When people book a private yoga session with me, their reasons are personal in nature. There can be many reasons why someone would book a private session but by the same token, there are people that aren’t sure why one would invest in such a thing. Isn’t going to group yoga classes enough?
Yoga is a personal practice. The reasons people practice yoga are as myriad as the people themselves. If you’re interested in the exercise aspects of yoga, you might think that a private is not worth it to you. But this could no be further from the truth. One of the most common reasons people take private yoga lessons is to understand how to do the poses so that when they are in class, they are maximizing the impact of the exercise on their body.
The other general observation is the fact that classes these days are sometimes crowded and the instruction you receive in a class may or may not meet your needs. This can dilute the impact of yoga on your body and make it challenging for you to see positive changes.
Here are ten reasons why it’s helpful to take a private yoga class:
You learn proper alignment. Everyone learns differently. Some people are more visual, while others are more auditory. In a private lesson, you’ll learn in a way that suits the way your brain works. Learning proper alignment is key to working efficiently on the mat and also building strength and flexibility without possibly getting hurt.
You learn how to breathe in a particular style of breathing that is particular to yoga practice. In yoga, breathing is the key to fueling your muscles as well as generating that sense of overall calm that comes with practice. It comes from stimulating your relaxation response in the nervous system. However, it won’t happen if you’re not sure how to breathe in the ujjayi style of breathing. A private teacher can work with you to teach you how.
You learn how to modify poses in a way that is unique to your body. As we learn yoga, our body can be better supported if certain modifications are done. These modifications may or may not involve using props, but either way, they are critical to helping you build the pose properly and safely without doing too much too soon. A qualified yoga teacher can help you learn how to modify. This also comes in handy if you get injured in a particular way and want to still practice.
You learn how to properly use props. All yoga studios have props and people sometimes are not sure how to use blocks, straps or blankets. In a private session, you have the time to explore how to use this equipment to enhance your practice.
You learn how to work with any injuries or conditions you might have, that in the past, might have made you hesitant to attend a group class. Sometimes people come to a private because they are injured or working with a physical challenge that is either temporary or permanent. A private yoga teacher can help you set up a sequence and use props in a way that allows you to practice safely.
You can explore meditation as an additional wellness tool. Sometimes people come to yoga with an interest in developing a meditation practice as well. In a private session, you can learn about different styles of meditation and practice as well. A short, seated meditation after a 45 minute yoga class can be a wonderful experience and one that leaves a healthy imprint on your body and mind.
You can learn challenging poses with one-on-one support. If you’ve wanted to learn arm balances or other challenging poses, working with someone privately can be an approach. It can give you the support you need as well as that initial boost of confidence that comes once you get into that pose for the first time.
You can do yoga privately rather than with others and can schedule the session at your convenience. Sometimes people come to private sessions simply because they prefer practicing alone and they can’t get to the studio when classes are held. Booking the session will depend on your schedule as well as the teacher’s, but chances are, you will find a better time for you.
You can ask questions as you work through the practice. Sometimes, in my group classes, a person will spontaneously ask a question. I know it can break people from their concentration but I’m sure there are lots of other questions that are left unsaid. In a private session, you can ask questions on the spot as you’re in a pose. It’s a very effective way to learn.
You will receive physical assists during the session in addition to learning the poses. When you receive a private lesson, the teacher will most likely give you hands-on assists while you’re in many of the poses. Now, if this in any way bothers you, of course, you would tell the teacher to refrain from assisting. However, if you are open to it, it feels wonderful. It’s a great way to feel like you’re getting a massage as well as learning yoga. Also, assisting is another way for a teacher to communicate how to do the poses from an alignment perspective.
Working with a yoga teacher privately is a great boost to a beginning yoga student or a way for a more intermediate practitioner to learn some challengings poses. It’s also a wonderful investment in yourself and your practice. To find a qualified yoga teacher, start out with your local studio and the teachers whose classes you enjoy. Ask them if they teach privately and if not, ask the studio owner to help you connect with a local teacher.