Private Yoga Classes | What Happens in a Private Yoga Session

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There are many ways you can take a yoga class. You can attend group yoga lessons in a gym, a community center, or inside a yoga studio. You can also take pre-recorded or live online classes in the comfort of your own home. YouTube, specialized apps, and other internet programs are also viable options for taking a yoga class.

Another constructive and beneficial way to take a yoga class is to have a private yoga session with a certified yoga instructor.

This article is designed to map out:

  • Why you would take private yoga classes
  • What happens in a private yoga session
  • And how you can schedule an appointment with a highly qualified yoga instructor
a woman assisting a student in a private yoga class

7 Benefits of private yoga classes

Here are some general reasons why you may take a private yoga class:

#1: Convenience

Like many, you may have to manage a highly busy schedule. Although you may have the intention of getting to a yoga class, it can seem nearly impossible to squeeze in the extra time to travel to a yoga studio at an inconvenient time to satisfy your need for yoga.

Practicing at a time and place that is more convenient for you would certainly be ideal. You’d be able to coordinate times and locations that are more compatible with your already busy personal schedule.

#2: You Get To Ask Questions

Often you are unable to ask specific questions during a large group yoga class.

An individual session allows for you to directly ask the teacher questions you have about the practice, such as clarification about your form and how to practice proper breathing.

It’s a great way to personalize your yoga practice.

a woman assisting a practitioner in a yoga class with a backbend

#3: You Get Coached As A Beginner

Going to a group class for the first time may feel quite intimidating. You may feel nervous about going to a class where you do not know anyone or have very little knowledge about the practice.

Hiring a private yoga teacher is a great way to be introduced to the philosophy and practice of yoga. A yoga teacher can break down the fundamentals of a yoga practice for you, then guide you step-by-step through various movements and breathwork.

They will help you decide what style of yoga is best for your intended needs and goals.

#4: You Can Enhance Your Practice

If you’re already an experienced yogi, a private yoga lesson may offer an opportunity for you to work on a specific goal in yoga.

Maybe you’d like to specifically improve your strength or flexibility. Maybe your goal is to safely do a handstand. Or maybe you want guidance on how to relax your monkey mind with guided meditation.

a woman performing extended side crow

#5: You Get Specialised Injury Support

You can also hire a private yoga teacher when you have specific issues you’d like to work on. For example, maybe you are experiencing low back pain.

You know that yoga can help ease the discomfort, but you’re not quite sure which poses to do. Your instructor can provide knowledgeable information about the most effective poses to perform, how long to hold them, and how often to do them.

#6: You Can Learn A New Pose

Something unique about hiring a yoga instructor is that they can teach you specific yoga postures that you may not necessarily do in a group class.

Perhaps you want to enhance your yoga experience by learning how to perform a handstand, binding poses, or even to properly and effectively practice Downward Facing Dog.

In your private session, the teacher can teach you preparatory poses, break down the intended posture, then guide and assist you in performing the pose on your own that matches your level and ability.

a yoga teacher modifying a woman in anjali mudra

#7: You Can Learn About Yoga’s Philosophy And Anatomy

Your teacher will help you understand the fundamentals of the yoga practice. These often constitute how breathing works in yoga, the names of yoga poses, how the yoga poses affect your body, and the benefit, function, and bodily alignment of yoga poses.

Some yoga history and philosophy may also be incorporated into your lesson so you have a rich understanding of what yoga is and how it can help you.

What Happens in a Private Yoga Session?

1: Setting An Intention

During private yoga classes, you and your instructor can have a dialogue about what you’d like to achieve in your private lesson.

Whether it’s to meditate, improve a yoga pose, or begin a yoga practice, a discussion with your teacher allows you to create meaningful goals for your yoga journey.

When you go to a group class, you may not always have the option to focus on any personal or specific needs. You simply have to follow the lead of the instructor. With a private instructor, you’re able to individualize your lesson.

You can go into each session knowing what you’d like to work on because YOU get to decide. Once your intention is set, the lesson can begin.

a picture of private yoga classes where a teacher in modifying a student in bound angle pose

2: Breathing Exercises

Formally called Pranayama, breathing exercises are often performed at the beginning of your session to set the tone and intention of your practice. It also allows you to be fully present and connected with the work that is about to take place.

If you’re unfamiliar with the practice of Pranayama, your teacher will have the knowledge to share with you about the various ways you can breathe during yoga. Some breathing exercises are grounding and relaxing. Other styles of breathwork can generate heat and energy to help guide you through your practice.

Breathing is considered the foundation of almost any style of yoga. Incorporating this part of the yoga experience will certainly heighten your full understanding of the yoga philosophy.

3: Movement

A moving yoga practice is sometimes called Hatha Yoga which simply means “moving with the breath.”

a picture of a private yoga classes where a teacher is supporting a student in plow pose

As a beginner, the teacher will demonstrate common yoga postures or movements like the Sun Salutation. This is a series of yoga poses (also called asanas) that is often done as a warm-up at the beginning of a moving yoga class.

Your private instructor will break down each posture, demonstrate how to safely practice them, discuss their benefits, then have you mimic and repeat the positions and movements. Your teacher will be able to verbally guide you, offer physical adjustments, and give other cues to help you practice the pose or sequence.

4: Meditation

Just like in group yoga classes, your private session may end with a moment of meditation, light breath work, and relaxation.

Your teacher will guide you into the very restful and meditative posture, Savasana. You practice this pose by lying comfortably on your back.

It is the time to quiet the mind, relax your entire body, and embrace all that you have achieved in your yoga practice.

a woman in savasana

5: Debriefing

After your final pose, you can have an opportunity to debrief or talk about how you are feeling after your yoga lesson. You get to ask questions and make observations.

Your teacher may also give you some “homework;” some postures or sequences that you can work on during the week to continue your practice. Lastly, you are welcome to schedule another session if it deems suitable.

These highly individualized private yoga lessons are definitely worth your time and money. They can certainly improve your overall physical practice, provide motivation to continue your dedication to yoga, and help you learn more about the yogic philosophy.

Where Do Private Yoga Classes Take Place?   

A private lesson can be done in the convenience of your own home, in a yoga studio, or in the instructor’s personal studio space.

The benefit of attending your lesson in a studio is that the instructor will have all the necessary props you may need for your lesson: blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets, etc. These can be great tools to assist you during your practice.

a picture of private yoga classes where a teacher supports a student in warrior 3

Often too, if you prefer to have a private session in the comfort of your own home, your yoga teacher will bring the props necessary for the practice.

How To Schedule Your Own Private Yoga classes

Contact your favorite yoga teacher from your local studio to see if they offer private lessons. If so, ask about their rates, specialty, and best way to schedule an appointment.

If you’re not acquainted with any local instructors, you can find one by visiting yoga organizations like Yoga Alliance. Their online resource can help you find yoga studios and teachers in your area. Review their credentials, expertise, and rates.

You can easily find an instructor that suits your needs. They will often have a personal website you can visit to schedule your lesson.

Some teachers may have you complete an online intake form to provide your intentions for an individualized yoga lesson. Others may even offer a free or low-cost in-person consultation so you can discuss your goals.

a teacher supports a student in downward dog

Enhance your yoga practice

Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the reasons why you would hire a private teacher, what to expect in your yoga lesson, and how to schedule an appointment. You will see an overall enhancement of your understanding and practice of yoga.

If you’re looking to take your yoga practice to the next level, how about diving deep into the philosophy of yoga?

Photo of author
John Cottrell is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and Certified Yoga Therapist residing in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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