1) You’re a celebrity. Ok, but even if you’re not Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Novak Djokovic or Barbie, more “regular” people do private yoga than you might think. Maybe it’s the golfer down the street who doesn’t want his buddies to know the real reason behind his improved game or the Mom who can’t leave the kids alone, but doesn’t want to put them in the nursery at the gym to do group exercise yoga.
2) Your same ol’ strength training routine at the gym is feeling stale and tedious; besides, it isn’t really helping your yoga. People don’t think twice about paying a sometimes minimally qualified personal trainer $1+/minute to follow them around w/ a clipboard doing basic exercises and keeping them company on the treadmill. But, just think about it: yoga is a lot more complex and comprehensive than conventional fitness when you consider the intricacies of breathing and meditating on top of the physical postures. Yoga offers all the benefits of personal training and then some. Instead of over developing large muscle groups, you have more balanced development across more muscles, not to mention more balancing, more attention to posture and all the cognitive and immune system benefits of meditation. Your “yoga body” will require less upkeep and maintenance when you go on holiday or hiatus, and you can practice anywhere with just a towel, no need for a gym. Try upping your yoga and hit the treadmill, walk or run, as classical yoga wasn’t really meant to be a cardio workout in the modern sense.
3) You want to get more out of your group classes. Private yoga need not be a substitute for the group experience–community is key to health and wellness. Some things can’t always be covered in-depth a group setting like philosophy and more advanced versions of the poses. Maybe you just want to learn how to better adapt the poses so you’re more at ease. It’s OK to want to improve and move up the curve a little more quickly. Private yoga does just that but I like to give a price break on the group classes so you’ll keep coming!
4) You can’t quite trust yourself to keep that yoga appointment for your group class. Nothing like someone showing up on your doorstep who’s not afraid to look in the windows and even head around to the back if you don’t answer. I know you’re in there; I know you don’t always feel like doing yoga, but I’m going to find you!
5) Yoga your way. Want to do yoga with your dog–doga–why not? Want to involve your kids, spouse, BFF or maybe just not have to get in the car AGAIN? Want to tailor yoga to your mood and energy level on a particular day? Want to explore a therapeutic practice for a certain physical or psychological condition? All great reasons for private yoga!
6) You have a health condition that can’t be accommodated in a group setting. My students know I’m hands-on and offer a lot of assistance; that said, you can’t be too needy to the detriment of the group, leaving them feeling like bystanders to your yoga. Maybe you have low energy, pain, or balance issues due to Lyme’s, cancer, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, MS, Parkinson’s, etc. If you’re taking it “one day at a time” you need the flexibility to have totally restorative practice one day and something more energetic as your health permits. You also need someone who can take the time to understand your situation and meet you where you are.
How does it work? Is it expensive?
Private yoga is like anything else–you can expect to pay about a buck a minute. If you live close and are willing to do an off-peak time, I can work with you on price. You need to commit a month at a time. We look down the calendar together over the next 4 weeks, set a schedule and take care of payments. As with all service providers–tennis pros, personal trainers, massage therapists–time is money. I can’t accommodate last-minute cancellations when it’s time I’ve already set aside. That said, I have more leeway to offer re-dos than most personal trainers in gyms or studios should an emergency arise.
Who is successful?
As with group classes, the students who treat their yoga like a doctor’s appointment are the ones who thrive. Having a partner, spouse or friend in a “duet” situation is good for commitment and a great way to spend time with loved ones. It also helps keep the cost down; and, if you know you’ll have scheduling challenges and that other person is OK going solo, it’s better for all of us! Continuing the group class is also key. A twice-per-week commitment is solid and can be life-changing.
After so many years in this business, I can tell when it’s starting to “come off the rails” for people. I start to get emails about how busy they are, the requests to reschedule or postpone come more frequently offering more dramatic details about why they can’t keep their appointment with themselves or with me. I file this all under “aversion behavior” and frankly, it’s nothing that I tolerate for too long. I’ve been known to gracefully bow out of an aversion spiral beyond my control. There are only so many time slots available and I want to teach people who understand the importance of self-care and make it a priority. Is that you?
Roving Yoga Guru, Work/Life Balance Expert, and Founder of Yoga HotDish, Shaila is a caring and compassionate Yoga Instructor who enjoys working with real people using the transformative power of yoga. Read More.