Ethics & Professionalism for a Good Yoga Teacher
A yoga teacher is not a job where you turn up for work at 9am, and leave the work behind after 5pm. It is a lifetime, 24/7 commitment where you open your heart to anyone who wishes to learn not just about yoga asanas, but also the philosophy of yoga and how it affects us.
In the yoga studio, a professional yoga teacher is expected to show up early, prepare him/herself for the class, and making sure the room is clean and tidy. Before the yoga class, the yoga teacher should attempt to know the student’s name, their level of practice, and if they suffer from any injuries or have any physical limitations such as pregnancy or blood pressure issues. First time yoga practitioners and beginner students should ideally be placed in the front of the class so they can receive direct guidance from the teacher. During the class, the teacher has to present him or herself in a professional but approachable manner, going through the sequence with clear and concise instructions and explanations by using simple language, demonstrations and keeping the voice melodic and soothing. A good yoga teacher is always motivating, generous with their praises, listens to the learner on their needs, and be able to treat all students equally with no favoritism over any of the students.
Outside the class, a good yoga teacher must have continuing education by self-study and discipline to continue with their practice daily. This does not only apply to the physical practice, but also the morals and code of conduct in the teacher’s daily life. For example, in the Ashtanga Yoga (8 Limbs of Yoga), one of the philosophy speaks of Satya, which is the principle of truthfulness. Practicing the Satya means one must always maintain true thoughts, have truthful actions, and give speeches of truth all the time.
In summary, a yoga teacher is one who chooses to share his/her knowledge with a passion, one who casts their ego aside to open their heart to everyone, and one who remains steadfast in his/her passage to enlightenment and divinity.