A private yoga class can feel like a bit of a luxury, right?!
Can’t you just get the same benefits from going to a regular yoga class? Well, not really. There are HUGE benefits in investing in a private class or a series of private classes with a professional teacher.
Sure, it may cost more than attending regular classes at a studio, but there are many reasons why it is more expensive! Private sessions will set you up to maintain your own strong, consistent, safe and well-informed practice. They can be terrific for beginners to yoga who feel a little uncomfortable or intimidated by bigger classes.
They can also be great for more advanced or intermediate students wanting to take their practice to the next step but are unsure where to start. No matter where you are in your yoga journey, investing in a private yoga class will serve you for a long time to come.
Let’s explore the benefits in more depth.
While everybody can do yoga, it isn’t a one size fits all practice. A good yoga teacher can teach to a full room of students who have varied experience and needs, however, it is very different when you are being taught one on one. Yoga is a personal practice, and people come to the yoga mat for a host of different reasons. You may be looking for a way to relieve back pain, open your hips, increase strength, assist flexibility, quieten the mind, reduce stress, or increase range of motion- these a just a handful of reasons people may take up a yoga practice.
In a private yoga class, you have the ability to focus on your exact personal goals. A 1-to-1 ratio allows the teacher to plan a lesson to your personal needs, whether that’s tailoring to a specific area of the body, or working towards a series of poses that you find particularly challenging. It’s up to you to decide what you would like to dive into in your private sessions in order to get the most out of them.
Alignment, Modification & Props
While yoga is designed to be a stress-relieving activity, there can sometimes be a LOT to think about! Especially when you are new to the practice. Take a relatively straightforward pose like triangle pose for example. Is your alignment correct? Would you benefit from a block? Could you take a deeper modification? If so, should you use a strap? In a public class, the teacher is there to guide and offer suggestions. However, depending on the size of the class and skill of the teacher, there is usually minimal personal attention. You wind up observing the people around you and most likely, end up in a pose that isn’t exactly ideal for you! Every body is different, therefore, each pose will also be different depending on your unique body. A private class enables the teacher to work with you in each pose and correct your alignment, offer props as a way to benefit and support you in the pose, and offer modifications to help you go deeper, or to back out a little to ensure you are getting the FULL benefit of every pose.
Hands on personal adjustments or assists are one of the most glorious parts of a yoga class. However, in a large class, you are likely to get one hands-on assist if you are lucky! Furthermore, these days, teachers and studios can be apprehensive about hands on adjustments, and so they avoid them altogether. Physical adjustments by a qualified and experienced teacher can really transform a pose. It isn’t like offering an alignment cue or modification suggestion, these hands on adjustments help you to move into a pose far more deeply that you can on your own, and therefore, experience the real benefits of a pose. In a private class, these hands on assists can really help you gain an understanding in both body and mind of what a pose is capable of looking and feeling like.
Unfortunately in a public yoga class, there really isn’t much of an opportunity to ask questions, especially while the class is in session! Often a teacher will stay behind after class, but it can be tricky with time and other students around to really dive into your yogic ponderings in depth. No matter where you are in your practice, yoga raises lots of questions. One of the best things about a private class is you can ask as many questions as you like. This is a great opportunity for you to air those niggling concepts that you haven’t been able to wrap your head around, or questions that you may have felt embarrassed to ask in a class setting. Being able to communicate in open dialogue during a private class is a terrific way to learn and really come to terms with the practice and philosophy as much as you feel to.
Working With an Injury
These days there are lots of options for people who are coming to yoga with a certain ailment, however, in these circumstances in particular, nothing beats working with a teacher one on one. Maybe you are looking for a way to yoga to assist you with migraines, or trying to prevent neck issues from being on a computer all day. Maybe you are recovering from an injury or illness and yoga is part of your recovery program. A private yoga teacher can help you set up a sequence and use props in a way that allows you to practice safely as you heal. While yoga can incite feelings of discomfort, it should never elicit pain in the body. Working with a teacher one on one is also a great way to ensure that you are practicing in a way that is safe and sustainable for your body. The incident of injury through yoga is unfortunately on the rise. So learning how to best work with your own body on the mat is just as important as learning how to modify poses if you are working with an existing injury.
Yoga is designed to help us switch off the mind. Yet do you find yourself in class creating mental shopping lists in your forward bend, or wondering where your neighbour got their yoga pants from? Don’t worry, mental chatter is common and it can be hard to switch off in a public class surrounded by other people. This distraction can essentially take away from the benefits and enjoyment of the practice. In a private class, chances are, your mind will have very little chance to wander! Rather than looking around the room and comparing your practice to other students, you can really be in your practice alone. You won’t have time to keep glancing at the clock or backing off from a pose thinking the teacher won’t notice! The one on one nature of a private class means there is little outer distraction so you can simply enjoy and focus on the practice at hand.
When we find a teacher or class that we like and go to on a regular basis, it can get a little monotonous. Good teachers will keep mixing things up and offering new classes, however, many teachers do also stick to similar routines, so if you are not branching out between teachers and studios, you may find yourself heading for a yoga plateau. There may be poses that you have wanted to try but haven’t been given the opportunity to explore in a public class. A private class will enable you to discuss all of this and work towards new poses in a safe and comfortable environment. Taking private yoga classes allows time for the teacher to break things down, and help you mindfully work towards reaching your goals rather than trying to figure advanced poses out on your own. Having a ‘spotter’ for advanced poses is also a good idea so if you do fall out of a pose, you will do so safely!
Your Time, Your Space!
One of the greatest challenges of getting to yoga can often be working around studio schedules. The benefit of a private class is that you can choose the days and times that work best for you. Often, private classes can also be held in the comfort of your own home, or a suitable place of your choosing. This also helps you to feel far more comfortable than you may feel in a studio space. Setting up a weekly schedule that works for you is a wonderful way for your practice to stay consistent and for you to gain results. Having to work around timetables, drive to studios and hustle for your favourite place in the room isn’t always ideal! Selecting a time that suits you and having your teacher arrive on your doorstep takes a lot of the challenges out of the equation and allows you to focus on your practice.
A private yoga class, or a series of private classes will offer you tools and wisdom that you can utilise for life. Yoga is a lifelong journey- there is no finish line. There is always room to grow and evolve in new ways. Yoga can help in body, mind and spirit, and therefore, really learning how yoga works and how yoga works for you is such a beneficial endeavour. You could quite easily attend public studio classes for a decade and not really get the benefits that you can gain from a series of private sessions. Investing in private classes is a great way to dip your toes into yoga if you are a beginner and feel intimidated by a public class. They can also be great to invest in as your yoga journey unfolds, allowing you to ‘top up’ your knowledge, explore new poses in a safe way. Private yoga classes are for everyone, all ages, all levels, all needs. Yoga is such a gift, and private classes can really help you to make the most of every chance you have to step onto your mat.
At The Palm Tree House, you have the opportunity to enjoy a private yoga class with our experienced and professional yoga teachers. Make the most of your Bali yoga retreat and enjoy a private session that will allow you to dive deeply into your practice and gain wisdom and skills to continue your yoga practice long after your retreat comes to an end! Contact us to ask any questions, or set up a private session when you arrive on retreat.
*Always make sure to use a well qualified teacher for your private classes.