Like most things, finding a yoga studio and a yoga instructor you love is no easy feat; it requires patience, trial and error, and a lot of time. We are here to make the process easier for you. Below is a compiled list of yoga studio red flags and yoga teacher red flags that you may want to consider when finding your new studio.
- The yoga studio space. A yoga studio red flag is space that does not invoke positive vibes and great energy. A good yoga studio should be inviting, and not just the physical space: the staff and instructors should be welcoming and inclusive as well. No one wants to be greeted by a rude receptionist or staff member who is engrossed in a personal conversation, so much that your presence is ignored. Your studio experience from entrance to exit should make you feel relaxed, respected, and seen.
- Certified instructors. Make sure any yoga instructors you learn from are certified. If you cannot find this information on the studio’s website or inside the facility, there may be a reason why. The most well-known certifications for studios and instructors come from the Yoga Alliance.
- Punctuality. The studio and instructor should honor your time. Classes should start and end when they say they will: a class that is scheduled for 3:00 should not start at 3:30. Additionally, teachers should not consistently and frantically run into the studio a minute before class is scheduled to start. We completely understand that previous classes may run over and unexpected business roadblocks may arise throughout the day, but you are on a schedule too.
- Curiosity and care. A yoga teacher red flag would be an instructor who never provides students a chance to speak with him or her. A good instructor will come early to class and stay late to spend time with students who have questions or concerns. Yoga instructors should personalize the experience for all students by making the class inclusive, and ask if anyone is new to yoga or has injuries that he or she should know about.
- Clear instruction. Quality yoga instructors communicate clearly. A yoga teacher who rapidly leads you through explanations of poses and transitions may not be desirable and create a poor class experience. From yoga newbies to the most experienced practitioners, thorough and clear explanations of transitions and asanas can set apart a good yoga class from a great yoga class.
- Adjustments. An instructor who spends the entire class on his or her mat would be a red flag. A great yoga teacher will circle the class and provide students with adjustments as needed. The class becomes more inviting as students know the instructor watches their form and makes sure they are getting the most out of class.
- Adaptability. Have you ever experienced a yoga instructor get frustrated with a class that is not going his or her way? A red flag would be an instructor who cannot change a planned sequence and adapt to the needs of the class. For example, if the class has an unexpected number of new or injured students, the instructor should be able to adjust their pre-planned class and create easier-to-follow sequences without seeming frustrated or frazzled.
- It is your workout, not theirs. A great instructor will demonstrate poses, walk around class and correct form, all while providing great verbal cues through asanas and transitions. The class is not the yoga instructor’s personal workout time. Instructors should circle the room and encourage students during class.
- Knowledge. A good instructor should have holistic knowledge on the practice he or she teaches. For example, in any given asana, instructors should be able to provide cues on muscle activation, limb alignment, and inhaling and exhaling through transitions. Additionally, the instructor should be well-versed in adjustments and modifications to poses.
- Enjoy the silence. Finally, while we seek guidance and encouragement from our yoga instructors, a good teacher should also allow students to enjoy the silence. Instructors will need to read the students in class and find the right balance between providing instruction and giving students enough quiet time to connect their breath to each asana.
Great yoga instructors are a gift to your practice. The next time you experience an amazing class with a stellar instructor, be sure to let him or her know: all instructors love feedback, especially positive feedback from their students.
Not to toot our own horns, but Cody coaches are truly remarkable and offer a variety of training types and styles. We invite you to explore our coaches and their programs. We know you will find someone you will connect with!