Whether you own a yoga studio, coordinate group fitness at a gym or direct your company’s health and wellness program, you know that having awesome yoga teachers is a must. Certifications and experience are required but you will need to search for much more in an instructor.
What Makes A Great Yoga Instructor?
Obviously, you want an instructor who has all of the proper certifications and experience teaching class, but with yoga the qualities desired in an instructor go deeper than technical proficiency. Most yoga students will say it’s about the instructor’s personality, her energy, his passion for teaching… for yoga.
- Look for authentic, compassionate teachers who care about their student’s experience in class and overall journey in yoga.
- Seek to hire instructors who have an optimistic attitude and personable demeanor. Students will want an instructor they can easily warm to, not be intimidated or turned off by.
What’s Important In A Yoga Instructor?
Besides having an agreeable personality, your prospective candidate should be:
- Punctual – Instructors should never be late for a class. In fact, they should be at least 15 minutes early for set-up. Ask previous employees about your candidate’s reliability
- Responsible – Can you trust this person to provide a satisfying experience for each student consistently?
- Confident – Students want an instructor who is experienced and knowledgable. Confident, but not arrogant. Have another yoga instructor sit in on your interview to determine their knowledge level.
- Communicative – Instructors need to have excellent communication skills
- Flexible (no pun intended!) – He or she must be able to teach the different types of classes you have scheduled
Do You Know What Type of Yoga Instructor You Need?
Who are your students? Are they children? Senior citizens? Regular gym-goers? Corporate employees? Are they in good shape, great shape or recovering from illness or physical injury? Depending on your class demographics, you may want a new instructor, fresh out of yoga school and high energy, or a practiced, low-key instructor better suited for an older-skewing class. Maybe you have mostly military or law enforcement in your class, or perhaps you need an instructor with special training in trauma. The make-up of your class should be considered when you select your instructor.
These days, yoga instructors are expected to help market their classes. Does your candidate come with a built-in following? Does he or she already have a website? Does she stay in contact with her students using social media? Will she send out emails notifying her students of her schedule? Does she have a newsletter? Of course your yoga instructor does not have to have a social media presence to be employed by you, however, it is something to consider.
How Much to Pay?
As with all occupations, salaries fluctuate based on location and the candidate’s experience. Use websites like Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com to determine the typical salary for your area, factor in the instructor’s experience and then consider the competitiveness of your rate. Higher rates of salary generally correspond with higher quality instruction.
When you are ready to interview candidates, make sure to carefully craft a thorough list of interview questions. As mentioned earlier, if possible, have another yoga instructor (or even an experienced student) sit in. Be sure to check at least two references and make sure you are pleased with their reports. During your interview, listen with your heart, mind and soul. Read the resume, listen to his or her answers to your questions but also consider your intuition about this candidate… and then select your instructor.