Guest submission by Bri Jackson
Note: The benefits of a consistent yoga practice are vast and well supported. Increased physical and mental flexibility, decreased pain and inflammation, improved digestion and circulation, and cultivation of a more authentic, healthy and focused life are among the advantages a personal yoga practice can deliver.
In this post we will reveal:
Four benefits of taking private yoga instruction, an excellent form of individual coaching.
You may be feeling apprehensive about taking your first group yoga class, but that doesn’t mean you have to delay getting started. Growing in popularity, private yoga sessions are a wonderful way to practice.
Here are four reasons this is the case.
1. Break the Ice with a Private Yoga Session
In group settings, yoga instructors do their best to welcome and prepare each student for their practice, but if it’s your first experience with yoga, then you may feel a bit disoriented as the group session begins. It takes a few classes to get into the “flow” of listening to your instructor’s verbal cues and then applying them to your body. Even then, it’s quite normal to second guess yourself.
In reality, it’s no biggie. Everyone in the room started somewhere, but a few private sessions can provide a proper welcome and serve as a solid foundation for your practice.
In a private yoga session, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the reasons you’re feeling apprehensive and ask questions without distraction or social pressure. In a one-to-one setting, your instructor can reassure you and provide both verbal cues and physical touch (with your permission) to assist you in each asana (physical posture).
After a few one-on-one yoga sessions with a caring instructor you’ll be comfortable taking on your first class experience.
2. Fuller Experience with the Eight Limbs of Yoga
While the majority of yoga classes place focus on asana (physical posture), there are other aspects of yoga that serve a purpose in designing a balanced life.
These aspects are known collectively as the Eight Limb Path of Yoga. Physical postures are the third limb of the Eight Limb Path.
Here are the Eight Limbs of Yoga:
1. Yama (how to treat others)
2. Niyama (how to treat self)
3. Asana (physical posture)
4. Pranayama (breath control)
5. Pratyahara (sensory detachment)
6. Dharana (focus)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8. Samadhi (divine acceptance).
The majority of yoga classes offered in gym settings are focused solely on asana (physical posture) and building strength. Unless you’re attending a class that is specifically focused on one of the other limbs of yoga, then it’s not likely that you’ll get the chance to explore and benefit from these other aspects of the practice.
Private sessions provide the opportunity to explore the entirety of what yoga offers in a setting where you have the instructor’s full attention.
3. Getting Exactly What You Need
Yoga is widely transformational and restorative; therefore, a practice tailored to your individual needs can have a deep and lasting impact on your life. This is the main benefit of investing in a series of private yoga sessions.
Not only can you discuss your health history in a private setting, but you’ll also have the chance to share your energetic and emotional history with your instructor. Your needs change from day to day and your teacher can tailor each private session to your needs for that day. Perhaps you’ve had a recent breakup – your private instructor knows that you need some heart openers in your practice.
Maybe you’re exhausted from a huge project deadline at work – then your instructor might lead you through a stress-reducing restorative practice. Digestive trouble? Your instructor can take you through a series of gut stimulating postures.
Perhaps you’re ready to let go of trauma from childhood experiences – your instructor knows yoga massages or hip openers that will gently assist you and can be there to support you through the process of releasing.
4. Expanding your Yoga Skills
If you’ve been attending class on a regular basis and you’ve set the intention to deepen your practice, private yoga sessions can help nurture that.
Perhaps you want to know more about breath work and meditation, or inversions and arm balances. Maybe there’s an area in which you’ve been feeling stuck. Try meeting with someone who can guide you towards expansion in those arenas!
There are so many directions you can take through private yoga sessions. They may provide a solid foundation to begin your practice or an invigorating way to deepen your experience of yoga both on and off the mat.
Bri Jackson is a New York-based personal trainer, registered yoga instructor, and mama of three who has maintained a 100-pound weight loss for over five years. She is passionate about sharing simple fitness, wellness, and silver linings with men and women who are ready to take back their health one meal, one movement, and one meditation at a time.