Yoga is now nearly as popular as golf, according a recent report, which means more people are seeking guidance on a path of stretching their bodies, breath, and minds. The number of people trained to teach is also trending upward, as the quantity of newly registered instructors jumped 18% from 2008 to 2014. With so many teachers available, you might think it’s easier than ever to find a yoga teacher, but the reality is a little more complex.
As the volume of teachers increases, standardization and quality of study with experienced teachers is critical to ensure your safety and the integrity of an ancient practice. While some universal standards exist, you’ll come across teachers with widely varying experience levels from many different schools of thought. How can you assess whether teachers are qualified to teach new yogis, or yogis with a regular practice looking to deepen their studies? Which yoga styles and teaching approaches are right for you, now and in the future?
You could just try classes and see what you find, but here are some ways to focus your search, so your journey is most fruitful.
Consider the Importance of Style and Lineage
Yoga is an ancient philosophy with many components passed down from teacher to student for thousands of years. In the Western world, millions first see it as sweaty, physically demanding asana (poses), often meeting a need for exercise, pain prevention, and stress relief. Most practices fall under the u…