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How do I choose my yoga class and teacher?

If you're looking for a private session, it can be difficult to decide between sessions offered by a studio or by teachers.


Here are a few suggestions:


1. Getting to know yourself or discovering yourself

How do you feel at the moment or in general? Are you more comfortable with gentleness, slowness, relaxation and precision in the postures or dynamics, fast sequences, muscle building, sweating and a fast beating heart?

If you already know which approach makes you feel most comfortable, that will help you to sort out a good proportion of the classes. Then it's a matter of disguising your expectations.


2. Identify the key criteria for you

Once you've decided on the pace of the course, identify the criteria/expectations that are important to you, i.e. where you feel the course won't be a match without them.


For example, you might be looking for a fun class. Or as quiet as possible. With or without music (bearing in mind that if you're used to it, you might be surprised to find that a class without music can be just as great). Perhaps for you it's crucial that the teacher is caring and inclusive, that the emphasis is on the physical or the introspective or both.


3. Check the teacher's energy level

Yes, yes. In fact, it was reading about Reiki that confirmed the importance of this initial insight. You can detect the teacher's energy and approach via photos, their Instagram profile, the emotions they express and their words... Is it a good match or not?

You can trust yourself.


So, even though some people criticize it, if you look at the teacher's Instagram profile, YouTube channel, blog or podcasts, TikTok and so on, you can get an idea of what the teacher is all about. You get an idea of what the teacher puts forward, and therefore prioritises and values. In the same way, if the presence on the internet is reduced, this could be a positive indication of a prioritised anchoring in 'the real world' or a delay in adaptation/pedagogy? Don't look too far. A brief overview is enough. It's better if it's intuitive rather than analytical.


4. Find out about the teacher's background

Following on from the third point, the way in which a teacher presents him/herself can reveal his/her interests. Biographies can sometimes be lacking in expressions of personality, lists of this or that diploma, or far from representing the reality of the path taken by a desire to over-glamorise it. However, you may find some clues. Do you feel the expression of an inner path? A specialisation? Interests based on your choice of training? For example, on my website I give a few keys to my training courses that illustrate my concern to offer a practice that adapts to each individual, revealing both my footing in the traditional and the modern, ensuring a practice that respects the body, with a weight on my personal inner journey.


Degrees and experience

On the other hand, the number of diplomas or exotic trips is not necessarily a criterion to be weighed up. You know, it's like teachers at school: you can have studied a lot, but the experience of your students will have a greater or lesser impact depending on the teacher's degree of pedagogy and passion. Allow yourself to shake up your preconceptions. Yoga is not an academic field but an experiential one. It's important to strike a balance between experience/competence and the underlying energy, passion and inner drive.


The same applies to the teacher's experience. Two people can write '10 years of teaching', but one has taught full-time, the other sporadically. It's not the same background. Similarly, you can have taught a lot but never questioned yourself, which reduces the weight of your experience because you haven't learned much from it.


You can also search for reviews published on Google or elsewhere. Or contact the teacher or manager directly, setting out your expectations and asking for advice on the most suitable course. If you know someone who goes to the course, you can ask them how it works. Find out about the "style" on offer via the internet or YouTube. But don't jump to conclusions. A teacher generally has his or her own approach to the style itself. You may be pleasantly surprised.


To conclude, it's a question of taking the plunge, of committing yourself to taking this really great time for yourself. I advise you to come several times to the same class (at least twice should be enough to get an idea of the sessions) if you're hesitating, because for me, each session is unique, they follow the seasons, the needs of the students, what I'm studying at the time etc. In reality, the profound benefits of yoga sessions can take time to surface. It's not a question of finding the perfect class (although some people will be lucky enough to find it), but one that's sufficiently aligned with your values and your main interests to allow you to come back regularly and let the fruits of an ongoing practice take shape and mature. The teacher is human - a lesson will always be alive. As a teacher, my sessions are constantly being refined and developed.

 

I hope you find your teacher and your regular appointments with yourself.


Marie Mazeau professeure de Yoga à plein temps sur Paris, douceur, méditation Lifexploratrice

Marie Mazeau, Lifexploratrice, certified full-time Yoga teacher in Paris, specialising in gentle, joyful, educational and meditative sessions online, for individuals, associations, companies and studios.



 


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