The ultimate goal of yoga is to bring peace into yourself and to monitor this sense of peace to others. Of course yoga is a path. In our human world we can only attempt to be peaceful. However the goal should be there. Hence a good yoga teacher should be one whoever goal it is to be peaceful and also one who has an understanding of what peace or shanti happens to be. The ancient Indian scriptures communicate a lot about ‘shanti’ or peace. Shanti according to the scriptures is the original nature of the soul. There are also a lot of teachings that talk about the seventh chakra as being a place where peace can be experienced. Also the teachings of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence talk about peaceful conduct. A good yoga teacher should have a good understanding of this.

A good yoga teacher should become aware of the deeper teachings of yoga which are in the scriptures. There are scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita תיקי יוגה ורצועות נשיאה למזרן that talk about ‘yoga’ or the idea of union and also about ‘atma’ or the soul and philosophy. There are also books such as ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’ that talk about diet, ‘asana’ or position practice and so forth. A good yoga teacher should have a good understanding of all parts of yoga.

Moreover a good yoga teacher should have a good and the yoga is not just asana or physical practice but is something further. The teacher should be one who always encourages you to focus your awareness on your inhale in order to bring you into a state of deep breathing. The good should always be aware of the ashtanga or eight arms or legs of yoga together with rules for social and meaning conduct, deep breathing, inhale control and so forth. The good teacher, however, should still know asana and composition in order to correct the physical position. The eight arms or legs of yoga do include asana or physical practice too.

The teacher should understand that yoga is about health. As yoga has changed many people have notice the health benefits of yoga practice (including those of meditation) and the good teacher should understand and teach this. Following a sattvic or pure diet is an important step up yoga. It is useful when following a pure diet to eat organic foods that have no pesticides and are grown in a manner designed to keep the soil fertile and the products full of nutrients. The good teacher should guide you with good diet and good health.

The good teacher encourages you not to compete but to work on yourself. He or she understands that everyone is different, has different genetic makeup and that everyone comes to yoga with their own needs. An indication of a good teacher is that he or she lets you know not to look at others during the class. This helps you focus on yourself and your own development and this should ideally what the good teacher leads you towards.

The good teacher applies principles of yoga to his or her daily life and helps you and guides you to do the same. Many years ago I studied yoga in Rishikesh in The indian subcontinent and I told my philosophy teacher that we could be relaxed around my yoga class but when i was not learning I could easily be affected by the disruptions of the world around and that I could easily become stressed. I asked him how i could control this and he answered ‘always focus on the inhale when you think that disruptions are coming up in the mind during everyday activity — this will bring you back towards a place of inner stillness’. I have done this ever since and have found that it works. What is more is that we have awakened to the fact that a good teacher of yoga is one who applies yoga to his or her daily life.

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