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Yoga Teacher Training

Many yoga classes today are designed for a group format. However, there is a growing number of yoga practitioners, advanced and beginner who could benefit from a private yoga class.

Private Yoga Classes are desirable for all levels of yoga practitioners.  The biggest benefit is one on one instruction to learn or develop into more advanced poses.  This time can also be used to bring attention to alignments and modifications to make poses more accessible.  Time can also be spent on making poses safer for the student if they are doing them incorrectly. Private yoga classes can offer students the opportunity to rehabilitate or get back into yoga if they have sustained an injury. Keep in mind that rehabilitation and treatment plans are the responsibility of the student and their physician or physical therapist and the yoga practice, whether in private or group settings should be performed under the care of a qualified physician.

One of the other benefits of taking private yoga classes is the ability to progress in poses.  Since each teacher is different you may not be able to practice the same poses week after week unless you have a dedicated home practice. Working in a private setting allows you to set an intention to work on a specific pose and each week be able to practice or advance in that poses. Similarly, private yoga classes allow you to work on more difficult and challenging poses that a teacher may not feel comfortable offering in a regular yoga class.

Private yoga classes can be designed to incorporate other aspects of yoga that might not be incorporated into a regular class. A good example of this is meditation and mantra.  These two activities are important to a yoga practice, but instructors may not be able to dedicate as much time some elements due to class times or student attendance.

In order to develop a private yoga class, the first and most important step is to get to know your student. Just like a physician uses an intake form, a yoga practitioner can do the same.

Here are seven things you should know about your potential student.

  1. Recent or chronic injuries.

Please note here that unless the yoga instructor is specifically trained, their role is not to treat or cure any injury, but only to adapt the yoga class to suit the student.  It is also vitally important that you know your student has been cleared by their medical professional to take part in the yoga classes.

  1. Current activity level.

This can help gauge the students current level of fitness and develop the appropriate classes or series of classes.

  1. Experience and familiarity with yoga.

Private yoga classes are for new and advanced students.  New students to yoga like the one-on-one attention to get to know the poses before they immerse into a regular yoga class.  Students looking to advance their practice like this as well but on the other end of the spectrum to perfect poses that may be more deemed more difficult.

  1. Favorite Poses or Poses They Want to Work On.

If your client has some favorite yoga poses it is a nice thing to incorporate into a class.  This can help them get feedback on alignment, contraindications and modifications, and ways to advance those poses or incorporate different transitions.  But, make sure you don’t just stick to these favorite poses, your student will appreciate learning new poses under the tutelage of a private class.

  1. Concerns about Doing Yoga.

Your student may be coming to this private class specifically because of concerns, anxiety or real fear of taking a group class.  It is important to gauge if this is something that can be managed in a private yoga class or if it requires the intervention of more of a Yoga Therapist.  It might be a good idea to get the names of Yoga Therapists in your area you may be able to refer them to.

  1. Goals of the Private Yoga Sessions

As a yoga instructor you may set intentions for every class but do you understand what your student’s goals are when they come to class? This is even more important when you are offering private classes.   Some goals may be to work up to taking a group class; improving their health or physical fitness, advancing their personal practice.  By understanding the goals of the sessions you can better personalize your classes and outline the best reccomendations.

  1. Are they are Interested in Taking a Group Class

There are plenty of students who may never take a group yoga class, this is great for the teachers who can offer them private sessions. But, if there are people who want to eventually merge into a group class, you can help them do that.  Offer to take a group class with them when they are ready, or invite them to your group classes if you also teach those.  Many yoga teachers also offer group privates so you could structure your one-on-one private classes to eventually work up to group privates than group classes as people get more comfortable.

When conducting a private yoga class be sure to infuse it with your own unique style including readings, music and intentions.  It is your personality that will inspire students to want to work with you.