You may have heard of Private Yoga, but perhaps you haven’t considered the tremendous benefits before coming across this article. Why is it so acclaimed, and what makes it so amazing, anyway?
Most of us know Yoga to be practiced in a group setting inside a room full of fellow aspiring, inspiring (and probably perspiring) Yogis. Because Yoga is practiced amongst many peers at a Yoga studio, there can be an immediate sense of support and comfort through community. Also, it’s an affordable option. It’s no wonder why we tend to gravitate towards this teaching method without question.
But what if quantity doesn’t necessarily mean more quality? Think of it this way – When you’re in a relationship, group dates can be great fun, but what if you only ever enjoyed group dates with your partner? It’s during the private, intimate, soul-baring moments that you truly get to know one another through the quality time you spend together. The same truth applies to you and your Yoga practice.
Yoga is an ancient art. A thousand years ago, the traditional teaching method consisted of consistent contact and persistent personal sessions, preferably daily. Yoga was thoroughly taught in this way, one-on-one, directly from the master to the disciple. I promise, private Yoga has big benefits. Please proceed to the following for seven sweet perks of this highly praised practice:
Typically, newbie Yogis tend to feel timid or intimidated during their first few group classes. This is natural – in Yoga we expose ourselves in deep ways. Private classes are the perfect way to ease into Yoga without pressure, making the initial experience much more enjoyable.
It’s a fact that each and every one of us has a unique body and build, each with its specific needs. Even more complex, sometimes crazy, but completely creative, is our individual inner world. This means that every one of us has a special way of seeing, learning and being. With private Yoga, these traits are honored and lessons are planned accordingly. They are tailored to your specific situation, limitations, weaknesses, strengths and skills. Perfectly well-rounded, they ultimately compel you to shine your brightest.
No worries about attempting to keep up in class or wishing it would advance at an accelerated pace instead – With private Yoga, you pick your pace. You have the power to set your own practice speed. You are free to progress as slowly or swiftly as you wish.
Build a Bond
Remember that quality time that we mentioned earlier? In time, this will inevitably build a beautiful bond between you and your teacher. It’s personal, it’s intimate and it will blossom into a profound relationship, creating compassion and trust.
Pun intended – Most private Yoga teachers have much more flexibility with their schedule, which is great news for you. Together you can both decide the best dates and times for your sessions. You’re also blessed with a variety of location options – “Your place or mine?” (Or you can even skip the “place” all together and enjoy a private session outside in nature!)
If you’re taking private Yoga classes, chances are you’re receiving exclusive extras. And when I say, “extra content,” I mean this in both ways – you’ll likely receive additional content such as personal philosophies, tips and tricks, reading material or gifts bestowed upon you by your teacher, which is another reason you’ll be feeling extra content.
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” – Simone Weil
Since all eyes (the two on your teacher’s face) are on you during private Yoga sessions, you have the best teacher your teacher can be, fully focused on you. Their presence and awareness translates into undivided attention and therefore ensures a rich, solid, smooth and safe practice. It also creates the space needed to allow any underlying issues to rise up to the surface and be brought to your attention. It’s very common for teachers to pick up on something that may have been otherwise missed in a large group setting. This, paired with your personal guiding light into your own insights and transformation, is priceless!
Keep these tips in mind when attending a private Yoga class:
Do not eat at least 2 hours before your private Yoga lesson. This also applies to any Yoga session, be it in a group setting or a solo home practice.
Remember to hydrate your body throughout your day. This is also a great basic tip to keep in mind for everyday existence, regardless of a scheduled private yoga session.
Give your temple time to rest before your lesson for peak physical performance. Then channel your inner Savasana to relax and sleep soundly for a full recovery afterward.
Let yourself be guided. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to truly let go. If you resist, you’re only hindering your own progress, so remember to go with the flow and be willing to try whatever may come your way during your private Yoga lesson.
I know it can be a bit scary, but it’s truly in your best interest. This is your opportunity, your time to shine by bringing forth and addressing your most troubling issues. Yoga teachers do what they do because they genuinely want to help, but most aren’t mind readers. They are compassionate and sincere so don’t be afraid to share at great depths. Don’t be shy and you’ll get through anything together!
Set an intention
Internally set an intention for your private session before or at the beginning of your practice. Recall this intention throughout and afterward as well. If you’re really taking the last tip seriously, you can even share it with your teacher if you feel moved to do so.
Stay in silence
Let go of all distractions. Silence mobile devices, release any stresses and leave all negative energies behind. Imagine a giant Yogi-Gandalf spirit protecting the entrance of your private Yoga room declaring to any bad juju: “You, shall, not, pass.”
Always stay positive. Private Yoga gives you the opportunity to address depths and issues you may not have otherwise been able to confront. Do not ever be dismayed throughout this process. Above all, always be compassionate with yourself and with your body. Practice praise and gratitude towards You. Treat the body as a true temple, remembering to release tension and respect your limits. And as my beloved teacher always taught me – asana are always performed better with smile!
Private Yoga is perfect, whether you’re thinking of taking your existing Yoga practice to a higher level or simply starting your Yogic journey. There are many wonderful private Yoga teachers who would love to make magic with you. When you find your teacher, let loose and make the most of your time together. You’ve been given a great opportunity to truly transform and shine. Enjoy!