5 Common Results of a Private Yoga Practice
Updated: Jan 11
You might be wondering, "Will private yoga help me?"
Perhaps you experience chronic pain and stiffness, and feel tight and immobile in your body. You might be wondering how you will age. You may be wanting to feel better in your body and move and live your life with greater ease.
Let's dive in to paint a clearer picture of how private yoga may help and support you with what you need and want.
All sessions wrap up with Corpse Pose (Savasana). It requires absolutely no effort. It's a pose to let go and passively integrate your practice. No matter if the practice was more strenuous or more stretchy, we always end sessions with deep rest. We don't often allow ourselves to simply be. Savasana is there to allow you to do just that. To lie down or sit, giving yourself space and time. And since private sessions are scheduled at a time that works well for you, they can be adapted to give you as much time as you'd like in savasana. You have the chance to savor that sweet relaxation long after the movement portion of class is over; some of my clients even add in blankets and pillows to get extra cozy and supported.
While overall comfy and restful, savasana is also working on a deeper level:
“Savasana stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (your rest and digest response) and calms your sympathetic nervous system (your fight, flight and freeze response)", states international yoga teacher Noah Mazé.
We are all processing a lot of information, experiences, and stresses, to a degree. Savasana is a place you can return to no matter what, let it all go, and surrender.
But it can be harder to go from that state of preoccupation to trying to focus on the breath or not fidget lying down with nothing to do but rest.
Often times we come to yoga or meditation with our mind buzzing with a variety of thoughts, worries, things that we want to resolve or control, plans for later or a mind that is busy analyzing things that have already happened. And this valid; the mind is just doing it's job.
After moving through a practice that shifts your awareness onto your body and breath, you are in a more ideal state to transition into rest and to let everything go.
2. Body Awareness
During private sessions, poses are verbally cued. For example, for a seated twist; "bring your right hand to your left knee as you turn the chest towards the left". As you move through the poses, you're integrating what you're hearing with where your body is in space, amplifying your body awareness. Instead of simply mirroring a shape you're seeing, you're becoming aware of these different parts of your body and exploring how your feel as you move.
A lot of our experiences are focused up in the head, which makes sense; that's where we eat, breathe, speak, think, hear, and see. But it's also helpful to illuminate awareness in the rest of the body as well.
The more you practice, the more refined your awareness and coordination will be, and this translates off the mat as well in your ability to go about your day from a more embodied, integrated place.
Private sessions will also usually include hands-on adjustments. Whether its a foot massage at the end of class or hands on the shoulders to invite the muscles to soften, that touch draws the mind's focus to different parts of the body.
3. A sense of accessible self-care
Throughout private yoga sessions, you'll explore a variety of postures and movements. Some may immediately feel great and others might feel like more effort or a bit harder to move into.
And since you are developing your practice with an indivdual instructor, sessions are created with you specificallly in mind- what will likely feel good and then what poses will be helpful for other areas of growth. If a pose is harder, it can be adapted to work with your unique body. In this way, the practice becomes accessible no matter what your level is.
You're able to care for yourself through poses and movements that are offered to support and serve you individually.
Self-care can also show up differently to different people at different times. It may be going for a walk in nature or going to a dance class, or sitting down with a cup of tea and reading.
So if one day you show up to your session exhausted and overhwhelmed, the yoga will be meet you there. Meaning, the session will adhere to your needs that day, perhaps a more grounding meditative practice.
You don't have to be any certain way to take care of yourself, just showing up is enough. And that can make showing up easier.
4. Progress with your specific goals
With a private yoga session, you have the luxury of communicating your unique intentions and goals. This specificity makes the practice more effective in working towards your goals. What you need can change over time and the instructor will continually adapt the sessions to help support you best.
Let's say you want to strengthen your core and work on balance. When your instructor knows this, they can design your sessions around these goals so that with consistent practice, you will see the results you are seeking.
It's also helpful to have consistent sessions with the same instructor because they are able to track your progress and reflect back to you things they've noticed that have shifted over time in your practice. It feels supportive to build a consistent and intentional relationship with the instructor; to have them learn about you, your goals, and to acknowledge how you feel and the progress you're making.
5. Mental focus and clarity
A lot of our minds are scattered and bombarded with information and thoughts. And understandably so! There is a lot of stimulation around us and things that keep us busy.
Even when not busy, sometimes the mind is preoccupied with something or we overthink or are anxious about something and try to solve it mentally.
Yoga is a useful tool in this regard because it gives the mind something to focus on. During practice, often we aren't exactly "thinking" about what's being done but rather letting our bodies be guided into movements and focusing on feeling what's going on.
After some time doing that, when we return to the rest of our day, there is some relief and spaciousness in the mind.
Practicing focusing during yoga translates off the mat as well. We can step back into our lives with greater ability to focus, greater awareness, and greater sense of clarity and ease.
In a private session, it is likely to be easier to focus. There aren't any mirrors to distract you, nobody else in class to compare yourself to, and if there is music on, it's your personal preference.
Ready to practice?