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Yoga is like an onion.

It’s not simply a form of exercise that addresses the body, but is an actual way of being that deals with all the layers that make up a person. In yoga, these layers are known as “koshas” and everyone has five: physical, energy, mental, wisdom and bliss. Each must be addressed before the full holistic reach of yoga can be fully accessed.

So, how do you decide on which yoga instructor is the right one for you?

“Overall, a great yoga teacher always gives students what they think they need (i.e., a great workout, or a physical therapy) along with what they really need (i.e., philosophy, mindfulness, alignment),” says California-based yoga and meditation teacher Aria Morgan (@YogawithAria).

Instructor Angela Jean (@angelajeanyoga) agrees. “Most students start doing yoga for the physical benefits and don’t have much interest in the meditation or spiritual aspect of it, but over time, as they feel the effects of their practice working on a much deeper level, they become transformed,” she says.

That doesn’t mean that the practical aspects of physical exercise are in any way overlooked.

An excellent yoga teacher, Casey Van Zandt (@caseyVyoga) tells us, “is one that is able to read the energy in the room to customize the sequence accordingly on the spot at any point in the practice, balancing effort and ease so the students are working hard yet not depleting the remaining energy that’s necessary for the rest of the day.”

She adds that something an instructor should do is focus on breath awareness, offering “as many breaks as necessary to maintain the integrity of quality breath cycles throughout the entire class.”

You just might find the yoga teacher who is perfect for you in our list of 50 instructors below. They’re from across the nation, but many offer online classes and can be found at retreats all over the world.


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