The Right Teacher

In ancient Yoga texts, the saying goes "When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear". Read this post to understand how you should choose a right teacher!

In ancient Yoga texts, the saying goes 'When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear'. Looks hard to believe though, it is still very much relevant. The student is supposed to be ready when he has completed the library or ground work quintessential for finding the right teacher.

The right kind of teacher is assumed to know Yoga completely. He should have been trained to understand individual differences. The teacher is expected to have ageneral idea of the mental and physical balance of the individual. This includes knowing all known diseases and ailments the person has and has been through. He is expected to know the indices of physical fitness of the individual including his stamina, strength, Blood pressure and physical deformities, if any. Most importantly, he should be well aware of the physician’s perception and health related suggestions. All this is necessary so as to fit the individual in to a class appropriate for him.

For all this to happen, the instructor is expected to request this information from the individual. The instructors who do not really request such information are either not aware of a process like this or have been trained in only one kind of Yoga. In consonance with the qualities discussed above, I would like to summarize my opinion on how to find the right Yoga instructor.

  1. Make sure he rises from his place to help out people when asanas or complex breathing exercises are going on unless he is demonstrating the same.
  2. Check to see if he could comfortably sit on simple asanas for indefinitely long period with ease. Most importantly, Vajrasana. If you are leaving the class regularly with stress, its time that you consider quitting.
  3. Check the credentials of the instructor. This includes practical experience, theoretical knowledge, and gift of the gab, ability to understand the energy balance of the class, his communication skills and his accomplishments.
  4. When it comes to Hatha Yoga, looking at the physique of an instructor can give you a lot of insight into how good an asset he could be to you. Hatha yoga instructors usually are light weight and are physically fit though they lack big muscles.
  5. Make sure he knows about Bandhas, Mudras, Yoga Nidra apart from asanas.
  6. Make sure he is an adept in pranayama. Focusing only on asanas highlights ignorance about pranayama which is essential for longevity and spiritual, mental and physical health. If not much, he should at least be an adept in Nouli and Khechari, else it means he has not been trained by a qualified Guru.
  7. Make sure the instructor has a Guru. Such a teacher is not expected to take care of the holistic development of the mind, body and soul.
"If not specialized in all forms of Yoga, at least the instructor should have undergone a complete training in all forms of Yoga."

These are some generic ways of finding out the right instructor for your self. However, the list is unending when it comes to an individual., stands committed to bringing out quality in teaching Yoga and helping the society to take the right path when it comes to their fundamental and birth right to lead a healthy and contended life. We appreciate all your concerns regarding the un-answered questions in Yoga and stand committed to handling them to the best of our knowledge and experience.

When it comes to Yoga Chander Dhall talks about two approaches personally coined by him as I grew up in this materialistic world – ‘The Missionary Yogis’ and ‘The Mercenary teachers’. The former refers to the one who delve deep into Yoga after putting their heart and soul into it for ages and then try their best to reach out to the common man. However, the latter tries to follow the shortest path to material success. This is a result of lack of proper guidance and Guru.

Interestingly, after a bad experience because of an inept Yoga instructor, people form a negative opinion of Yoga as a whole and finally quit it. This gives bad name to Yoga as such. I would suggest such innocent victims to try to follow the right approach with open mind.