For all of April I’ve been exploring ways to enhance your yoga practice outside of yoga classes. This week’s topic, Private Yoga! One of the greatest ways to enhance your yoga practice is to invest in a private yoga lessons. Unlike yoga classes private yoga gives you the opportunity to move deeper into your practice in the way that is best for YOU.
Private yoga is the opportunity to work one on one with your yoga teacher on a practice that was designed for your own needs. This can mean a variety of things. It may be to develop a practice to manage the effects of an injury or recent surgery. For some people who have specific goals or objectives (add flexibility, reduce tightness in lower back, manage weight, reduce stress) private yoga means that their yoga practice is not dictated by the whims of their yoga teacher. We probably all know that feeling. All day you’ve been looking to stretching out our hips in yoga class only to discover that your teacher planned a class focused on arm balancing or back bends. This isn’t a bad thing, you may get something you didn’t even realize you needed, but you didn’t get the hip opening you were looking for. With private yoga class you have the opportunity to discuss your changing wants and needs with your teacher at every class. Ever get a GREAT adjustment from a teacher, allowing you to feel GREAT in a pose, only to realize you don’t remember what she showed you or how she adjusted your body? With private yoga sessions you can go through poses in a step-by-step way that allows you to practice a pose in a way that you can retain and continue to practice on your own.
Private yoga sessions also work to balance your mood and well-being. As a private yoga teacher I also know one of my jobs is to help my clients find balance. If clients to an evening class come in “buzzing” I might suggest we focus on relaxing while in the early morning we may harness that energy towards a strong physical practice. If a client tells me they’ve had a stressful day at work I am able to use that information to teach them Breathwork to reduce some stress, as well as a physical practice that can enhance the relaxation response.
Private yoga can be scary. Unlike a public class where you can “hide’ in the back or let go of your focus in a private class the teacher is always looking at YOU. Your teacher notices all the ways you can enhance your pose, notices when your eyes look distracted and notices when you are fidgeting during savasanah. Don’t worry, you won’t get in trouble! What you will get is personalized instruction to improve these aspects of your pose.
Private yoga is, of course, more expensive than public offerings. There are numerous reasons for this. As noted above, you are getting the teacher’s undivided attention. Every posture will be explained and instructed to best fit your body on that particular day. Sequences will be designed for your own level of experience and your goals. When I work with clients I also design sessions around the time of day and even their menstrual cycle if women’s health is a focus of our work.
With private yoga sessions you also have more accountability, from both your teacher and yourself. My private yoga students all go home with homework to practice throughout the week. Homework is typically taken from what we worked on that day, perhaps a few poses I determined could use more work, or a meditation that really resonated with the student. My students can contact me throughout the week to update me and check in about any challenges they are experiencing. In this way we are also cultivating their home practice, giving them the tools to be able to practice their yoga whenever is best for them. For certain private packages I also include recordings of meditations, another tool to foster home yoga practice.
Private yoga isn’t right for everyone. It may seem like a way to ensure you do yoga, but if you aren’t willing to put in the work you won’t get much out of it. Private yoga is an investment, of time, money and energy to your own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is an amazing way to practice self-care and learn to better know and understand your own body and mind.