Yoga is a highly evolved and ancient practice which has been refined over hundreds and hundreds of years by the many people practicing and teaching it all over the world.
When you do yoga everyday, you learn more about the body, mind, and spirit that you ever knew was even a possibility. Thousands of layers can be peeled back, dare I even say an infinite amount to be peeled! Chances are, if you've found a truly dedicated yoga practicioner to guide you, their personal yoga practice has built up with consistent and concentrated effort. Meaning that they typically practice longer and more often on a regular basis than you have yet to.
Each time that instructor practices on their own, they learn more about yoga - which more things that they could also teach you. But, if you only go to yoga classes with other students, an instructor simply does not have enough time to give you the personal attention they want to give to you as a yoga newbie. Nor do they have an opportunity to share all the wisdom they know because it often needs a base layer of yoga & meditation to be felt and understood.
For those who wonder how I would group practitioners into the "yoga newbie category" ... I define these people as people who come to a yoga class or do yoga less than once per week. It also doesn't really matter if you have perfect alignment in Warrior 2 with going to a class 1-2 times a month quite frankly. However I can't say this with certainty because there is plausibly someone out there who is highly educated on the inner workings of a yoga practice beyond asana, and only does a physical practice a few times a month who could argue my previous statement.
For the majority, the point is that you would benefit immensely from some concentrated 1 on 1 attention from a yoga instructor. This could be a combination of conversation, postures, and meditation. I find that each student requires a unique approach to healing and well being, and private yoga sessions offer the space to really delve in. Doing this as a way to start practicing yoga will allow you the foundation and information you need to practice safely and effectively in the future group classes you may take.
By taking private lessons you give yourself the opportunity to learn in an environment tailored to you, which from my point of view brings awareness, understanding, and confidence to your personal practice.
When beginning your yoga journey with private lessons, you also give your instructor a better opportunity to expand their group class curriculum. When an instructor sees that the class is full of confident, competent, and capable students, they share their yoga wisdom with more depth and creativity - advancing the practice for the better, for everyone involved.
Please remember to pay close attention to your yoga instructors, and observe intently how they teach. Be patient in your search for the right student/teacher fit. Not everyone works well together and that is okay, as long as you don't let one experience deter you from exploring yoga further. In a society and age where we get to choose our mentors, friends, teachers, and coaches you must consider it as an investment you are making. You have to some degree a responsibility for not hiring an instructor that you don't like. Invest carefully and wisely. Ask if you can meet for coffee and get to know them before beginning private yoga sessions!
- Madison Lavern