How to Find a Good Teacher


Originally published in the Autumn 2013 Yoga Bridge - edited March 2024 for updates.

by Donalee Campbell
Executive Director

It is not always easy to find a good yoga teacher. As the YAA has a mandate to promote and maintain high standards of yoga teacher training in Alberta, all YAA Certified Teachers have met a minimum of 200 hours of training with qualified and experienced teachers. For most students, a teacher with these qualifications is a good place to start, but the options can still be quite daunting.  For those embarking on the path of yoga teacher training, this decision carries even more weight. Students of the YAA Teacher Training Program (TTP) choose their own mentor, and their progress in the program is dependent upon the study and practice that they do with their Senior Teacher.

  1. – The Yoga Association of Alberta has a *NEW* Teacher Directory on the website. This directory is a free service open to all teachers in Alberta. Teachers now have the ability to update their own listings and can provide information on their class offerings, class locations, and their credentials. To filter directory results by training level, use the Advanced Search or click on a Category below.  Listings by location are also available through the map above or the Location Manager below. Any term or combination of terms can be entered into the search box to help you narrow your search by location, style, specialty, training, etc. Contact information is listed and some teachers have links to their own websites that may provide further information. Feel free to contact the teacher to ask for more information. You may be able to get a feel for their style by e-mail or phone.
  2. Ask around. Ask for referrals from other yoga students. Ask your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbours. Remember that all types of people do yoga; you may be surprised at how many do. When you find a yoga student, ask them if they like their classes and why. Most yogis are more than happy to share their passion with others. If you are a TTP student, ask your current teacher, past teachers, or your peers. If you like a teacher’s style but the teacher is not yet qualified to mentor, ask them who they studied under? Who would they recommend?
  3. Try some classes. Check out classes near you. A good location can allow you to be more consistent in attending classes; dedication and perseverance allow for optimal growth. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Some teachers will allow you to drop-in to classes or to have a trial period. If you don’t like the teacher or their style, try another. You may even learn more about what you do want through a class you don’t like. The YAA's monthly Core Curriculum Classes provide a great opportunity to try out different YAA Senior Teachers in the Edmonton area. These classes are part of the YAA Training Programs and also count towards Equivalency Certification and Advanced Training Levels.  They are open to everyone with a background in yoga who would like to dive deeper into the teachings.
  4. Most importantly, follow your heart. Having faith and opening to synchronicities are important steps on the path of yoga. Look for someone who leads the students in a way you respect and admire. Although your teacher may not be perfect, they should spark your own potential and inspire you in some way. Trust your intuition and go where your heart leads you. The teachers that are easiest to find may just be the perfect fit for you! If not, don’t despair. There are many options available, and many paths to the same source. Just keep following where your heart leads you, and stay open to what each moment offers. An ancient adage sometimes known as the guru principle states that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


TTP Students: All YAA-TTP students are required to choose a YAA Senior Teacher as a mentor.  In addition to practicum hours and other optional workshops which may also be taken with their mentors, students are also encouraged to attend regular weekly classes with their mentors, although these are not counted within the hours of the program. In the Advanced Search bar of the Teacher Directory, click on the gear wheel to filter YAA Senior Teachers by those who are accepting students for mentorship.

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