The younger teachers may be qualified to teach Yoga, because they have completed hundreds of hours of training in accredited Yoga teacher certification programs.
Some older instructors, on the other hand, may have established their credentials and earned respect as teachers more informally — before the current explosion in Yoga’s popularity led to numerous teacher certification programs throughout the world.
As a Yoga student, you should feel free to ask about training and experience, but take time to consider other important factors as well:
The Gift of Empowerment
Your choice of Yoga teacher will naturally be affected by considerations such as the facilities, location, style and difficulty level of the class.
All other things being equal, however, the instructor is key to your class experience.
The most important gift a Yoga teacher can give you is to help you connect with your own inner teacher.
This is the part of you that can filter everything you’re taught so that you know intuitively when to push yourself, when to proceed with caution and how to interpret the teacher’s instructions, in a way that's best for you.
A good Yoga teacher empowers you to develop your own relationship with Yoga while giving you precise and in-depth instruction in the postures and principles of this ancient discipline.
Knowing What’s Important
Look for a teacher who can help you experience the health and relaxation benefits of Yoga no matter what your level of experience.
In other words, Yoga is not only about mastering forms but about how they make you feel and how they transform you.
In particular, the teacher should provide adequate time at the end of class for lying in a relaxed position known as corpse pose, so that you can digest the benefits of the class and dive deeper into relaxation.
Training and credentials are important, but a Yoga teacher’s ability to help you feel healthy, connected and empowered through doing Yoga may be the most essential consideration of all.