How to build a personal practice
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
What are the benefits of taking private yoga classes? I just received this in a message in which I will be condensing into a short answer, after breaking it down in this blog post...
First of all, the biggest difference between a group and a one to one session, is that the sequence within a group session is and kind of has to be - teacher focused, now of course the teacher always leads the way, that’s their role, but the sequence is set out according to what the teacher has pre planned for the collective to follow along to, regardless of weather students showed up hoping for any one thing in particular, the class is constructed to suit the overall majority, with modifications set in place along the way.
In contrast, the one to one session is entirely student focused, each class built around the individual's needs and wants. As much as a teacher can do their best to correct alignment and adapt postures to suit all bodies within a group class, they can only spend so long (not long) before the rest of the class start to feel ignored or stuck and as a result stressed out holding a posture.
Whereas in a one to one, as much time as necessary can be taken to fine tune all of the foundations of the postures, it may take multiple modifications and sometimes a good few sessions to find those sweet spots of alignment and ways around the mat to suit, the magic being that there is no sense of urgency or pressure.
I sure hope that in the group sessions there isn't that sense either, but it just is inevitable that sometimes that attention can't always be given where needed without making someone feel singled out, like they are interrupting the flow, at least that’s my honest opinion. As much as classes truly can be beginner friendly, most total beginners would serve themselves better in the long run by starting out solo or with a partner.
So we do the shapes and then be on our merry way then is it?...
Those are my main pointers for the physical aspect of yoga. Interestingly, a lot of those who end up coming for the physical, end up reaping benefits in other places that they didn’t expect or know they needed. Some have specific goals, they wanna do cool arm balances, they want to learn how to engage their core, others are more general, aiming to increase overall flexibility, to compliment their other movement practices such as weight lifting, cycling, swimming or on the flip side to counteract too much time spent sitting.
A student who comes to relieve and strengthen their lower back, winds up getting that physical relief and satisfaction, but also learns how to slow down in their work and social life, how to use the breath to regulate the nervous system in times of stress, how to quiet a busy mind, they wind up with tools to help them along the way through the ups and downs of everyday life.
More importantly, they learn how to recognise when it is necessary to step back and implement these practices, how to read the body and mind’s signals, to spot red flags, to catch themselves in harmful acts and behaviours and then regulate accordingly.
Yoga is the practice of self study, of diving deep into the human experience - physical, emotional, mental and energetical - and then using what you learn to better show up in the world around you.
Some people simply cannot just sit down and go straight into a meditation, for many clients the aim will be to find a way in. For every person that says they can't meditate, trust me you just haven't found the way yet, and this is where the one to ones can be of service. For every person that says they aren’t flexible, you just haven’t found your way.
Ultimately my intention in the one to one sessions is to pass on these tools and techniques, so that students can access their endless supply of healing and sustaining potential without needing anything outside of themselves to do so. I am there to prompt and assist, not to spoon feed! If you become entirely reliant on any trainer, therapist, or coach of sorts, feeling like you need them to ‘do the thing’ then they aren’t doing their job properly. Our role is facilitate + support, a client/student in their personal practices without making ourselves the main character.
Private sessions should give the clients enough to confidently practice at home or anywhere. A consistent and personal yoga practice is a secret weapon that once tapped into, becomes a part of who you are, a way of living life. It can't really be condensed, as much as I try to squeeze it into these paragraphs, it cannot be packaged, and that is the point. Private sessions can be just the start of finding your own way down the yogic path, who knows where it might take you? There truly is no one size fits all approach here, the only way is to get on into it and see what comes up.
If you are interested in signing up for one to one sessions with The Good Mood Yoga get in touch for a free consultation.