Yoga was traditionally taught by one teacher to one student. The great ancient teachers understood the importance of individualizing each yoga experience to meet the needs of the individual student. Group yoga classes are fun, energizing and help to create a strong community. (not to mention more affordable than one-on-ones) But, in a group class, the instructor cannot deliver the individualized attention and guidance that we all need at one time or another. I know I wish I had taken a few private lessons when I first started. I did my vinyasas the wrong way for about 2 years until one of my favorite teachers, Stephanie Keach pointed it out to me. (It took almost 2 years to undo my bad habit, and I could have seriously hurt my shoulder if I would have kept doing it wrong.)
Many people think you have to have a private lesson 2-3 times a week for an extended amount of time. Not true! Even one lesson can help you to understand alignment, work toward a specific goal, understand modifications because of injury, and ease the intimidation of attending a large class.
This is my friend Tina. I have seen her once a month since January. (So, only 4 sessions.) This is what she had to say:
first off, I am so thankful to have you as a teacher!! You rock!! Love your energy, your push, your willingness and your sheer awesomeness!!!
things that stand out for me from doing the private lessons….
-I have tried things that I never even imagined I would be able to do
-you pushed me to try them, take a chance and be willing to “play”
-it has given me more confidence on the mat, which in turn helps me remain grounded in my life
-power, I love the feel of hitting something (mountain climber, tetevasana (sp) etc…), feels great!
-the small adjustments or changes in a pose have made a WORLD of difference in my practice
-makes class more fun and interesting b/c I have more intention on things to work on or things to try
This is my friend Drew… I have only had one private with her. That is all she really needs right now. Check out her awesome form in chaturanga dandasana. Here is what Drew had to say:
After practicing yoga for several months, I realized I needed to check my fundamentals – making sure my alignment and poses were correct. I also wanted to learn a few “challenging” arm balances to practice in the future, when I felt ready. I approached Kacy about a private lesson, and she was awesome!
Kacy worked with my schedule, and we found a time that worked for us. The hour flew by! We went over my alignment in each pose and Kacy helped me learn the correct way to move from chaturanga to upward dog! We then worked on arm balances and head stands – poses for me to work towards in my practice.
The private lesson was super helpful, completely unintimidating, and something I will definitely consider again when I’m ready to push myself even further in my practice. I would recommend a private lesson to a yoga beginner (like myself) and also to a true “yogi” who wants to push his/her practice forward. Kacy ROCKS!
This is my friend Kristen, who I have also seen only once. Check out her story:
I had been practicing yoga exactly a year when I heard Kacy mention how she got “hired and fired” referencing one private lesson. First off I started laughing and then it put a buzz in my ear that I couldn’t forget about. I emailed her just a week later eager to set up some sessions. Yes sessions with a -s, because similar to my first class at Y2… I knew that after one I would be hooked. She assured me that for the time being, one lesson would be sufficient. (Let’s be honest, from one teacher to another you just felt sorry stealing my money knowing you could work magic in one!)
I didn’t know what to expect, but I can tell you this… I got so much
more than I can begin to describe. It has made the biggest difference
in my practice today. No, I am not doing crazy armbalances or
inversions, but rather I am doing the postures correctly. During that
hour we went through mini sequencs and she would let me go as if I was in a normal class and then pause (not like a normal class 🙂 ) and we would review my strengths and weaknesses. From rising high on my toes to looking up and pushing through in back bends. I can now transition more smoothly, find more binds, and have done several more arm balances. The slightest change can make the biggest difference. I am experiencing the same soreness I experienced one year ago when I started practicing, and my lesson was back in February. I still think that the private lesson guilt will come back to haunt me in another month or two, but for now I must agree with Kacy… One lesson is well worth it!
Private lessons can be not so private also! I have been doing these group parties and they are awesome! My friend Krista set this up and we all went to dinner afterwards! Such a fun night! Here is what Krista had to say about her group “private”:
I wanted to have a personal party because I wanted more time to focus on my individual practice. Get upside down without the fear of knocking over my neighbor. Ask questions and figure out if I was doing things right! Focus more. I wanted to play with friends and get to know Kacy more. I loved the private experience and gained so much confidence! Best class EVER!
This group has met me at 6:30 am on two occasions to flow and play! They were ready to get down to business!
– Catherine (recently got engaged) – To work on my wedding arms!!!
What I learned: How to do a chaturanga correctly
– Sara – To practice things I’m too scared to try in class
What I learned: Birds of paradise, the frog (which will hopefully turn into a headstand very soon). Also to use my arms as a shelf for arm balances.
– Liza – To break down more advanced poses since there typically isn’t time to learn new things in a normal group class
What I learned: Side Crow, Standing split to headstand
My friend Karen has had a group party and they loved it so much, they already scheduled another one! Read her story:
We decided to do a private session for so many reasons. One was that our group had several members that weren’t experienced at yoga and we’re intimidated to jump into a packed class without knowing the basics, the lingo etc. Several of us who love yoga and wanted to take the time to double check and learn if the moves we were doing were “correct” in form which in some cases they weren’t. When you are in a big class you can’t always get assisted or get the tips you need to deepen your practice, a private session allows that. Another reason is that it is a healthy way to have a girls night with friends, do something active and give our minds and souls the “food” both need. I could go on and on…. Like the fun of getting to know instructors, YOU, who care so much about your students, other women and sharing inspirational thoughts with fellow moms that all work so hard in so many aspects of life. Our group took home more confidence in themselves, in their yoga practice and all want to do it again!!! We took home a few new moves as well as a feeling of accomplishment. Our group ranged from 23 to 40 years old, athletically fit to athletically challenged, and petite to plus size and ALL loved the private session!!!!!!
So there you have it! Take a private yoga class. If yoga is your jam, you want to make sure your form is correct. Private yoga classes are an investment for your personal growth and health. You don’t have to take one from me either. I can put you in touch with the perfect instructor for you!