Going Private...with Yoga
Yoga has come to be a word that envelops a wide range of very different practices. And, in most cases, it would not be fair to group certain practices and exercises under the same description. This is most true when talking about Yoga Therapy. Yoga Therapy is NOT like "regular" yoga. It does not really look anything like the classes you take at your local studio and it definitely does not feel the same. Furthermore, it's not a practice that can be utilized in a group setting. It's individual, one-on-one, customized programming to meet the needs of a specific person. It is Private Yoga.
Now, of course, not all Private Yoga sessions would, at first glance, be considered Yoga Therapy because they might include a little flow or some "sexy" postures. But, ultimately, Private Yoga is Yoga Therapy for everyone who does it. Because of it's intimacy, private yoga students enjoy much more hands on attention with more specific instruction to both ensure that they are safe and to help deepen their practice. This customized instruction then lends itself to a more frequent use of props and more conversation around how each pose feels. And, there's a lot more talking in Private Yoga. Students and teachers get to know each other very well, with the teacher spending at least a few minutes before each session to discuss how the student is doing. Private Yoga teacher's want to know all they can about their students in regards to physical status, mental/emotional health, lifestyle, relationship situation, career landscape; really anything is relevant. As a result, private classes are tailored to address all areas of life, improving and transforming clients' lives on all levels.
Interestingly, most private yoga students do not also take "regular" group yoga classes. In fact, most private yoga students did not even begin their journey because they wanted to learn yoga; they began yoga as a technique to help them with a specific concern, ailment or injury. And this is a big distinction. Private Yoga students and Group Yoga students are of two very different groups, so it must be understood that these groups are receiving very different services.
So, how do you know if you are a Private Yoga or Group Yoga student? A Private Yoga student approaches yoga with a mindset that goes beyond the system of exercise. They are looking to address a specific need and want specific instruction in accordance with that need. They are not concerned with breaking a sweat or making sure the class includes backbends. A Private Yoga student has a strong desire mixed with the motivation for change. These students are often coming to yoga with a desperate need for some kind of change. They want to work in a way which will make them better and they are committed to listening and following through. Private Yoga students are also consistent and dedicated. They understand that to really make progress, you need to work regularly and diligently in moving towards your goals. And, most importantly, Private Yoga students are open. They share with their teacher, giving feedback and letting them know what's going on with them. They let themselves be vulnerable, giving them an opportunity for great change and transformation.
I encourage every practitioner of yoga (or not!) to take at least one private class sometime in their life. The differences in both the type of Yoga instruction you will receive and the results you will feel will be quite obvious. And even if your private session does not look like a "physical therapy yoga session", you will definitely feel like you had some Yoga Therapy afterward!