Five Surprising Character Traits That Authentic Yogis Cultivate

I have seen many new yogis and yoga teachers feel like they have to be someone specific – someone else. So, they wear yoga like a technicolor coat and proclaim their purity. Yet the truth is, in our chaotic, celebrity obsessed, world, students crave sincerity.

Although yoga teachers vary greatly I have observed that there are those teachers that seem to have a certain something, that comes from wrestling and realising yourself, then choosing to celebrate who you are, unapologetically.

Here are 5 surprising traits of wise, authentic yoga teachers, that you might like to cultivate.

Five Surprising Character Traits That Authentic Yogis Cultivate


We may be flexible but that doesn’t mean the authentic yogi isn’t fierce. She/he is empowered and empathic, unapologetic in their nature, authentic and free. They communicate their needs calmly and clearly and have no problem reinforcing their boundaries. With an open heart, the authentic yogi lives from the heart and isn’t afraid to show people who they really are, flaws and all.  They are confident and comfortable in their own vulnerability.


The wise yogi is fueled by curiosity. They never look at themselves, a situation or a student and assume they see all there is to see.  Remaining interested and open is key.


Olivia Fox Cabane, author of the The Charisma Myth says charismatic behavior comes from internal mindset that results in an external attitude that is rooted in presence, power, and warmth.

As yoga teachers we need to be able to compassionately hold space for students, while commanding an experience that isn’t driven solely by our own ego and create a welcoming environment, all at the same time.

To do this we need a touch of charisma and home-spun charm.


The wise yogi practices humility because they acknowledge the magic of their very existence. They listen to the intricate song sung since the beginning to time and gaze into the stars, knowing there is still more work to be done.

When we treasure and respect the gift of life it is very hard for to put ourselves on any kind of pedestal. It was Sri Nisargadatta Maharaji that said ‘Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Love is knowing I am everything. And between the two, my life moves.’


It’s very easy for teachers and students alike to get caught up in their own process and own self-enquiry, but the authentic teacher knows not to take themselves too seriously or forget to enjoy all the entertaining, enchanting, whimsical sides to life. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

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Katherine Smith

Katherine Smith is an international yoga teacher, writer, travel junkie and food enthusiast with a tremendous appetite for life. Yoga has been a revolutionary force in her life that has fuelled more reinvention and releasing than Kat can remember as she systematically shed everything that no longer served her to reveal the person she was destined to become. Having called eight different countries home and found family and adventure in every corner of the globe, she is currently based in Amsterdam. Inspired by her own journey Katherine offers students sanctuary from an otherwise fast paced life with her Deep & Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga retreats worldwide.