By Gopi Rao
When should students be advised for private lessons? When an intern is going through yoga teacher training, he or she might envision classes full of students. Long before yogic methodology became so popular; yoga training sessions were often private, semi-private or consisted of small groups.
Yoga is a broad term used to refer to anything from a spiritual practice in an isolated ashram to a therapeutic class for cancer survivors. This means the practice has something to offer everybody, but how does one find the right fit? In traditional Indian culture, students looked for teachers to teach them specific programs based on their individual needs.
Taking up Yogic practices as a lifestyle is far different from practicing asanas in a studio once or twice a week, and private classes can be geared to either. Not only do people have different goals, but they also have different degrees of health and motivation. Age is also a factor. Students often go to studios and leave thinking they don’t like Yoga because their experiences didn’t meet their expectations.
What many people fail to realize is that all styles of Yoga are based on someone’s attraction, interpretation and presentation of the ancient practice, and Yogic philosophy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. No teacher is right for everybody, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a well-suited teacher for every person.
Because studios can be intimidating and competitive, many people are more comfortable choosing private instructors. While both options offer benefits, there are many reasons why one-to-one instruction may be a good idea, especially for beginners.
Six Reasons to Why Students Take Private Lessons
• To learn more about the different styles
• To practice in a relaxed, non-competitive environment
• To explore personal emotional, physical, or spiritual issues
• To delve more deeply into meditation or pranayama practices
• To get immediate feedback and encouragement
• To develop a personal routine for home practice
Although classes known as hot, power, gentle or restorative Yoga are becoming increasingly more popular, large groups limit the amount of attention instructors can provide to any one student. Even when they face the same challenges, such as breast cancer or arthritis, varying ages and physical conditions mean that not all of them can do the same exercises.
Private instruction allows instructors and students to figure out the best poses and the most effective ways of doing them. This not only maximizes benefits and reduces the risk of injuries, but it means students are more likely to reap the rewards of the mind, body and spirit connection for which Yoga science is intended.
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