The student/ teacher relationship in yoga (and arguably in anything) is sacred. Yoga has been practiced for 1000’s of years and the majority of its history has been punctuated by the sacred exchange between student and teacher. If you’re interested in starting a practice, deepening your current one or working on fine tuning particular elements of your practice- private yoga is a wonderful way to do so. A few things to consider when looking into private instruction:
- Make sure that the investment is right for you. Private yoga IS an investment. Hiring a coach or teacher of any type to focus on your individual needs is one that should be done with careful consideration of cost/benefit analysis. What is your goal? How long can you commit to it (financially and/or time and energy wise)? Are you willing to show up if you do invest in yourself?
- Get aligned with the right teacher, and interview a few. The teacher/ student relationship is critical to meeting your goals and doing it in a way that is enjoyable and impactful. We suggest interviewing a few teachers, or directly asking for a teacher that you have good rapport with and feel drawn to in their teaching methodology and style.
- Be sure you feel safe and seen. A one on one relationship should be one in which you feel valued, safe and seen. There is always the risk of incompatibility or worse, abuse of power, when working one on one with someone. While we do not feel that is ever an issue here at Practice Indie, the ‘guru’ model has been predatory and abusive in its history. Whether you practice with one of our teacher’s or somewhere else, it needs to be a safe and consensual relationship. If you cannot speak up for yourself or fear your teacher, it is not a safe environment. Even if you thought you picked the ‘right’ teacher but after a few sessions are no longer feeling that, make sure to voice your concerns and/or see about switching teachers. This is a big investment and one you want to be able to show up fully for!
- Set clear goals: Make sure you know why you are coming to yoga. Is it for a consistent time on your calendar to bliss out? Do you have a particular skill or pose you’re working on? Be clear with your instructor up front about what your goals are, and make sure to set check in reminders as to where you are in your progress so you know whether you have met your goal or would like to continue.
- Set clear boundaries: for both the teacher and the student, it’s important to know what the appropriate kind of communication is. Is physical touch ok? Would you prefer only verbal cues? Are you a visual learner? Get clear on teaching styles and methods that you make everyone feel safe and clear.
We have private client’s who have practiced with us for over 7 years. Here’s one what of them has to say about their experience:
I value my private yoga sessions at Practice Indie immensely. I think of them as one of the most essential things I do every week, and I am always disappointed if a week goes by without having the opportunity to further my practice.Why a private session instead of a group session? There are several reasons! My workdays are typically busy and varied. With a private lesson, there is a lot more flexibility regarding scheduling. If I can’t make my designated time, the staff is very cooperative about trying to reschedule.In my case, I don’t hear very well which isn’t close to being an issue with a private lesson. Whereas, it would likely be real challenge for me in a group environment. Also, when I first started practicing yoga, I tended to be self-conscious about what I could and could not do AND defensive about how silly I must have looked trying to achieve what was asked. With a private lesson, those concerns immediately go away.Before every session, my instructor always asks me how I’m feeling, what I’ve been doing lately exercise-wise and what, if anything, I’d like to work on. So, in a very real sense, I always have the opportunity to help shape the nature of my workouts. Mine is not a cookie cutter practice, which I really like!!Most importantly, my private practice has enabled me to enjoy a personal teacher/student relationship that simply would not be possible otherwise.To sum it all up, I simply could not recommend private yoga sessions more earnestly or more enthusiastically.