7 surprising benefits you can only get from private yoga lessons (and how to make the most of them)

The benefits of having a private yoga class are surprising and wonderful.  I don't think I've ever had a private yoga class myself and said I wish I hadn't done that!

As a yoga student (as well as a teacher) I know that the time and investment into private yoga lessons have made a huge difference in my practice and my teaching.

Please note:  I understand that having a private yoga lesson can be a little intimidating to consider.  Especially if you are mostly used to practicing yoga in a class setting.  Many students like to  “disappear” into a class with other students.  So a private session is a very different thing.  I completely understand that a private lesson can be a bit scary as it is time all focused on you.

So I invite you to read on to discover 7 surprising benefits of having a private yoga lesson...

One Student :  One teacher : One Lesson
The lesson plans that I use in my classes come from Kaiut Yoga, they are brilliant, exact and precise.   The instructions are given to reach all the students in the room.  And I can modify the instructions to accommodate different restrictions within different bodies as I teach.  In my Kaiut Yoga training I was taught not to teach one class to 12 students, but rather teach 12 students and give each one an individual class. 

While this is a clear direction and intention.  It will never be the same as getting the individual and sustained attention for a full hour. One Student:  You. One lesson – it’s tailored for you, your restrictions, what to look for, what to explore more, where to do deeper, where to relax. And One teacher – all for you.

Double Focus

Having private yoga lessons means you get double focus.  In a class your focus is on you.  My focus on you as a teacher can only ever be partially there, as I have to keep scanning the whole room. But in a private yoga class, when you put your awareness on your right knee.  I as the teacher also put my awareness on your right knee.  There is double focus. Double attention. You may not see things I can see.  I can point out issues that maybe blind spots in your body.   The power of attention to change things on the atomic level is scientifically proven. Quantum physics has shown us that when something has attention placed on it, it shifts.      So putting the attention of two minds gives double the focus. Double the energy  Between your focus and mine we are more likely to discover things, see things and be able to explore things in more depth.

Less is more

We have to let go of the idea that being busy is good. That doing more is sexy. That we are better people because we achieve so much. It’s not healthy to live in a bigger, better, faster more culture. There is too much sustained damage done to our nervous systems.   In a one to one class I ask you to lower your expectations.  Let go of  the need for  achievement. I invite you to see that less is more.  Say for example we decide to look at the neck.  We may explore some neck rotations.  I might ask you to turn the neck to the left.  Then to turn to the right (see my free class plan for 7 Yoga moves for everyone). We might spend all of our time taking a detailed look at neck movements, exploring and feeling those movements in a variety of ways.  A private yoga class enables you to do less, and therefore have more attention to a particular joint or area of the body.

Go slowly

Timing is everything.  As I have been practicing Kaiut Yoga for a couple of years now, and have 20 year long practice of yoga before that.  This means that when I practice for myself,  I have to stay in a posture for a long while to feel what a student might feel in the first 10 seconds of being in a posture. 

So when I follow a class plan for a general class, I am taking the length of time in each posture that the class plan recommends. 

With you, in a  private yoga lesson I can shorten or lengthen the time according to your strength, awareness and capacity. This gives us flexibility to create a tailor made experience designed specifically for you. And to go really slowly so you can feel each posture or position just for the right amount of time for you. 

Speak out the feeling

In a group class everyone tends to stay silent.  Just listen to the teacher and keep quiet.  I often ask at the end of a class for you to approach me if you have any questions. And some students do.  However during the class itself, if you get confused or unsure of a movement or posture, you probably take a quick glance at your neighbour and adjust yourself that way.  Or maybe you ask a question.  Especially if I’m in one of my dyslexic modes and tell you to put the bolster on your head rather than your head on the bolster.😁

A private yoga class can be much more about the dialogue between you and me as your teacher.  I might ask you to talk as you experience and feel.  My most common question to you is “how does that feel?” and I explore with you the changes in feelings as they arise in the moment.

However that’s not to say that we talk a lot.  The Kaiut method allows for meditation to be part of the practice.  The mindfulness, the relaxation of the nervous system, the precise instruction and the deep inquiry into the body all lend themselves to a natural silence and meditative state to arise.  So in a private yoga class whether you are speaking out the feeling or silently feeling the body, the profound benefits of the practice will surface to be seen.

Explore the Issues

When you come for a private class you are able to relax to your own pace.  I will take the time to establish the rhythm and the structure of the class with you so that it is exactly tailored to your needs.
If you have a particular issue, maybe an injury or point of inquiry, we can explore, look at and maintain that focus.  Kaiut Yoga has been used in Brazil for many, many health issues- some of which I list below.  The surprising approach of Kaiut and the benefit of coming for Private Yoga Lessons is that we probably won’t spend much time looking at your “issue” or the problem directly.  Rather we will be able to focus on the whole body and see where the restrictions, the blocks or the tenderness might be stored. We may then focus on one area.   And that area may be far, far away from where the presenting issue is felt.

For example: your hips might be the “problem” but as we work on your feet and ankles we discover that the hips are acting in a way that is probably compensating for the lack of mobility in the feet.  Francisco Kaiut guesses that our feet work at 30% capacity. I would say I’ve seen feet that have been working at 10%. That’s so exciting to discover because that means that there is an untapped potential of 90% extra movement, strength, balance, flexibility and fluidity that can be put back into the feet.  Then your hips start to respond differently. And both the presenting issue and the hidden issue are dealt with. 

Over time 

We live in a time where we look for quick fixes. Ready meals. Fast food.  Instant gratification.  Yoga is no exception.  When  people come to me with any of their issues which could be any or many. I am aware of the culture of the “quick fix” at work. People have high expectations and I want to say – yes keep your high expectations, but change your time frame.

Francisco Kaiut – the founder of the Kaiut Method has been working with the same people in his studios for many, many years and therefore seen the slow steady progression of their practice. He describes this one gentleman in the following passage that's transcribed from a recent webinar (Hanuman Academy April 2019 interview)

 Francisco: "[this student] just told me one day at the water fountain that he was celebrating his 15th anniversary of yoga this week – that drew my attention entirely at that moment and I said “how was that?”  And his response was pretty remarkable. He said

    “Well you know, I believe I use to have a lot more physical issues in the past before doing yoga, and just a couple of years ago I was realising that stuff I thought would be with me forever, is no longer present in my life:  mostly circulatory issues and discomforts and … my mobility.  And as you know, Kaiut Yoga, this is the only thing I do. Other than come to classes twice a week, I don’t do anything else, I just work in my office. And I read and I write.  But I feel that my mobility is getting better and better and that my health state is getting better and better – and I know that I’m getting older because I can see it in the mirror, but I cannot feel it anywhere in my system in anyway”.

 Francisco: "And that was for me mind-blowing, because this man started taking classes with me 15 years ago when he was actually 65 and he said this when he was turning 80." 

Francisco and his teachers have been teaching The Kaiut Yoga method in Brazil for the past 25 years.  The team there have worked with people with Immune System Disorders, Nervous System rebalancing, Arthritis and any stiffness, swelling and pain in the joints, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, Planta Fascia, Hip/Knee/Shoulder issues and replacements, Sciatica, Back Pain. Carpel tunnel syndrome, and many, many other presenting issues. And these results are because the students commit (like the man above) to attend to their bodies using the Kaiut Method at least twice a week for years.  So private yoga classes will give you the headstart the support to sustain your practice, they will give you many benefits that over time you will start to feel.  And you may just have one single class a year!   And if you stay committed to do your own exercises at home for a whole year until your next class you may find yourself astonished at the changes. 

If you are interested in having a private yoga class with Kathy please purchase your class here and then email kathy@kathywhiteyoga.com to arrange a suitable time.  Some weekend slots are available.  

If you would like to visit and stay,  Kathy opens her studio on the beautiful Vancouver Island  for private tailor made weekend retreats (including 6 private classes) from May until September every year. Please see details here. 

Disclaimer:  Kathy White is trained and certified in the Kaiut Yoga technique.  She is not a medical health practitioner nor a doctor.  You should always inform your doctor. first of your intention to practice yoga. In  private yoga classes with Kathy White, you will be taught specific postures and a methodology of mindfulness that is the Kaiut Yoga Method. Kathy does not claim to heal or be able to improve any specific issue, nor claim to treat or teach specifics for healing. Kathy will modify and change postures according to your mobility levels so you can have a Kaiut Yoga practice tailor made for you. The health issues that are listed (above) come from information from the work done in the Kaiut Studios in Brazil where there has been success in helping people with those diseases or issues to regain mobility and health. 


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