How yoga can be dangerous with a bad yoga teacher
You may wonder how yoga can be dangerous. It’s proven that the risk of injury from practising yoga can be much lower than the risk of injury from many other forms of exercise such as running or fitness. Yoga is an activity that has always been described as an injury-free practice that has many benefits like relaxation, stress relief, pain relief, a stronger and more flexible body and a more peaceful mind.
So, how can yoga be dangerous?
Yoga has been a big trend around the world for the last few years because it offers a lifestyle teaching combined with physical exercises to all of the practitioners. As we said earlier, yoga practices can provide pain relief. A lot of people took yoga classes because their friends or doctor told them that their bodies would feel much better, but a lot of those people decided to stop doing yoga after the first class. Why? That is because they went to a class that was not suitable for them and they were taught by a horrible teacher.
Because of the huge popularity of yoga and the countless teachers’ training, it’s almost possible for everyone to become a yoga teacher. Unfortunately, some of these teachers would later teach yoga in an unsafe way and make yoga practice a horrible experience for a lot of people. It is very important to be able to recognize a bad yoga teacher because yoga is beneficial for everyone. If you happen to be in a yoga class that you absolutely don’t enjoy, it is most likely that you are having a problem with the way the teacher guides the yoga practice and not the yoga in general.
Fear not, we are here to give you some signs to look for when you visit a yoga class for the first time. Beginner teachers who want to improve their teaching skills may also find this article to be helpful.
The personal touch
Imagine going to a yoga class where the teacher is late and doesn’t even bother to introduce himself. This is important because the first thing that a yoga teacher needs to do is to win the trust of their students. As a student, especially if this is your first time at a yoga class, you may feel nervous and insecure. A little introduction will help the students get ready as it takes some of the pressure off of their shoulders and make them feel more comfortable. Creating a friendly and safe environment is one of the most important things to do before starting a yoga practice.
Understanding the students’ needs
Another red flag that you need to pay attention for is when your yoga teacher doesn’t ask the class about any health and safety questions before starting the practice. As we mention in the beginning, yoga can be really dangerous for the students that have recently experienced injuries, or back problems that require any special treatment. Those students need special attention and are suggested to be given modifications to prevent them from aggravating their injuries. This also applies for the beginner students. If the class is mostly attended by beginners that means that the teacher should keep that in mind and put an extra effort in explaining the asanas and not only use their Sanskrit names. Understanding the different needs of the students allows the teacher to meet them where they are. Then, give props and modifications that are relevant and necessary–so no one goes out in a stretcher. Explain at the beginning of the class that students should modify their poses to “keep themselves safe” or to “honour their bodies”. The teacher should choose poses for the class that allow people with injuries to get help and the people without injuries to feel challenged.
The art of leading a yoga class
Yoga practice is not only a physical but also an energy practice. That’s why the way the practice is built up is very important. There are 4 phases of a yoga practice – warming up, building up, heating up and cooling down. You can’t imagine how many students have dropped off of yoga classes because the teacher didn’t know how to properly lead the practice. An incorrect structure of a yoga class can lead to injuries, dizziness, confusion and tension. If you, as a student go to a yoga practice that feels confusing and finds it hard to follow the teacher or feel the absence of a smooth flow between the poses, please feel free to leave the class.
Fortunately, there are more good teachers than bad ones in the world. Remember that the very nature of yoga promotes compassion and the pursuit of wisdom. If you’re a beginner and you are looking for a yoga class, keep these signs in mind and you’ll find a teacher and group that will be able to meet your needs.
As a teacher, you can improve your teaching skills every day so you can provide as much assistance to your students in their journey to self-knowing and healing. Being a yoga teacher is a mission and not just a job, that’s why it is so important to be fully committed. If you want to continue to build up and develop your yoga teaching skills, joins us in some of our courses and become an amazing yoga teacher who understands and supports the need of your students.