What does it take to be a good yoga teacher?

sunset meditationI've just been to a class in the most beautiful location but was so disappointed by the class as the teacher seemed bored of teaching and spoke as if she couldn't wait for the class to be over and I think that impression spread to the students leaving us all a little bit flat. I was relieved when she finally said 'lie down in savasana'.
This was in contrast to a few days previous going to see a teacher who clearly loved what she did. Her flow was playful, fun and creative, she clearly loved what she did as she was not feeling well but still gave us a great class. She incorporated lots of back bends and interesting vinyasa's within the class making it exciting and new. She qualified a year ago and just has the knack of it.
So what makes a good teacher?
The are lots of elements but my top 5 tips for teachers are:-
  1. Passion - it's all well and good loving yoga but that doesn't always mean you'll love teaching it. To teach you have to always be learning yourself, looking at the words you use and how you develop your teaching style to make it better for your students. Being able to adjust with language as well as with hands is so important. Your students are your best teachers, see how everyone responds to your different communication techniques.
  2. Dedication - if you're teaching you should be practicing, every day hopefu lly, in some form of yoga. Keep up with workshops, classes and your personal study.
  3. Creativity - get playful with what you're teaching I'd you're feeling uninspired. Find a new teacher. Go back to the yoga sutras and find a new thread to develop a theme into your classes. If you love what you're teaching it'll filter through to your students.
  4. Practice what you preach - we are all on a journey in our yoga practice, teachers are not perfect but we are dedicated practitioners keen on self improvement and trying to develop ourselves. This is the path, aways growing. How you are on your mat is how you are in your life so keep refining your practice and watch how this reflects your attitude in daily life.
  5. Be a beginner - keep an open mind, everyone has something important to teach you. watch your ego and that you don't fall into the trap of thinking you know everything. That's the beauty of this practice it's a lifelong journey of discovery so enjoy it and don't shut yourself off to it.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes a good teacher so leave a comment below and share with us all.