Why Take Private Lessons?
As a lead teacher in The Lotus Pond Teacher Training program I’m often asked what do you teach in a private lesson? Is there any real benefit?
Yoga has traditionally been taught one on one. The teacher was completely focused on the student, refining the postures as the lesson progressed. The student concentrated only on the teacher’s lessons, and there was no comparing to anyone else.
The lesson advanced only when the student was ready, with specialized variations to any injuries or misalignment to help the body maintain physical harmony. Today we call this approach yoga therapy, and it’s still the best way to learn yoga.
Many people just want to “learn yoga” in group yoga classes. There are many styles of yoga, places to practice yoga, and teachers teaching yoga. Sometimes only the yoga asanas (yoga postures) are taught.
Movement Without Understanding Is Not Really Yoga
Teaching yoga postures as a form of exercise is popular now, although the poses are so much more than simple exercise. Done with integrity, they massage the internal organs, calm or stimulate the nervous system, and help to process emotional issues.
Some teachers interweave breathing and meditation practices into classes. Others may sprinkle in some yoga philosophy. Yoga is not a religion but a way to live in the world in a healthy balanced way.
Are you “learning yoga”, or just doing what the teacher says without understanding why you are doing it? Movement, without understanding why or how, is not really yoga.
Privates Offer A Range of Benefits
- Private lessons work on a specific posture that may not feel steady, and when a trained eye is needed to detect what otherwise could go unnoticed.
- Private lessons will guide you to your full potential.
- Injuries or nagging discomfort often needs therapeutic modifications.
- Your teachers keep moving a foot or hip without explanation.
- You may have been injured in yoga and want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- As bodies age and change, vinyasa movements become uncomfortable.
- Some students, even yoga teachers, simply want a trained observer to see if they are balanced and aligned.
- Even yoga teachers can lose their sense of alignment, especially after an injury, and welcome private lessons for stress relief or to learn how to breathe.
- Yoga can help chronic diseases like scoliosis by managing the pain and slowing the rate of curvature.
- Private yoga therapy is an excellent way to manage chronic back pain.
Analyzing A Student’s Progress
I use still photos and video of the lesson to explain what I’m seeing, which helps clients achieve a much better practice. Sometimes this is about alignment, sometimes just students doing their homework postures. By including notes and diagrams I’m able to show them the action I would like them to create or point out the misalignment that may be causing pain.
Not every yoga teacher offers private lessons, and those that do may not take pictures or create a personal portfolio. Before signing up for a private lesson find out what kind of supporting materials the teacher provides.
Private lessons in your home or the studio are perfect when you can’t schedule regular classes.
Group Or Private? What’s Best For You?
There is value in both group classes and in private lessons. Group classes are great because students are happy to see and help each other as they build friendships.
My wish is that students will practice yoga at home, then participate in group classes to experience that amazing feeling of a Sangha, a community of support and friendship. And when someone needs a little refinement or special attention, a private lesson is always available.
Would you like a private yoga lesson? Just give me a call.
*Yoga therapy components of Nancy’s instruction are based on the over 2500 hours of specialty trainings with renowned physicians and specialists in their fields of expertise, not derived from her status as an RYT with Yoga Alliance Registry.