Whether you have just booked your first private yoga class or are simply considering one-to-one tuition, this post is for you! It’s completely natural to be curious about what is involved in a 1:1 yoga session, and a lot of my private students arrive a little nervous and unsure what to expect from their first session. This article is therefore long overdue!
Private yoga classes are very different from a group class, for many reasons – some obvious (there’s only one of you!) and others more subtle. I wanted to go into some detail about what generally goes on in the first session, and to explore just how it differs from a regular yoga class.
In your first private class, we will spend perhaps 5-15 minutes discussing you – your lifestyle, health, stress levels, physical abilities, and any previous knowledge/experience with yoga. Most importantly, we will clarify what you want to achieve or gain from private yoga classes. This differs person to person – some clients want to get fitter, others want to reduce their stress. It’s all down to you and what your personal vision is.
I also check in during the 1:1 class, asking if this posture feels ok for your back (for example), or whether you need to go further/back out of the pose a little. This opens a good dialogue between student and teacher, where both feel it’s acceptable to ask any questions during the class, therefore getting the most out of the time together.
Let’s face it, you don’t strike up a conversation with your mat-neighbour or teacher in a led group class. In a 1:1, however, I generally begin every class with a quick chat to see how you are doing, how your home practice is going, and what is going on for you that day/week. Any external stressors or emotional discomfort will manifest itself in your practice just like a physical injury would. I try to stay informed so I can help where possible and so I can cater the class according to where you’re at.
When was the last time you went to a class and knew it was 100% tailored for you and your needs?
Say you have tight hamstrings and hips from running. Imagine having a whole hour dedicated to easing out those tight muscles, and developing strategies you can carry out at home to avoid pain and potential injuries too.
Or perhaps you are super stressed, not sleeping and feeling anxious. Spending a whole hour in a blissful state of relaxation with a restorative class designed for you sounds pretty good right?
This is oh-so-great for people with injuries or chronic health/emotional issues as we can work together to overcome these specific problems, and I don’t have to accommodate the needs of all of the other students as I would in a group class too.
It’s also fantastic for healthier people, who want to get more adjustments and attention from the teacher, to gain confidence and know that they are “doing yoga right” (another regular theme from lots of my students!).
Depending on what you want to achieve, we can also explore meditation, pranayama (breathwork) and yogic philosophy as well as asana (physical practice/postures) … the options are endless.
Deepen Your Practice
So you have an existing yoga practice and want to gain confidence in balancing poses – and eventually learn to fly in bakasana (crow pose). But you don’t get enough time to work on these postures in a regular class – and lack the confidence to try them at home.
This is another great reason to consider 1:1 yoga classes. By getting way more adjustments and in-depth instruction, you will deepen your understanding and abilities at a much quicker rate. You will also get all the tools you need to practice more confidently at home so you really expand your yoga practice.
I use loads of props in my classes, such as bolsters, blocks, straps etc, as well as incense and candles. We also normally finish class with a long savasana (relaxation). This helps to provide a supportive and safe environment for you, so you can completely focus on yourself and your breath.
If you suffer from stress and anxiety, restorative private yoga classes are so fantastic for stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response!). Focusing on the breath and slowing down the body has a majorly cathartic effect on the mind, and will quieten down your thoughts. Some clients have come to me because they feel too anxious to attend a group class – and that’s totally fine. Private classes avoid the need to compare yourself to others, and allows you to surrender completely to relaxation.
It’s All About You!
Most importantly, these private yoga classes are 110% about you, the student. There are no distractions or thoughts about your mat-neighbours as there can be in a group class (like “where did she get those cute leggings?” or “I wish I was as flexible as him/her”.) There are no concerns about whether you’re doing a pose right or if others will laugh at you – because I am completely present with the intention to help you.
Whatever is going on for you, or whatever you want to focus on that day, is totally cool with me. If you’ve had a stressful day, have some Yin yoga. If you want to feel more energised, let’s do some Power Vinyasa! If you want to feel more grounded and connected, we can spend the entire hour meditating and doing breathwork – if that’s what you want. I provide an informal but nurturing environment, where we can learn, practice and laugh together! Yoga is truly for every body, as long as you are willing.
I have a few spaces for private clients coming up in November. Book online or get in touch if you are interested. These spaces can be used for 1:1s, or alternatively semi-privates where you can bring a friend/partner/family member.
If you still have any unanswered questions about anything I haven’t covered in this blog, please reach out by commenting on this post or getting in touch via email. I am more than happy to help!
Love and light