September 1, 2014

Rate Your Yoga Teacher & Share It. ~ Michael Mark


Methodology: This authorized questionnaire is the result of extensive qualitative research conducted with select yoga students. The questions reflect what they value most from their yoga teachers.*

For each “Yes,” assign a value of 5 points. For each “No,” assign a value of minus 7 points. If not applicable, do not assign any points.


  1. Does your yoga teacher know your name?

  2. Does your yoga teacher offer you a block or strap?
  3. Does your yoga teacher offer to clean your mat?
  4. Does your yoga teacher often use the Sanskrit names of the poses? (8 times per 45 minute class)
  5. Does your yoga teacher say one or all of these at least three times each class? “Breathe” “Child Pose is always available to you.” “This is your practice.”
  6. Do you enjoy your yoga teacher’s playlist?
  7. Does your yoga teacher’s playlist change enough?
  8. Does your yoga teacher’s class make you sweat enough?
  9. Is your yoga teacher hot? (The researchers apologize if this is offensive; however, the research pointed to this enough for the question to prove relevant.)
  10. Does your yoga teacher give you enough personal adjustments?
  11. Does your yoga teacher have a touch that is positive and helpful as opposed to inappropriate?
  12. Are your yoga teacher’s hands dry as opposed to sweaty?
  13. Is your yoga teacher funny enough to have her/his own YouTube channel that would get an average of 300 views? (Reference: humor was seen as an essential element in relating to students)
  14. Is your yoga teacher’s class comfortably filled as opposed too crowded or too empty?
  15. Does your yoga teacher ask how your body feels (pertaining to injuries, not smoothness of skin; nothing creepy) before beginning class?
  16. Does your yoga teacher smell good? (Reference: Scent came up often as a sign of spiritual cleanliness.)
  17. Do you hear other yoga teachers say positive things about your yoga teacher?
  18. Does your yoga teacher share spiritual quotes?
  19. Does your yoga teacher thank you for coming to class, or coming to your mat?
  20. Does your yoga teacher say things that make you think about it afterwards, such as, “Join the global community of your breath?”
  21. Does your yoga teacher have a good yoga voice? (clear, positive, serene, even giggly. Reference: yoga was found to be intimidating, and voice quality was expressed as a calming agent)
  22. Does your yoga teacher smile and radiate supernatural energy? (Reference: normal energy was not seen as strong enough for yoga students; they want their teachers to “glow beyond normal.”
  23. Is your yoga teacher 100% vegan? (Reference: students want to admire their teacher’s commitment to perfection)
  24. Is your yoga teacher 100% vegetarian? (Reference: students want to admire their teacher’s commitment to perfection while allowing some room for indiscretions such as consuming dairy)
  25. Does your yoga teacher do colonic juice cleanses more than twice a year?
  26. Does your yoga teacher drive a eco-friendly car?
  27. Have you ever seen your yoga teacher at a community charity event outside yoga?
  28. Does your yoga teacher bring something of their own life to the class?
  29. Does your yoga teacher have more than five tattoos?
  30. Does your yoga teacher give enough time for Savasana? (more than three minutes but feels like 10)
  31. Does your yoga teacher regularly do poses that leave you breathless but not to show off, only to inspire?
  32. Does your yoga teacher inspire you to improve your practice?

For extra credit: These are worth 10 points for “yes” and 25 off for “no.”

33+. Does your yoga teacher reveal their soul to the class?

34+. Is your yoga teacher’s “soul-glow” a white light? (as opposed to bluish)? (Reference: white was seen as clean and pure, darker brought on dread)

Total Score:

* Often, yoga teachers appreciate feedback. Feel free to share your ratings. They will learn what is important to you so they can help your practice and improve their teaching.  As always remember to be compassionate. Reminder: yoga is a non-judgmental meditation. Namaste.

 (C) 2014 Survey Results Yoga Student Teacher Research Conducted By Universe of No One, Inc.



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Editor: Travis May

Photos: Bill Brokaw/Pixoto


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Sep 10, 2014 12:44pm

Is your yoga teacher fat? Does she clean your mat? Does she take you through poses like cow and cat? Does he use Sanskrit? Or "Downward Dog" it? Have dreadlocks and tatts? Or a really nice a$$? Your sense of entitlement is the key to enlightenment. So place your order for yoga here. I'd like one mat-cleaning, soul-baring, Ed Sheeran-blaring yoga teacher to go please with a side of Lululemons? If this is the benchmark for "good" yoga teachers, Ganesh better get rhinoplasty stat. Because today's great yoga teachers aren't teachers of yoga. They're features of yoga. Thanks for the clarity, Elephant.

Valerie Sep 4, 2014 12:22pm

This is a joke, people. Lighten up! 🙂 Michael, I applaud your psychology-test-masquerading-as-serious-article. It's very interesting to see how offended and defensive people get when things don't look exactly like they *think* they should… Good one!

yogibattle Sep 3, 2014 11:42am

I respectfully disagree about using music in yoga class. Our society is chronically bombarded with uninvited sound. Music also interferes with Pratyahara in yoga class and seems to be a crutch for those who can't handle silence. I would say add more value to those teachers who don't use music and are not afraid of silence. Also, humor is good, but I am not going to yoga to see a comedy act. And 100% vegan/vegetarian? Are we doing yoga or projecting body image issues? The number of tattoos is a ridiculous metric as well as there is no correlation between body art and yoga teaching efficacy. Very scary to see that people use this to rate yoga teachers.

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Michael Mark

Michael Mark bows to all his Teachers. He is a hospice volunteer and long distance walker. His poetry has been published in Red Booth Review,Every Day Poets, Scapegoat, Camel Saloon, OutsideIn Magazine, The Thing Itself, Silver Birch Press, elephant journal, The New Verse News, Word Soup End Hunger and other nice places. He invites you to follow him on @michaelgrow so he can follow you, in case he gets lost.