All Yoga is an individual journey of self-discovery
Yet studio yoga focuses exclusively on creating a large group, all-level, instructor-led fitness experience in a single style that is touted as somehow right for everyone. Studio group fitness yoga certainly has legitimate uses, but developing a self-reliant, skillful yet exploratory attitude toward a home yoga practice is not among them. Personalized private yoga, on the other hand, makes these characteristics the centerpiece of practice. Starting with your unique life situation, we employ yogic techniques — asana, pranayama, mitahara, meditations, discourses, and so on — to co-create your yoga experience and to teach you to think independently about your practice. We focus on meaningful results and help you realize through experiential learning that you truly are your own best teacher.
Personalized Private Yoga
You co-create your experience
from the start where the first order of business is to determine your goals and "where you are at" on various levels. Then appropriate practices of many kinds are introduced and tried on for size. As we get to know each other better, refinements are introduced. Home practice is encouraged from day one.
Yoga as self-exploration and growth
Focused on optimizing all aspects of your life: the physical, energetic, mental/emotional, intellectual, and causal aspects, or 5 koshas of yoga theory. Benefits include the ability to:
- Apply subtle variations that completely change the character of familiar poses, and eventually create our own poses
- Gain the skills and confidence to maintain a varied home practice
- Use pranayama, mudra, and bandha effectively in your practice
- Modulate your diet and lifestyle to support your practice
- Integrate concentration and meditation into your practice
No unspoken assumptions
Physical and other relevant assessments are taken up front and a program is devised based on the information gathered and your stated concerns and goals. Yoga practices differ based on age, sex, physical condition, mental state, and so on. If you don't fit nicely into StudioYoga Industry's demographic target of a yoga student, click here for private packages and rates.
Studio Group Fitness Yoga
You are always a dependent follower
with very little input on what happens. The instructor presents a certain style of physical postures, often with soundbite spirituality, as a solution for everyone. You are asked to conform to this system, and work over a long period to master it — in the studio. Home practice is never mentioned.
Yoga as a group exercise experience
Focused primarily on a physical workout and/or passive stretching, often with overtones of currently hip trends in music, drug consumption, or spirituality. Benefits include the ability to:
- Knowledge of common alignment principles for conventional poses
- Get exposure to different teacher personalities
- Attend or not whenever you please
- Feel like part of a community
- Get a good workout / some stress relief
Unspoken assumptions about you
Just look at any cover of the Yoga Journal magazine in the last few years, and you'll see what I mean. You will fit into the studio yoga model if: You are a woman, on the young side, probably under forty, reasonably healthy and fit, and have confidence in your physical abilities. So if this is you, by all means just walk into the nearest studio yoga location, and you'll probably feel right at home. I go myself sometimes. It can be fun! And you can always get a very cheap deal somewhere with groupon.
But you don't have to take my word alone for it. For more information on the growing gap between teaching yoga and leading a fitness class, see this article by James Brown of the American Yoga School.