I had dinner this evening with a group of the women I worked with who recently completed their 200-hour yoga teacher training certification. Over the course of our conversation we talked about the questions they were receiving frequently from friends and family about their certification. The number one inquiry seems to be, “So are you going to open your own yoga studio now?”
Teaching yoga is not about owning a studio. Teaching yoga is not even about teaching at a studio. Teaching yoga is about being of service to others. And we are all called differently to serve. I know teachers who serve in an extremely diverse and broad range including…
– Teaching yoga in a studio setting
– Teaching yoga in a gym setting
– Teaching yoga to CrossFitters
– Teaching yoga classes in a corporate environment
– Teaching kids yoga
– Teaching teen yoga
– Teaching seniors yoga
– Teaching yoga in prisons
– Teaching yoga to cancer patients
– Teaching free community yoga in the park
– Teaching pre-natal yoga
– Teaching yoga to trauma survivors
– Teaching yoga to vets
– Teaching yoga privates
So you see, there are so many ways to serve beyond a traditional studio setting. You have to be open to the possibilities. Yoga is so beautiful because it’s not this one packaged simple thing. There are so many forms of it and there’s a version for everyone. Whether it’s the gentlest, most meditative and restorative form or whether it’s fast, hot and challenging. It’s there waiting.
One of the most powerful and rewarding ways that I have found to serve students is through private yoga sessions. This applies to both long-term relationships and one-off privates to work on certain skills/questions. The issue with both students and teachers is that we don’t feel confident enough to reach out and ask for or offer private yoga.
Let me share my experience on yoga privates as both a student and a teacher. When I was new to my practice (like in month one!), I was convinced that I needed a private yoga lesson because I wasn’t doing any of the poses right. But I was too scared to follow through with scheduling a session with a teacher. I was intimidated. So I continued to come to class regularly and figure it out for myself. That was fine and worked well enough but once I saw what can happen via private yoga from a teaching perspective, it made me so wish I would have followed through in the early days.
When I first left my full-time job almost three years ago to pursue yoga and fitness as my career, I somehow stumbled across a private yoga instruction opportunity. When I first started this private, my client couldn’t touch his toes, couldn’t hold a side plank, couldn’t balance on one leg and was dealing with a medical issue that left him with debilitating cramps in his muscles. I was a relatively new yoga teacher at the time and had been teaching for less than six months. I did the best that I could to share what I knew with my client and he did his best to commit to the process.
Fast forward to the present day and we are still working together and meeting twice a week. I have been through countless milestones with him from balancing in a strong side plank to holding dancer on his own to being able to lift up into full wheel with no support or assistance. It’s been an amazing transformation to be a part of. We constantly reference, “do you remember when…???” He has told me on countless occasions that yoga has changed his life and improved his quality of life. I am eternally grateful for everything we have taught each other over the last few years.
There’s also the yoga privates that I meet with just once or twice. The ones who want to ask questions like, “What does chair pose really feel like?” or “How do I do “xxx” arm balance/inversion?” or “How do I backbend so that I don’t feel it in my lower back?” I can’t tell you how many of these privates that I’ve done that have been FULL of aha moments! Sometimes all it takes is getting out of the classroom dynamic and being relaxed and open to learning and trying new things for magic to happen. I don’t think that I’ve ever taught a single private that didn’t result in photo taking, high fives and new milestones.
So to students and teachers…do not be intimidated by privates! They can be so beneficial whether you are looking to start yoga but want a one-on-one customized experience or if you’re a yogi looking to fine-tune or grow your practice. For my fellow teachers, don’t be scared to offer them. They are extremely rewarding and you have so much knowledge to share. Embrace that!
I’m honored to be part of The Yogipreneur community and a part of The ♥ Your Community Blog Blog Tour. This post is a contribution to You and the Yoga Mat’s Yoga Teacher Blog Tour. Missed yesterday’s post? For more on the power of yoga privates, check out my fellow Charlotte blogger Nicole Anthony over at Anchored Yoga. She shares three ways to empower your yoga privates and give them a voice. AND don’t forget to check out the host and founder of Lady Business Radio, Jessica Kupfermen.
Have you ever taken or considered a yoga private?