Instead of giving out 5 minutes of quick fixes, I would rather develop an entire sequence that is tailored to address each individual's needs. I want to spend an hour working through that sequence to ensure they are holding their body and spirit gently.
People come to yoga for many different reasons. Some have physical ailments they are trying to heal through stretching. Some want to reduce stress and chill out for just one hour during their busy day. Some students want to get to know their bodies and feel better about themselves. Some seek spiritual guidance, and some are just curious about this yoga stuff.
I have taught multi-level yoga classes in gyms, community centers, hospitals, and studios over the past few years. In one class I might have an athlete, a pregnant woman, someone recovering from an injury, and someone completely new to yoga. One student might have shoulder issues, another with lower back pain, another with tight hamstrings, and another who wants to work on balance.
Teaching yoga classes is challenging in that sometimes I have to throw out the entire lesson plan I have created in order to address all these individual issues within the group. In doing so, I am able to customize the class, but sometimes the original intention or focus gets lost.
Private yoga sessions are a great way to learn poses and techniques that work for each individual student. For someone brand new to yoga, private sessions are perfect for learning yoga poses and building up the confidence to practice in a group class.
Private sessions allow us to design a personalized home practice that can be done at the student's leisure. We can also work on building a yoga practice around a specific focus, such as cultivating more compassion towards ourselves or boosting self-esteem by changing our relationship with our bodies.
Yoga Therapy is a way to rehab an injury, deal with a chronic illness, or work on internal issues that come up during yoga practice. For someone with a frozen shoulder or a recent knee replacement, we can devote the entire session to focusing on that particular part of the body and come up with a sequence that aids in healing. For a student with high anxiety, we can practice Restorative Yoga to focus on breathing and looking inward for peace and calm.
I typically meet my private clients in my home yoga studio. I have a dedicated space that is set up with everything we need to practice. I provide yoga mats, bolsters, blocks, straps, blankets, and a safe space in which to practice. Sometimes, I meet my clients in nearby parks to practice in fresh air with the grass under our feet. It is empowering to feel the support of the earth below and reach to the openness of the sky above.
Private yoga sessions allow me to be more creative in my teaching approach. If I'm working with a client who has high anxiety, I might suggest a walk & talk before we meet on the mat. A brief walk on a desert trail and an opportunity to say what's on their mind often clears the space for a more focused yoga practice.
During a private yoga session, I typically incorporate different forms of yoga to address specific areas of concern. If I have a student who is recovering from an injury, but is also dealing with depression, I would recommend restorative yoga to help cultivate self-compassion and a hatha yoga sequence to address the injury. Blending different styles of yoga tends to yield better overall results with clients because they are introduced to types of yoga they may never have heard of.
[caption id="attachment_24" align="alignright" width="300"] Restorative Yoga[/caption]I once had a student who wanted to increase her energy and get more restful sleep, but she also wanted to reduce her general anxiety. We worked with Kundalini yoga to build heat and move energy forcefully through the body followed by a few restorative yoga poses to teach the body how to fully relax in order to get a good night's sleep. The combination of these two approaches worked beautifully for her. She reported an improvement in her sleep quality after just one session.
As a yoga teacher, it is my goal to help my students find joy in their yoga practice. Through private sessions we are able to work together to achieve whatever goals they want to meet.
Yoga is a personal practice and a personal journey, not a competitive sport. I go to yoga to find inner peace and balance, not to feel even more stressed out about body issues. Through yoga, I have come to know my body better, and I have a greater appreciation of it.
When I feel strong and steady in my poses I gain confidence. When I can hold downward facing dog for longer periods of time each day, I feel accomplishment. When I surprise myself by trying a new pose and finding comfort in it, I find joy.
Join me on the mat by scheduling your private session. Even if you don't live in Tucson, I can meet you on Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. I have clients all over the country, and we practice together one-on-one no matter where they might be. For more info, visit www.wiseowlwellnessaz.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Namaste.