Are you taking your first yoga class or are you looking for a change and exploring a new studio or instructor? Finding the right yoga teacher is an important step when starting or continuing your yoga practice.  

Each yoga teacher undergoes specific training and completes the required yoga teacher training hours to become certified in their role. Yoga teachers may offer you distinct benefits based on their background and years of experience.

How do you choose a yoga instructor who is right for you? 

Learn more about how to choose a yoga instructor near you based on your desired yoga style, budget, individual goals, and location.  

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Why Should You Choose a Private Yoga Tutor?

More and more people are turning to yoga classes to help them relax.

At times, the wide selection of different yoga styles, classes, and studios can feel overwhelming. You may google “yoga for beginners” and stumble upon thousands of online resources and free tutorials.

With the mass selection of yoga classes offered, how can you choose the perfect yoga teacher?

Superprof gives you access to a database of hundreds of private tutors scattered throughout Canada. No matter where you are or what you want to learn, you can find a teacher near you.

You can match with an online yoga instructor or seek out an in-person studio. 

Private yoga lessons are flexible and convenient. They allow you to fit yoga lessons into your busy schedule and learn yoga at home. A private teacher will also provide you with individualized attention so you can learn at your own pace and receive adjustments to correct your form. 

How Can You Recognise a Good Yoga Teacher?

What differentiates a good yoga teacher from a great one? There are several ways you can discern a good yoga teacher from an amateur.  

1. Has a Love For Yoga

A passionate yoga teacher who demonstrates a love for their teaching job will influence your experience in their class. Ideally, your yoga teacher will impart their enthusiasm to you and get you excited about practicing yoga regularly. 

2. Maintains a Personal Yoga Practice 

A great teacher will have their own yoga practice and prioritize self-study. Teachers should never stop learning more about their subjects. Yoga is a physical discipline that must be maintained through regular practice. A high-quality yoga teacher will attend yoga classes in their free time, demonstrate a personal yoga practice, and encourage their students to do the same.

3. Gives Clear Instructions   

Yoga teachers are responsible for directing a classroom and walking students through specific poses known as “asanas”. In addition to describing the sequence of asanas, good yoga instructors are also able to use language to suggest adjustments that will ensure students are executing the poses safely, such as: 

  • Keep your neck in line with the spine to reduce back pain.
  • Flex your foot in a pigeon pose to protect the knee. 
  • Be gentle with your hamstrings by stretching with a slight bend in the knees.  

Clear instructions can make or break a student’s growth and success in their first yoga class. Instructions can also help seasoned yogis develop and refine their existing practice.

4. Provides Modifications for Everyone 

Not everyone is able to achieve the most challenging version of a particular asana. Yoga teachers should be prepared with modifications for every level. 

For example, in “tree pose” students balance on one foot and place the other foot above their knee with their hands overhead or at the heart's center. Students who are working on improving their balance can modify this pose by keeping their foot at the ankle or calve height and ease their way up. Students can also use a wall for additional support. 

There are modifications for almost every yoga pose and a good yoga teacher will offer students several suggested versions of a pose.

Yoga props help ensure student safety.
Yoga teachers should have their students' safety foremost in mind: yoga props such as yoga straps can help less flexible students do the asanas. Photo credit: tarnalberry via Visualhunt

 

5. Aware of Alignment

Alignment is important in yoga. Yoga alignment describes how the body is arranged in each pose and depends largely on the position of the spinal cord. In a yoga class, you will often hear language about “stacking the bones” or “rolling the spine one vertebrae at a time”. 

A good yoga teacher understands the angles of the body and the structure of the spine. Good instructors will help their yoga students enhance their posture, streamline their poses, and visualize long lines as they bend into each asana. 

6. Embodies Compassion and Empowerment

Find a yoga teacher who cares about you and your progress. The best yoga teachers are ones who empower their students and encourage them to try challenging poses while continuing to prioritize safety. 

Great yoga teachers are compassionate and respectful of their students’ abilities and comfort levels. They may start the class with a motivating talk and end the class with a calming meditation. Students should leave the class feeling proud and motivated to keep coming back. 

Find the perfect yoga teacher to start yoga class.

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Where to Find A Good Private Yoga Instructor

Finding the right teacher is vital in helping you sustain the motivation to continue with your lessons. A good feeling about a teacher is the perfect cocktail for making progress in hot yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Yin yoga, or whatever yoga style you decide to learn.

Search Online

The internet is a great place to start when you want to find the best yoga classes near you.

There are a lot of platforms like Superprof that let you contact a private tutor. The advantage of our site is that you can look at detailed profiles in which the teachers introduce themselves. All that’s left after that is to choose who you want.

You will find many different types of people on Superprof:

  • Students
  • Retired teachers seeking to keep their hand in
  • Professional yogis at the height of their careers

There is something for everyone. Once you have found someone you like, you can contact private yoga teachers directly to see if they meet your expectations.

Tip: the comments or voting section on these platforms are a good place to get a feel for a particular teacher.

Search for hot yoga near me in Toronto and find classes near you.

Personal Advertisements

You can also look for a teacher on personal ad sites or messenger boards and forums online. Craigslist, Kijiji, or Facebook Marketplace are good starting points. Old-fashioned cork boards and lampposts in your local community may also feature yoga teachers. 

Keep your eyes open next time you’re frequenting your local coffee shop. These ads often offer only a minimum of information - it’s up to you to contact the teacher to learn from them about their training and experience.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is an underrated and effective method for connecting with excellent yoga teachers. By asking around, you can talk to friends and family about their experience at certain yoga studios or practice with various teachers. Scope out your yogi friends and send them a quick message about what you’re looking for in a yoga teacher and who they would suggest.

What Questions Should You Ask a Prospective Yoga Teacher?

Once you have narrowed your search and found several yoga teachers you believe could be the right fit for you and your practice, you can prepare a series of questions.

Where has he or she trained?

Yoga is a very physical discipline with an aim to self-betterment, but the yoga teacher training programs are different depending on where they were received.

Some teachers enrol in a yoga teaching course in Canada and complete their teaching hours at home. Others embark on trips to Indonesia, India, or Thailand to gain worldly experience and learn from international teachers.

Your prospective teacher may have followed a training course at an acclaimed yoga institute or attended a small independent studio. 

The main Canadian yoga institutes are:

  • Power Yoga Canada
  • Moksha Yoga
  • Modo Yoga
  • Oxygen Yoga and Fitness 
  • Yoga Tree
Many yoga teachers study in India.
Having learned yoga in India is considered a badge of quality. Photo credit: terbeck via VisualHunt

Having learned yoga in India is often a badge of quality.

Indeed, India is the center of yoga. Though none of the training opportunities there are officially recognized in Canada, they offer excellent training to future yoga teachers, many of them converting from another profession in hopes of self-improvement.

How long has he or she been practising?

Being a good teacher takes practice. Though age does not guarantee a good teacher, experience does.

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Experience is more important than age.
Age is not a sign of skill - but experience can be vital to properly imparting knowledge. Photo credit: Minneapolis Institute of Art via Visual hunt

Yoga needs to be practised regularly. It can take several years to reach the level you need to start teaching it to others. And there are many different types of yoga. It takes years of practice to learn everything there is to know about yoga.

And of course - how much do their yoga lessons cost?

Should You Trust a Self-Taught Yoga Teacher?

A lot of yoga instructors are self-taught. They learn the poses and yoga basics themselves through books, videos, and attending yoga classes themselves. A self-taught yoga teacher may be just as knowledgeable and passionate as a highly trained teacher.

Why would you choose a self-taught yoga instructor?

Many people start learning yoga at home through free Youtube videos, online courses, and personalized tutors.

These students are often independent learners who desire flexibility and autonomy. 

In many cases, self-taught yoga teachers are an excellent fit for independent learners because they demonstrate self-discipline and unwavering passion to pursue their love for yoga. 

Learn what to expect from your yoga lessons with our guide to yoga classes.

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Teri

Teri is a freelance writer based in Toronto. She enjoys travelling to new corners of the globe, unwinding in a yoga class, and focusing on self-improvement through continued education and learning.