Can One Be Shy and a Successful Yoga Teacher?

I have wondered over the years, as I see the emphasis on being buoyant, outgoing, and cheerful as the hallmark of a fun yoga teacher, whether it is possible to be a successful yoga teacher in today’s society if one (like me) tends toward introversion and shyness.  I recently heard an internationally recognized teacher say that the way to know if you are a successful teacher is if your classes are consistently doubling in size.  Ever-growing classes are certainly important to help the teacher and the studio pay the rent, but is that the key measure of individual success?  I think part of the sense that the measure of success is a burgeoning group of people attracted to the teacher is our societal premium on extroversion.  A more introverted teacher may not seem as cuddly and fun outside of class, but may have other things to offer that in fact grow from his or her tendency towards introversion.

Check out this article for some perspective on introversion in today’s society.  What are your thoughts about this in the context of yoga?



  1. Comrade Kevin

    I think in the context of a yoga class, it might be preferred. Everyone expects some extrovert with a booming voice in a fitness class.

  2. Audra

    I have always loved my more quiet teachers. There is a stillness that emanates. Although even my teachers who consider themselves shy are very good at speaking up and welcoming people, I would never consider them boisterous. And I love that they aren’t. Their quiet enthusiasm is a nice balance in a world that does all too often prefer boisterous. It reminds be that it is okay to be quiet or loyd, okay to be outgoing or introspective. We all have shy days, we all have loud days, and it’s all good.

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