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Finding the Right Yoga Teacher
Posted By Heather Larson On May 5, 2014 @ 2:21 pm In Fitness, Yoga | 1 Comment
Although choosing the style of yoga that works best for you is important, locating an instructor you resonate with is crucial.
My first experience with yoga was through an after-work exercise program at the school district where I worked. The instructor gave initial instructions, but didn’t explain how to modify a pose if you were unable to do one in the way she described. The lady next to me mastered all the poses in their original form and between her and the teacher, I felt lost, confused and most of all, uncomfortable. That encounter caused me to stay away from any yoga class for several years.
After hearing rave reviews about a local studio and needing to alleviate my joint pain from arthritis, I tried a gentle yoga  class. From the moment I walked into the studio and was greeted by Jeni, the instructor, I knew I’d found a perfect place to develop a yoga practice. Jeni exuded friendliness and warmth, she explained everything, and she had one of the most soothing voices on the planet. If you mention an ache or pain you have, she incorporates moves into the class that help alleviate it, she gives lots of individual attention and she also takes other yoga  classes. I’ve taken this same gentle yoga class from Jeni, every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. now, for about seven years. And I’m never leaving.
How can you find your own version of Jeni?
If you’re a beginner , naturally you’ll want an instructor who teaches a beginning class, and likewise if you’re more advanced in your practice, you’ll want a teacher who teaches those who have been practicing for a while. You can ask for suggestions for yoga instructors on Facebook and Twitter. Once you have a list of possibilities, you’ll want to speak with the teachers who interest you the most.
Did he or she take the formal education route, or was their journey to teaching more informal? What pathway prepared them for teaching? If you don’t get a clear answer, move on.
Ask each instructor if they would be comfortable working with you. Then narrow down your list to those who responded positively.
Most credible yoga instructors will let you try a class for free or for a modest fee. Even if you need shell out some cash, this hands-on approach makes the most sense.
Do your body and mind feel good in this class? Does the teacher make sure you’re not in pain? If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention to it and know this probably isn’t the teacher or class for you.
The yoga studio is no place for yelling, criticizing or gossiping. Run far away if you experience this.
The best instructors are always students of their craft. They take classes, participate in continuing education and never assume they already know it all.
Once you find the best fit for you and your body, you should study with that person as much as possible. That way he or she can tailor postures to suit your needs. But it’s great to have more than one instructor to guide you on your yoga journey .
Yoga Mats 
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/finding-the-right-yoga-teacher/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/yoga-teacher.png
 choosing the style of yoga : http://life.gaiam.com/article/beginners-guide-8-major-styles-yoga
 first experience with yoga : http://life.gaiam.com/article/benefits-yoga
 alleviate my joint pain : http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-relieve-and-prevent-joint-pain
 gentle yoga: http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/gentle-yoga-beginners-video
 yoga: http://www.gaiam.com/yoga-for-beginners-kit/05-53724.html?extcmp=life_prod
 a beginner: http://life.gaiam.com/article/couch-and-mat-what-expect-your-first-yoga-class
 physical limitations : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-schware/yoga-disabilities-_b_2039886.html
 Trust your intuition: http://life.gaiam.com/article/4-ways-tap-your-intuition
 yoga journey: http://blog.gaiam.com/anxiety-to-zen-an-open-letter-to-yoga/
 How to Choose the Right Yoga Mat : http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-choose-right-yoga-mat
 Rodney Yee Yoga for Beginners: http://www.gaiam.com/rodney-yee-yoga-for-beginners/05-53391.html?extcmp=life_prod
 Beginning Yoga with Chrissy Carter: http://www.gaiam.com/beginning-yoga-chrissy-carter/05-59755.html?extcmp=life_prod
 Yoga Mats: http://www.gaiam.com/yoga-mats/?extcmp=life_prod
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