To Private or not to private?
I have been practicing Yoga on and off for many years, before deciding to deepen my practice and become a yoga instructor myself. I, like most people, went to a gym or studio to have a led practice and I loved it, but I always had that nagging feeling of wanting more, so I started looking into private Yoga sessions. Doing this, in turn, inspired me to look deeper into the aspect of private, or one on one, classes.
Traditionally, Yoga was taught by one teacher directly to one student. The great ancient teachers understood the importance of individualizing each yoga experience to meet the needs of the individual student. Today’s group classes are fun, energizing and help to create a strong community, however, in a group class teachers may not be able to deliver the individualized attention and guidance that we all need at one time or another.
I began my search in looking for an Instructor that suited my timetable, was well priced and close to home. I wanted my private sessions to allow for a more intimate view into my practice and to help me grow my teaching, as it is really good to be able to learn from another instructor. Private classes can also encourage someone to start a new practice, deepen your current practice or spend some time working with an injury or specific goal or concern.
Another reason I wanted to go to some private yoga sessions was that I found I needed the extra discipline in taking my practice to the next level, I wanted to delve deeper into the poses and learn what they can do for me and learn more about myself and my capabilities, but without feeling like I was on show, or like I was taking the teacher away from the other students in the class. We all have different areas we need to work on and things we would like to achieve, private classes are a great way to get that extra focus and attention and work on areas that you struggle with in a regular yoga class.
For me, personally, the areas I needed to give more attention to are strengthening my shoulder girdle, upper body and core, so before I began, I discussed with my teacher that these are the things that I wanted to focus on. So when it came time for my first lesson she had a list of things to we could do to get started with.
As the lessons progressed and I noticed my strength was gaining, I gave her a list of poses I wanted to learn to come into. She was able to break down the poses and help me get a deeper understanding of them and the areas of the body that are being used to obtain these poses.
6 Benefits of Private Yoga Lessons:
1.Eases or reduces the stress or intimidation experienced by beginners when attending large group yoga classes for the first time. Private yoga lessons will give you a crash course on the basics of yoga, which will give you the foundation necessary to feel comfortable in a group environment.
2.Private yoga classes are the perfect way to work with special health concerns, injuries, or any other limitations you may experience. If you are concerned about the possibility of a re-injury, working one-on-one with a private yoga instructor, you will learn how to adapt certain postures and use modifications as well as find out if there are specific poses to avoid when in class.
3.Private yoga classes can offer a highly viable option if you have set a specific goal – whether it’s mental, emotional, spiritual or physical. With a specific goal in mind, a private yoga instructor can tailor and create a specific practice for you.
4.Private yoga lessons provide the necessary guidance to better equip you to meet your goals.
5.With the many types of yoga available, a skilled instructor will be able to provide recommendations on what types of yoga works best for you based on his/her observations in private yoga sessions.
6.Experienced yoga practitioners can also greatly benefit from private yoga lessons, especially for those who want to take their practice to the next level. A private yoga instructor can work closely with you in leading you into more challenging poses in a safe and inspiring environment.
Getting the Most out of Your Private Lesson
1.Spend time to talk to your private instructor about your specific goals.
2.Drink some water an hour before your scheduled private yoga lessons in order to awaken the mind and the body. Our chi moves through the water in our bodies.
3.Leave things that may distract you, such as mobile phones, put away for the duration of the session.
4.Set your intention. What is it that you want to get from your private yoga lessons? Focus on what you want to achieve through yoga in all aspects- physical, mental, spiritual.
5.Breathe. A lot of people tend to hold their breath when concentrating, straining or stretching. Holding your breath will result to the tightening of your muscles instead of expanding them, which can hamper your flexibility. Speak to your teacher about learning some breathing techniques that can help this during you sessions together
6.Try a package. It can be much more effective if you work with an instructor at least a few times. You can do this in combination with attending group classes or exclusively, working only with that instructor. Both work great!
Private yoga classes are an investment for your personal growth and health. They are a great way to start your yoga practice in a more solid footing before you join group yoga sessions and can provide intensive training and exclusive attention for advanced practitioners.