When you think of the words, “private yoga instructor” what other associations come to mind? Unaffordable? Only for people that are way fancier and richer than me? For a long time, I thought private yoga lessons were for people who thought they were too good to “be with the masses” in a regular drop-in class…that is until I had my first private lesson. When I did take one, I honestly wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner. I had a person’s undivided attention and a whole hour where I could ask any question that popped into my brain. Now that I am a full-time yoga instructor, private lessons are one of my favorite ways to teach. I get to have time to really connect to my students about what they want to get out of their yoga practice. If you are feeling daunted by starting a yoga practice, have questions you are afraid to ask, or want to deepen your practice, private instruction may be just what you need.
Reasons why private lessons are the best:
- You get personal attention. It may feel highly intimidating if you are new to the practice, but having someone giving you personal attention enhances your experience. As a group yoga teacher, sometimes I’m limited by what I can teach. The average group class has a wide diversity of fitness levels, asana knowledge, and goals of practice. As an instructor you don’t get to spend as much time as you like making sure everyone is getting what they came for. In a private lesson, my student has my undivided attention. They can ask all the questions they want. We can take time to discuss how they feel and what they would like to get out of their practice.
- Your lessons are customized to your needs. We all come to yoga practice for different reasons. Some of us want to relax. Some of us are pursuing overall well-being. Others want to develop strength or lessen symptoms of chronic pain and injuries. Speaking from personal experience, if you’re looking to learn more about meditation, you may not benefit from dropping in to some “yoga power boot camp” class. With your instructor, you can sit down and discuss your goals and get individualized practices.
- You can begin building your home (or studio) practice. When you are beginning yoga practice, practicing at home alone can feel overwhelming. You could find online videos or DVDs, but you aren’t sure whether you are “doing it right.” A private instructor can work with you to develop a routine for your own home practice. Even if you like to keep your practice at the studio, private instruction is a great way to learn the ropes before showing up to your first group class.
- It’s not just for beginners. Do you have a pose that is frustrating you in your group classes? Have no idea to get started in learning more difficult postures like arm balances or inversions? Would you like to know more about yoga philosophy, meditation, or breathing practices? Private instruction can be a great way to deepen and expand your existing practice.
- It doesn’t have to break the bank. Many people get intimidated by the cost of private lessons, but they can be extremely valuable to your practice. Typically, I like to meet with a student, discuss with them their needs, practice with them, give them a practice to do at home, and have regular check-ins via phone or email about their progress. We can meet anywhere from once, to monthly, weekly, or more than once a week. Your lesson plan and frequency can truly be as customizable as your yoga practice. In order to make lessons accessible and available to all, I even offer a few lessons each month with a sliding fee scale.
The best thing I love about giving private yoga lessons is that it’s a true judgment-free zone. I can’t tell you how many students have practiced yoga for years, and they come away from private sessions saying, “I always wanted to know that, but I was afraid to ask.” If you have any burning yoga questions, about alignment, philosophy, or how to accommodate injury, open up to taking private lessons. They can help beginners and seasoned practitioners alike.