Do you have to be 'Good' at Yoga to become a Teacher?

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When considering whether to train to become a Yoga teacher or not, many people ask me, ‘do you think I’m good enough at Yoga?’ There is an immediate and very understandable fear as to the level of physical ability that is necessary to teach. It is understandable and with any fear, doubt or questioning, I feel it is important to dig a little deeper, to look at the issue from different angles, to zoom out, re-question and then formulate a plan of action based on what it is you want to do.

Look at the issue from different angles
When worried or fearful about your own physical ability and whether it is ‘good’ enough to teach Yoga, it is worth noting that the beauty of Yoga as a practice is the many facets and angles to which one can experience and enjoy classes. Physical poses and movements are just one aspect. You may feel more drawn to the meditative benefits, the time to reflect, the breathing practices, the therapeutic elements or restorative practices, and these are all or some of the angles in which you choose to specialise or teach that do not focus on physical prowess as paramount. 

Also, if you do enjoy the physical postures and movements and would love to teach them it is important to have an understanding of the principles of anatomy, the principles of how the postures can be developed and safely experienced but it is not important that you can do every single posture and movement for someone else to be able to learn and experience it for themselves. Consider the students angle and perspective, do they come to class to watch a teacher perform or to have their own learning experience?

Zoom out
Whenever we experience fear or doubt, we can get stuck in one way of seeing things. The fears and doubts can overtime begin to feel like facts and reality. If you are thinking ‘I may not be physically adept enough to teach’ it can begin to feel like the truth. So zooming out, look at other realms where there are teachers or coaches and not just Yoga. Go to different kinds of classes and as a student ask yourself, is it important that a teacher or coach can perform well or that they can teach/coach well? What is the difference between performance and teaching?

Re-Question-What is it that I want to do?
Ask yourself when considering embarking on a teacher training-what is it that you love? What excites you? What do you feel you would love about teaching? What do you want to teach the most? What kind of atmosphere would you like to create? How do you want to connect to people?

Plan of Action
Once you begin to focus on your love, your excitement, your joy, it takes the emphasis away from fear and doubt. If you love and really believe in something, you will feel good and you will ultimately BE GOOD at it.

In the world right now, with all of us different, unique, extraordinary and ordinary individuals, as much as we need people who can show us what they can do, we also need people who are deeply connected to themselves, who have cultivated understanding and compassion for themselves and can show us how to do the same. We need those who can help us find our way, who can inspire and motivate us. The physical poses, the strength, the mobility and flexibility can be developed over time and that is your personal experience, as a teacher it is a matter of developing skills and practices to encourage others in their experience.

If you feel drawn to training as a teacher and would like to learn more about our training, check out the ‘The Art of Teaching’ information on this website.

Naomi xx