My cell phone rings and I answer, “This is Mod. You’re looking for yoga lessons? Great! I teach group classes and I also give private instruction.” The conversation goes back and forth for several minutes, until the potential student on the other end of the call decides that group classes are more financially feasible… for now. With the current state of the economy, most people are looking for a deal, and at first consideration, private training of any sort doesn’t really seem to fit the bill. However, what almost always holds true is the oh-so-hackneyed phrase, “You get what you pay for.” So, here’s the real deal on private yoga lessons.
Logic tells us that a 30+ to 1 student/teacher ratio is not the most ideal learning environment. Whether the subject is mathematics in our public schools or mind/body awareness in our local yoga studio, the situation is the same. A good yoga instructor will always make her rounds during class, adjusting students and offering pose variations. However, in a class of 30, or even 15, how much time does an instructor really have to spend with each student during a 90 minute class, especially if any of those students have special needs? One-on-one yoga lessons offer students the most teacher attention, and this is particularly beneficial for students who have injuries or existing conditions that cannot be given the proper attention in a 45-second adjustment, before the teacher moves on to the next student.
Every yoga student learns at her own pace, and the path to yogic bliss may require frequent, longer-than-45-second stops along the way for healing, rehabilitation, in-depth alignment instruction, and/or anything else that she may want to learn. Private yoga lessons allow for the most efficient use of time, because they cater to one student’s individual needs, abilities, and so-called shortcomings. The exceptionally limber student may not always have the opportunity to work toward placing her feet behind her head if the remainder of the class cannot even touch their toes. On the flip side, the arthritic student may not be able to keep up with a group of healthy dancers who just happen to show up in class that day. With private lessons, the learning curve spikes. Students can learn more and faster in a one-on-one environment than they do in even the most awesome class catered to 15 different yoga tastes.
Yoga instructors are human (though some are so in touch with their spiritual side, they almost seem supernatural). Personally, I try to remember the name of every student in my classes, but realistically, it can take me a few times to get it right. If I only see a student once a week, it becomes more difficult, and it may take me a few weeks to get it right. Taking into consideration the fact that most instructors teach multiple classes per week, it’s no wonder that it’s a challenge for instructors to remember every student’s aches, pains, special conditions, pose requests, and so forth. If a student wants a program that is truly catered to her needs, whatever they may be, one-on-one lessons can be invaluable. The instructor can watch the progress of her private student and develop a program that spans weeks or months (not just 90 min.) that will effectively move the student toward her goal.
Developing a weekly or daily yoga routine is key to maintaining the personal commitment needed to transform the yoga from occasional class to lifestyle. However, busy schedules make it increasingly difficult to participate in a class during the gym’s prescribed time. Since timing can be everything in creating a wellness regime, students can use private lessons to their own schedule’s advantage. Don’t have enough time to make it to class right after work? Have to be at the kids’ soccer game during the class taught by your favorite yoga instructor? Don’t feel like waiting around for 2 hours between work and class? No problem. Just schedule yourself in for a private lesson. The process really eliminates excuses for failing to keep up with a personal yoga program.
Essentially, the value of private yoga lessons is the following: Students can learn as much in a conveniently scheduled 1-hour private as they do in 3 to 4 90-minute group lessons. In terms of time and money, that’s definitely a deal! Now, just schedule a private lesson to experience how such an effective system can improve your fitness and wellness routine!