Life, yoga and other adventures

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Friday, 4 December 2015

Up close and personal

It might surprise you to learn that quite a lot of people who ask for a one-to-one session are beginners. Often, they want to get a few basic postures and a bit of terminology under their belt before venturing into a general class, or they might simply want to find out a bit more about yoga (and the teacher) before committing to a course.
Others like the security and discretion that a private lesson affords if they are shy or lacking in confidence and therefore uncomfortable in a public class. Others still might have health considerations that make a public class inappropriate. Some just prefer to have a teacher come to them, so that they are in a familiar and comfortable environment.
Yogis returning to practice after a break sometimes book a one-to-one session to refresh their knowledge and also for the insight it brings into their physical, emotional and spiritual condition.
While it is lovely to be able to go to a yoga class on a regular basis to support our personal, home-based practice, this simply isn’t possible for everyone. If you have a complicated home or work life and find it difficult to commit to a regular class, booking ad hoc private lessons can be an invaluable way to keep up your practice in a way that is better suited to your lifestyle.
Even if you are attending a regular class, a one-to-one can still be beneficial if, say, you need a bit of a boost to your motivation (this is also true for those who practise alone; in fact, they may well be in greater need of inspiration).
Experienced yogis might book a one-to-one session:
  • To work through questions about a specific asana – for example, ways to approach the challenges of Scorpion
  • To explore in depth a particular aspect of yoga that isn’t covered in their general class, such as chanting, working with mudra and bandha, or exploring yoga philosophy
  • To establish, develop or update a personal practice
  • If they feel they are not receiving sufficient adjustment or attention from their teacher in a class situation – the personalising of the teaching is a key factor for many private students
  • To explore a different branch of yoga or teaching style
  • As a treat – for the cost of a decent haircut, you could find your yoga practice kick-started, revitalised and re-energised
Whatever your reasons for booking a one-to-one session, it is useful to have an idea of what you want to achieve, so that you don’t waste valuable time when you get there. But while it is good to have a goal in mind, you will still need to discuss your objectives with your teacher so that you can decide between you the best way to proceed. Be prepared to be flexible, because although ultimately the programme has to lead to the results you seek, talking it through might reveal aspects of yoga that you hadn’t considered – and this applies whether you are a newbie or an old hand.