyler is a yoga teacher and the co-founder of Core 8. Whether you are an experienced practitioner, an absolute beginner, an expectant mother, or are carrying a specific injury, Core 8 offers teachers and holistic specialists when and where you need them.