Private Yoga Lessons – What you need to know

For many people, going to a yoga class is a special treat – reserved for those times where you need to take care of yourself and get out of the house.  Once you set up on your mat, you realize how much better you feel after stretching your body.  Often this leads to other questions about how to keep this feeling after you step off your mat or how to find time for yoga in your everyday life.  Private lessons are a perfect way to begin this journey.  

Why you should schedule a private yoga lesson…

  1. Experience / comfortability:  Private lessons are perfect for those students that are just beginning their journey.  Many studios offer 101 classes, but this can be overwhelming if you are nervous about being in a class with other students.  If you are nervous around other people, the full benefits of the yoga practice might get lost in the anxiety.  Getting comfortable with both yoga etiquette and basic poses can allow you to enter any yoga class with confidence, even if you aren’t at a familiar studio or even if you are in a brand new city.  Yoga etiquette and poses translate all over the country.  
  2. Personal Goals vs overall stretching:  When heading to a yoga class you are on the instructor’s class plan.  The class will be geared towards an overall stretch or a peak pose of the instructor’s choosing.  While this is wonderful experience and gives great benefits, a private practice can give you the opportunity to discuss with your instructor your personal goals both physically and mentally.  Often in a private lesson, the instructor can create a personal class to focus on your needs and your problem areas (arthritis, back injury, flexibility, etc.).  I have personally taught standing yoga classes as well as chair yoga classes that are geared towards what the student needs to work on while recognizing their limitations.  
  3. Cultivating a Personal Practice:  Private lessons are a perfect way to cultivate a personal practice either in a group setting or in a home practice.  A one on one setting is the perfect way to craft a home practice routine designed with your own goals and problem areas in mind.  Back issues, maybe your home practice should focus on forward bends and restorative poses.  Arthritis in your hands, maybe it should start with seated hand stretches and breathing.  In a private yoga session, 
  4. In Depth Study:  Private Yoga lessons should not just be considered for the beginner yogi.  For the advanced practitioner, private yoga lessons can help you deepen and strengthen your yoga practice in ways a group class may not be able to offer.  If you are working with a certified Yoga instructor (registered with the Yoga Alliance), they are required to learn about all 8 limbs of yoga – not just asanas.  Depending on their focus of study and training heritage, a trained yoga instructor can offer a wealth of knowledge about Ayurveda, aromatherapy, or advanced yoga poses.

Common Questions:

  1. Who should you seek out for Private Lessons?  When looking for an instructor for a private yoga lesson, look for someone who speaks to your style and what you want to learn.  If you are preoccupied with the yoga instructor’s music or tone of voice you won’t get much benefit of a one on one with that instructor.  Many students seek out someone who has offered them good advice or given them an “ah –ha” moment in a group class.  If advancing your practice you should seek out someone who is trained in the area you wish to explore.  Most instructors will have a focus of study and can offer a wealth of knowledge in a private setting.  
  2. Should I do at home lessons or go to the instructor’s studio for a private?  When deciding on a yoga instructor for a private lesson it is important to discuss setting.  There are usually two options when deciding on a location for a yoga private.  Some instructors will be associated with a studio where they can book the studio for a private lesson during off-class times.  Other times it may be more convenient for you or the instructor to come to a location of your choosing (often your home or the instructor’s home).  There are a couple different factors you want to consider when choosing a location.  
    1. Time – Private lessons at a studio will be restricted to off-class times.  Lessons at home can be scheduled when both of your schedules permit.  If you don’t have an instructor in mind, you can also contact a yoga studio to set up a private lesson with an instructor that fits to your timeline.  Many studios will be able to accommodate your request and be able to suggest a teacher for the time you request that will be a good fit for your needs.  
    2. Props – Private lessons in a studio will usually have free reign of any props that the studio has for regular classes – giving you more options if you are working with an injury or want to try out various modifications.  Private lessons at home are restricted to any props that either you or the instructor have for personal use – which can be beneficial if you are cultivating a home practice and need to see what you can use in a home setting.
    3. Location – Time in a studio will provide ample space and usually a good solid working surface for yoga.  A private practice at home may require you to move furniture or find room in a location not usually dedicated to laying out a mat and/or balancing.  If a home practice is your goal, the instructor can suggest areas in your home that may work the best with minimal rearrangement.  
  3. What do I need to know before setting up a private?  There is really nothing you need to know before setting up a yoga private.  It is beneficial to tell the instructor whether you would like additional time before the lesson to talk about your particular goals and limitations.  Usually the instructor will allot a small amount of time at the beginning for this purpose, but if you would like a more in-depth talk then you should let them know beforehand.  Sometimes a get-to-know-you session is best in this type of situation and can be set up to meet in a lounge area rather than on a mat.  
  4. How do I prepare for a yoga private?  Like any new experience, come with an open mind and don’t be afraid to speak up about what you need.  The instructor is just as curious to know about how they can help you as you are to learn.  A good instructor will take the time to evaluate your needs and goals before suggesting exercises, but only you know your body and how certain poses make you feel.  It is important to work with your instructor and make known anything that makes you uncomfortable.  The goal for both of you is a safe and enjoyable yoga experience.  


More questions?  Interested in what a yoga private can do for you?  


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