Yoga has become a popular cross-training and fitness activity for many people in the past few years. That makes sense, because many sports create imbalances that yoga can address, and a consistent yoga practice can help develop strength, flexibility and endurance — all key components of fitness. But the benefits go well beyond fitness. Yoga can provide a path to WELLNESS, which is slightly different.
Wellness includes mind, breath, alignment, physical and emotional healing, and stress release. These are the less visible attributes of a healthy person, but contribute the most to our overall health, don’t you think?
So, joining a class of 20 or 25 students can provide you with a great community fitness experience — and you should do that as often as you can!
But to get the kind of Wellness that is unique to YOU, that addresses your tight hips, your diabetes, your depression, your relationships, your back pain, your migraines, your ADHD, your anger, your bunion, or your weak core muscles, you MUST get some personal attention.
A private or small group yoga session will help you find the Wellness in Yoga. Even if it is just 2 or 3 sessions, that teach you how to address your issues in the local yoga class you attend, it will provide you with much-needed modifications, adjustments, recommendations, and confidence to enjoy a yoga practice that is best for YOU —
mind, body and soul.
For more consistent attention or to address a chronic ailment, private yoga can provide a nurturing environment that allows the student – teacher relationship to guide the practice at each session. Therapeutic sequences, poses, and supports can help to realign imbalances, that can provide relief to a variety of issues.
How do you choose the right teacher for you? There are many yoga groups and private yoga instructors you can search for, but for now, you can reach out to the yogi closest to you and just ask for a short one-on-one basics class. No matter how long you’ve been practicing (or not), practicing basic poses with a teacher privately will give you a good sense of their style and will help you remember or establish good habits for the foundational poses. Then, just like in many of our other relationships, you will either “click” with this person or not. Your own comfort level and connection to the teacher is the most important element in choosing a private yoga teacher.
If there is no connection, then you will have learned a bit more about yoga and can continue to be open to recommendations or connections that occur naturally.
Most importantly, please remember that yoga is several layers deeper than the flexibility of a pose. If you allow yoga to enter your daily habits, your mind-set, your
relationships and self-development, you will begin to experience some of the greater joys of true YOGA.