Sincere yoga students ask me all the time, “How do we find a good yoga teacher?”. Because this can be truly confusing in the modern yoga landscape. While the question is rather straightforward, the answer isn’t so.
Firstly, good is a very vague and confusing measure to use in this context. As what is good is subjective. Your life experiences, cultures, biases, preferences, etc will further taint what you call a good, great, bad, nice etc…
Furthermore, I would argue that you don’t need a dozen good yoga teachers to help you with yoga. You just need a couple of really grounded, authentic stewards of the practice.
What you need to do is replace good with credible. Look for is a “credible” yoga teacher. One can appear to be good on the outside. That’s really easy to do with social media & marketing tools nowadays. Much like how a dish can look great on a menu or in a social media post but can be disappointing when you taste it. Being credible takes more work. Before you go hunting on social media for a yoga teacher.
Remember this while looking for a good yoga teacher…
- What your current or past yoga education has been, who your teachers are & what kind of yoga exposure you’ve had will influence where you’re heading in yoga, how clear you are, or even how lost you feel in yoga.
- Where you are in your evolution as a yoga student & teacher (if applicable) matters. Because yoga information is available to everyone. While this is an advantage it’s also a curse. Because many don’t have credible teachers to regulate this information.
- How much time have you given yourself to apply what you have learned or are currently learning? i.e., time spent in absorption & assimilation
- Not everyone in the yoga world actually teaches yoga – even though they claim to. This is an important distinction.
A few ways to find you can find “good” yoga teachers on the internet…
1️⃣. Ask a yoga teacher you trust for their recommendations. This is assuming your yoga teacher is credible, to begin with.
2️⃣. Follow podcast guests on the Let’s Talk Yoga podcast. Some excellent, deeply wise, and grounded teachers on this platform take the focus back to yoga.
3️⃣. Learn to distinguish between popular on social media yoga teachers versus teachers who have deep knowledge. Social media makes us lazy as yoga teachers. But don’t judge a book by its cover when you see the number of followers. Dig deeper. Do the inner work & don’t expect to be spoon-fed. A teacher is only a guiding light. Not the answer to all your problems. Every teacher should point you to the timeless wisdom of yoga. Not their interpretations of it.
4️⃣. Don’t fall for titles, and credentials. Anyone who has to rub that in your face to prove credibility has more work to do. While these may be relevant in some contexts – they’re not the only thing. There are plenty of incredible yoga teachers who have no fancy credentialing. But can teach you more yoga in 5 minutes than you can learn in 5 years. It’s very easy to get credentials attached to your name in yoga. Anyone can do that. But it doesn’t prove much.
5️⃣. Read timeless yoga books by credible authors if you can’t find teachers. Check for length of study, teachers, & depth of work. Are they connecting you to the timelessness of yoga itself? Do you gain more peace from these interactions? Avoid learning yoga from social media.
🙏🏼But most importantly, don’t expect to be spoon-fed everything in yoga. YOU have to DO THE WORK. That can be hard, messy, confusing, and even dry. But yoga is an embodied practice. No one can give it to you – you have to practice it, break it down, realize it and live it. There are no shortcuts.
💪🏼Discern between gathering information and acquiring knowledge. Anyone can gather information about yoga. But true knowledge comes from the guiding light of the teacher, & assimilation & never-ending sadhana.
💥No matter how good the yoga teacher is, if you do not spend time “applying” what you have learned – there can be no yoga.
My sincerest wishes that you find credible, humble, wise yoga teachers who will deepen your journey with every interaction.