With yoga taking off as a popular trend to get lean, sculpted, and agile bodies, more and more people are embracing the practice, which is wonderful, but what they need to understand is that yoga must, at least in the beginning, be embraced under the watchful eye of a trainer.

And, even as time passes by, having an instructor can help you greatly as they teach you complicated variations and amp up the intensity of the asanas, all while helping you hold proper form and employing the right technique. These are very important when one is doing yoga, as you risk injury if you don’t adhere to the conditions.

With that in mind, here are five pertinent things you need to know about your yoga teacher before handing over the reins and letting them propel you into the practice.

Certification: Be sure your trainer has a minimum of at least one 200-hour teacher training certification granted from a credible institution. You can always verify it by easily going online and looking it up, or asking them directly.

Experience: An experienced yoga teacher is one that can offer variations, minor adjustments if and when needed, and of course, has the ability to handle a class with adequate discipline. In the case of yoga, the number of years does indeed make a difference.

References: It is always a good idea to go by word of mouth. Other students, friends, and/or family that can vouch for the kind of instruction, intensity, pace, yoga style, and results you are looking for, can really help you decide who would be most apt and better aligned to your fitness goals.

Tuladandasana yoga pose

Personal Level Of Fitness: If you find that your teacher does not seem to be in shape and hesitates to demonstrate simple postures, that can be a red flag. Although it is not necessary for them to be skinny acrobats and do highly advanced poses, being able to perform basic asanas with ease is a good indicator that they practice what they preach.

Inspire Loyalty: Your yoga teacher should have the ability to demonstrate patience, lift your spirits, place a positive spin on everyone’s progress regardless of what level they are at, and last but not the least, be able to deal with all kinds of temperaments without disrupting anyone’s practice.

On an end note, if you intend to take up a contemporary yoga class, one that’s relatively a new variant or offshoot, it is of utmost importance to pick a teacher who has specialized in the form. All trainers, like people, have their strengths and limitations. And in the case of yoga, if someone cannot catch your fall, they have no business telling you to do headstands!

PS: Here’s your one-stop guide to Yoga Asanas For Weight Loss.
Also, head here to catch the latest in Fitness Trends.

Read More:
Yoga: How You’ve Got It All Wrong!
5 Everyday Yoga Poses For Better Health
Improve The Health Of Your Skin With Yoga

Nisha Gulati is a fitness expert and model originally hailing from New Jersey, USA. She is a certified Bikram Hot Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Instructor, health and fitness columnist for Hyderabad’s widely read B Positive Magazine, a trained Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Bhangra, and giddha dancer. She also has trained in Kalaripayattu a martial arts form in Kerala. Yoga has been a source of great discipline, inspiration and positivity for Nisha who has been teaching at studios in Mumbai India, Phuket Thailand, Marina Dubai and Vancouver Canada.