Benefits of Private Yoga Instruction
These days yoga is a three billion dollar industry, and yoga is often marketed as a high end fitness solution with drop in classes ranging from $19 to $25 per head. Classes are typically held in a dance studio environment where the teacher instructs students to move in a choreographed fashion to a carefully curated play list that has been selected specifically for the sequence. Often teachers bring their own personal flare to the class, using personal projection to subtly teach the principles behind the physical practice of yoga. Outside of classes, yoga studios market workshops and yoga teacher trainings, but what is available for the student who wants to deepen their practice and learn more about the eight limbed path of yoga as a lifestyle?
Private yoga instruction is a wonderful option for practitioners looking to integrate yoga into their lives as a lifestyle. Private yoga instruction is not a new offering. An ancient way of passing yoga from teacher to student, it has been overshadowed by the scale of studio offerings, but its benefits are more profound than a year of back to back yoga classes. Private yoga instruction offers students a window into the ancient healing wisdom of yoga, meditation, pranayama, and self study that have helped billions of people worldwide cultivate a peaceful existence. Let’s look at the top 5 reasons you should add regular private yoga lessons to your wellness routine.
Increased Focus and Concentration
You may notice your focus and concentration improving as your practice deepens. Concentration is one of the eight steps along the yogic path laid out in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Concentration is required to practice yoga and meditation, alike. In yoga, the physical poses, or asanas, help the practitioner to concentration on balance, stability, and ease on the mat. After the physical practice, the student is taught to meditate which leverages the concentration learned and practiced during the physical practice of yoga. Working with a private instructor can help you to develop an awareness of where you hold back physically, where you loose concentration, and where you lack stability. Learning about one’s self in this way helps to develop and mature through self study, another principle along the path of yoga. This deeper study is difficult to teach in a larger public class, but it is vital to the integration of yoga into the practitioners life if the practice is to be more than just aerobics.
A Restful Night’s Sleep
Consistent yoga asana practice, meditation, and pranayama helps your nervous system reset itself after a busy day. When the body’s sympathetic nervous system is allowed to let go the parasympathetic nervous system can take over and do it’s job. The sympathetic nervous system is designed to keep you responsive. It’s the primary part of your nervous system responsible for fight or flight, and it keeps you in a reactive state. As we wind down, our nervous system waits for the signal that it’s time for the parasympathetic nervous system to get to work rebuilding our cells and digesting our food. When we go from task to task we sometimes forget to unwind consciously. The unconscious gripping from the day’s to do list can make going to sleep a challenge. By practicing yoga you are literally practicing using the sympathetic nervous system to move through challenging postures, and then you practice letting go and allowing rest. When you work with a teacher privately you learn ways to leverage the tools of yoga off the mat to help you get the most out life. Your yoga teacher should be able to help you create a nightly routine that helps you to fall asleep and get the most out of your rest and relaxation.
The Ability to Respond Rather Than React
The practice of Yoga is often times portrayed as calm and centered. It is true that one of the byproducts of a yoga practice is an effortless calm and grounded feeling, but have you ever wondered how to take the hours you put into yoga class and translate practice into a heaping spoonful of calm when you’re in a reactive state? I’m sure you have, and so have many other people. Essentially, at the end of the day yoga works because of the philosophy behind it. The fundamental principle of yoga is observation without judgment, or mindfulness. People say this word “mindfulness” all the time without really understanding what it is, but in a nutshell mindfulness means observation without judgment. A yoga teacher is a mindfulness professional. With hundreds of hours of training, yoga teachers have more training than many personal trainers and even professional teachers. Working one on one with a yoga teacher will teach you the skills, tools, and practices that will help you to transform your life through the lens of mindfulness and meditation.
A Regular Digestive System
Daily yoga practice helps to strengthen circadian rhythms in the body which in turn support both your sleep and your digestion. If you’re struggling with digestive issues perhaps a weekly yoga session with a local instructor might be just what the doctor ordered. In my personal experience, it only takes around six weeks for digestion to become smooth, consistent, and regular when you add a daily yoga routine to your schedule. Working with a yoga teacher privately will help you to identify your primary constitution which tells you how your body and your metabolism behave when balanced as well as how they behave when out of balance. This information can be a vital tool to helping you feel your best. A deepened awareness of your body and the way your body and mind work together will help you to recognize signs of dis-ease before they precipitate into actual disease. In this way, private yoga instruction is a preventative measure that goes a long way.
A Profoundly Healing Relationship With Yourself
At the heart of Yoga is the philosophy that we are all embodiments of Divinity. Although Yoga is not a religious practice, it is a profoundly spiritual practice in that it seeks to connect you to your highest power through awareness and stillness. Yoga recognizes the highest and most profound teacher to be within you already, and this is a concept that sometimes needs the support of a trained teacher. Yoga teachers are trained in mindfulness and the practices of yoga, but they also have experiential knowledge of what it feels like, looks like, and sounds like to have a deeply loving and connected relationship to Self. Working one on one with someone who has a practice of self care, yoga, meditation, and devotion to Divinity can be a profoundly transformative experience, and well worth the time and expense.
Of course, if you’re interested in improving your alignment, understanding the benefits of the poses, or getting into handstand these topics are also best handled by a trained yoga teacher. I personally loved working with both of my teachers. It was a profound experience and one that I will never forget. Working one on one with a private yoga instructor gave me the confidence to love myself unconditionally, and it taught me to feel into my body’s wisdom and healing potential. Of all of the personal development I’ve ever engaged in, private yoga instruction has by far been the most profound gift I’ve ever given to myself. So the next time your considering treating yourself or learning something new, consider booking a few private yoga sessions with your favorite yoga instructor. I have no doubt it will change your life!