Is “ultimate” too strong or competitive of a word to describe a Yoga teacher? After all, there is a lot of competition for מורת יוגה students in some geographic areas. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, there seems to be a Yoga studio on every block.
Yet, many potential Yoga students do not know the difference between Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Restorative Yoga, or Pilates, for that matter. How could these same people make an educated judgment call on who is the “Ultimate Yoga Teacher?”
Some new students want to be physically, mentally, and verbally abused by the “Ultimate Yoga Teacher.” They crave the abusive attention and search for the reincarnation of the Marquis de Sade. Sorry to say – this is true, but very rare.
So, what are the qualifications for the title of “Ultimate Yoga Teacher?” Is it teaching Yoga to the rich and famous, gaining a lot of loving students, owning a lot of profitable Yoga studios, making many Yoga videos, performing physical feats, or owning a Yoga patent?
All of these things could make you famous, but none of them seem to completely fit, with the image of a Yoga Guru. What standards set one Yoga teacher above the rest? The truth is great Yoga teachers are good examples of ethics, giving, integrity, patience, and living a holistic life.
There is so much confusion, in regard to this topic, because many times it is not the teacher, but the Yoga style, that a beginner student does or does not like. For example: If a teacher is excellent, but the room is too hot, some of those new students will never be back.
Yoga student retention often depends upon the particular Yoga training, which students seek. Do students want to meditate, sing, pray, move through postures, learn Yogic philosophy, hold Yoga postures (Asanas), work on their breathing (Pranayama), sweat in a 105 degree Fahrenheit room, or study Yoga with a Mommy and Me class? There are so many types of Yoga to choose from.
This is only the tip of the “ice berg,” as new contemporary styles of Yoga are springing up all the time. So how can you guide potential Yoga students in your direction? One way is to state what makes your particular teaching method unique.
Some Yoga teachers specialize in specific areas. For example: Hot, Prenatal, Therapeutic, Restorative, Power, and Chair are contemporary prefixes to Yoga. It is fine to be a general practitioner, but having a niche, or two, will draw students into areas of Yoga, which you are enthusiastic about.
When Yoga teachers are enthusiastic, they demonstrate patience, and they “glow” with praise for their students. No two Yoga students are alike, but Yoga teachers should still be the best visible examples of ethics, giving, integrity, patience, and living a holistic life.