Compassion – Do you want to have an extremely knowledgeable, know-it-all teacher that makes you feel like less or would you rather have a kind, patient, accepting teacher? Does it seem like your teacher is really committed to making a difference for their students or does it seem like they just like performing in front of a group? Are they accepting and non-judgemental about your abilities?
Training – Did your teacher get their training in a 3 day weekend or do they have 500 hours from a Yoga Alliance certified facility? Bonuses if they also have a medical background such as physical therapist or nurse and can give modifications if you have a herniated disk. Do they have a background in the specific kind of yoga you want to learn about (power, hot, restorative, prenatal, chair etc)
Protection – Does the teacher make sure that latecomers do not disrupt the class and that everyone has their cell phones off. Do they make sure that all shoes are off? Do they allow people to be disruptive and leave early during relaxation? Do they start the class on time and end on time? If it is an advanced class do they encourage newcomers to start with a beginner class so they don’t slow the class down?
Structured – Is there a warm-up, core postures and then a winding down into relaxation? Does the class flow nicely from one pose to another? Do you feel as if you entire body was rejuvenated or does your body feel uneven after the practice?
Preparation – Does your teacher make sure that everyone has all the props they need before class begins and mats are laid out properly? If it is a full class do they have students lay out their mats in such a way that if latecomers show up they can slip their mats in easily without disrupting the class? Do they have inspiring readings that they do at the beginning or end of class?
Inspiring – Does you teacher inspire you to come back to class? Do they help you think about how your practice relates to the rest of your life? Are they overly preach- and dogmatic?
Assists – Do you want a teacher that will correct your pose so you can learn it correctly or do you want to be left alone and not touched so you don’t feel as self-conscious?
Reviews – What kind of feedback has the teacher received? Do some research online about the teacher. Talk to students that are at your level and ask them who the good teachers are. Ask your health practitioners who they would recommend.
Accommodating – Are they able to give modifications for different body types, medical conditions and fitness levels? If you are very overweight or have an injured shoulder are they able to assist you in an unobtrusive way?
Music – Do you like to practice to sanskrit chants, new age grooves or in silence? Is the music so loud that you can’t hear the instruction?