We're all human. I really believe that most yoga teachers do not have the intentions of doing harm to anyone or teaching yoga without having a proper experience. Most of them have good intentions. But just like everyone else, they too may have bad days sometimes. And it's also a fact that even the greatest teachers start as inexperienced and beginners who are finding their voices. So even if your teacher has one or two of these characteristics, it doesnt mean he / she can not teach you anything. However, you should proceed with caution.
Here are some less-desirable characteristics of a yoga teacher.
- He is unsure of himself. When I my training of a yoga teacher, I had no clue of what I was doing. In fact, I knew a lot-but it did not seem a lot to me. I was afraid of telling the wrong answer to someone, and I was even more afraid of being called out by someone. Most teachers suffer through this condition at first, and it's not all bad-it actually means that they want to do a good job (that's why they care)! When I stopped focusing on doing everything perfectly and paid more attention to my students' experiences, I became a way better teacher.
- He knows everything. The flip side of an unsure teacher is the teacher who is overconfident in his / her skills. This may be a hard thing to spot-especially for learners who are new to the class-but if you do not ever find any signs of humility after attending few classes, start asking questions. And if you never ever hear “I do not know,” or a similar response, be wary of the answers you receive from him / her. Nobody in this world knows everything. In fact, the belief that one knows everything makes it really hard to grow and learn-something that awesome teachers do not ever stop doing.
- He makes the class about him. Talks more, listens less. Instead of helping you in cultivating your own practice he / she seems to be more interested in showing his / her own practice. Spends most of the time during the class in bragging about his great and famous teachers. Or maybe he / she continues lectures poses that the class is not ready for – just for the sake of feeding his / her ego.
- He insists to practice a pose in a particular way – but can not explain any good reasons behind it. A pretty common answer or explanation is “Because I said so.” As if you're a kid being guided by a nursery teacher. Yoga teachers should not ask their students to do anything in a particular way until they've a good and solid reason. And they must explain the reason behind any pose, sequence or any other technique if they're asked to do so.