5 Tips to Prepare for and Get the Most out of Private Yoga Sessions

Yoga teaches us how to respond to stress patiently. We must experience the physical challenge of the postures without fear, and use deep, calm breaths to move through them. If we can take that lesson off the mat and into our daily lives, we will move closer to the goal of responding to stress in a careful and considered way.

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take, or have been gifted private yoga lessons.

You might be elated, nervous or both. This is an investment (in you). You want to maximize investments, right? So now what?

Here’s a guide to help you prepare for AND maximize your private yoga lessons.

1. DREAM YOUR YOGA DREAM

Give some thought to what you want most from a private yoga lesson, your “yoga dream”. Here are some ideas (choose as many goals as you authentically have!)

  • Personalized alignment cues that will keep you safe and strong in group classes
  • Development of a personalized home practice
  • Relaxation to balance out the stresses of life
  • Cross-training for and/or recovery from your upcoming marathon, etc.
  • Other physical, breathing or meditative breakthroughs
  • Maybe you just want to nail that handstand

It’s all good. But as a general rule, we can best serve you when you ask for what you want (though it’s perfectly fine to not know! A skilled yoga teacher meets you where you are).

2. ENERGY IN, ENERGY OUT

Consider the number and frequency of lessons that will best serve your “yoga dream” or purpose. Do you need the accountability and regularity that comes from a 1 or 2x/week session for a number of months? Or do you have very specific questions about your alignment that might be addressed in one or a handful of sessions?

I titled this segment “Energy in, energy out” because, like much of life, you will reap the benefits of yoga only if you invest time in the practice of yoga. That practice does not have to be in the form of private lessons. However, lining up a single private session simply to try yoga without a plan for afterward won’t even scratch the surface. 

3. WHAT’S THIS STICKY MAT THING?

One of the greatest things about yoga is that you don’t need any material objects to practice. That said, if your lesson is happening in your home or you like to practice what you learn in your privates at home aka homework, you may wish to purchase a basic yoga prop “kit”: a yoga mat2 blocks, a strapa blanket and a bolster if you like restorative poses. You will be able to do so much more. Bonus: you’ll have your own set of yoga props for traveling or heading into a studio or gym.

4. YOGIS LOVE SOME GLUTEN-FREE VEGGIE BURGERS…BUT:

Ensure you have not eaten a large meal for at least 2, preferably 3-4 hours ahead of time. Light snacks up to an hour ahead of time are encouraged. Plant-based protein is great post-yoga. Make sure you are hydrated beforehand, as well as after a yoga class or lesson. I love my Stainless Steel Contigo water bottle!

5. THE LOGISTICS OF STUDENTSHIP

  • Bring paper and a pen to take notes during or after (or perhaps a voice recorder).
  • Set your mobile phone to silent.
  • Set a reminder on your calendar the day before, so you remember to prepare and don’t stress last minute.
  • Wear clothing that allows for freedom of movement, but that doesn’t move around too much on you.
  • Yoga is practiced without shoes or socks, but if your feet are feeling shy, there are an abundance of Grippy Toe Socks available for purchase so your feet don’t slip.
  • Don’t forget your reusable water bottle or to-go mug for tea!
  • Schedule a meal and/or (relative) quiet time afterward. Eat slowly, enjoy a long shower, journal, or take a walk if you are at all able. You will be in a great state to practice peace of mind independently
  • Schedule time to practice what you learned: 5 minutes a day isn’t much, but it’s a start, especially if it’s more than what you were doing before your private lesson. Ask your teacher for “homework”. Regularity is key to implementing meaningful change in your mind, body and spirit.

See you in class :)