I have been practicing yoga for a few years now – first in Moscow, now in London. I’ve been to many different classes and have seen lots of different teachers. Here are few yoga teacher ‘types’ that I’ve come across.
ONE: The apologetic convert
She sounds like she’s mixing up religious texts with self help books and every now and then has a faint hint of an american accent when she says ‘It’s so great to be alive right now’. She knows that her elevated words are falling on deaf ears because she wasn’t once like this, ‘I was once like you, don’t hate me for my naive optimism’, her expression begs of you.
However, I find that the apologizing helps to add blandness to the sugariness of her words and makes it much easier to digest. She’s usually supremely intelligent and tries not to get carried away with the loftiness of her words, because she’s aware of the gap in understanding. By the end of the class your head is still screaming, ‘don’t listen to this toss’ but you’re body is loving every soothing and encouraging word. This is my favourite type of teacher.
TWO: The show off
This yoga teacher likes to remind you about how second nature everything is to her now. She’s been doing yoga for much longer than you and she could do the entire thing standing on her head with her eyes closed and her foot behind her head. She walks into the room, tosses her hair back and says with a sigh, ‘right, you pathetic suit wearing sacks of lethargy, try to keep up with my enlightened self’. I imagine that she spends her entire summer on yoga retreats talking about how wonderful she is. Yoga for her is a competition. Expect to feel more aggravated than relaxed at the end of a class.
THREE: The quiet yoga lover
This is similar to the first, but without the ‘supreme intellect’. They are humble in their love of yoga and just want to share it with the class. They have no assumptions of superiority and just want to practice with you and to love the practice. However, because of their lack of confidence as a teacher, they tend to let students just follow and can forget to give proper guidance in posture, alignment, breathing and mind. Although I like these people, I find their classes a bit flat.