Yoga teaching is more about quality of attention than lots of techniques and flexibility

Many people assume that to be a good yoga teacher you need a lot of skills in yoga and a good body to teach with as well as the ability to do strong and elaborate postures well. But this is not the main thing that makes for good yoga teaching, nor decades of practice.


One of my own yoga teachers was not an ‘in shape’ person, as we would normally imagine for a yogi/ini nor somebody that was able to achieve many complicated yoga poses. However, she was an extremely good teacher. Why? Because the quality of what she taught counted, a sense of presence of awareness and subtlety and the ability to be mindful of her students which connected her. This was not necessarily a by-chance or personality situation but that the teacher had trained in these qualities and made them priority. The yoga that she taught was authentic and simple and the students learned better, more quickly because of this mindful attention and patience.


However, normally we think that it is the elaborateness and quantity of the poses, techniques and the flexibility of the teacher that makes it all work well. Not so. For the many teachers I had whilst training in yoga, I found her one of the most effective. She stays in my mind. 


Truth is you can be a fantastic physical yogi, able to do many elaborate postures, strong, flexible and very balanced. But without connecting mindfully to your own practice and your students, your teaching will be less effective than all of the high balances and headstands you can do well. 


Why is that? Yoga is founded on the practice of mindfulness and it is the power of mindfulness that creates those deep changes in our practice and helps students find their own practice. Yoga without mindfulness is simply exercise in a slightly more refined form! 


In the yoga system of Patanjali and the eight limbs of yoga, an authoritative and somewhat cryptic text on yoga practice, the limbs of Darana and Pratyahara correspond to the buddhist practice of mindfulness (Sati or Smrti). Although not an exact correlation as Patanjali never really develops the explanation of the practices unlike in the buddhist tradition, these teachings point clearly towards yoga being an essentially inner development, based on mindfulness rather than just an outward physical practice. 


Training in the Bodhiyoga International way is not only a personal journey of practice development but also, gives you the skills in communicating this love to others, in a world that much needs the practices perhaps more than ever based on a foundation of mindfulness training. 


The next intake for 2023 300hrs and 500hrs hybrid-online and residential teacher training  is now open with a limit of 12 places. The full 500hrs training has an offer if booked by: 

Course starts in February 2023 with eight modules including the two week residential component in October 2023. Book your pre-course call today!