Published on May 29th, 2017 | by Catherine Tingey0
Private Yoga Instructor Santa Monica
WHY DO YOGA?
Are you looking to up your overall quality of life? Perhaps you’ve heard that yoga is supposed to be good for you but remain skeptical.
How about increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone, lower blood pressure and better sleep? Do I have your attention now? These are just a few of the many benefits of doing yoga.
WHY PRIVATE YOGA?
Working with a private yoga instructor is the best way to learn the basics of yoga. I recommend private yoga for beginners, anyone with injuries, those with busy work and family lives, and anyone wanting a personalized approach to their health and their mind-body workouts.
The majority of my clients come to me with a specific goal. It could be a desire to improve overall flexibility, reduce back pain, ease insomnia, heal from recent trauma (either physical or emotional) or even ‘because my doctor told me I should.’
WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga in the west is taught primarily as a system of physical posture (asana) and breathwork (pranayama). Yoga in Sanskrit means ‘union’ but also has connotations of a yoking or harnessing that is difficult to translate. I describe this as a coming together of the body and mind that is the inevitable result of a consistent yoga practice. Did you know that modern hatha yoga, the physical practice that we think of when we think of yoga – offered on every corner in American cities – is only about 100 years old? And did you know that it was primarily taught to young men as preparation for long hours of seated meditation? Fascinating, isn’t it?
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your first session will be 90 minutes minimum.
We’ll start by reviewing your health history (based on the questionnaire you’ve filled out prior) and address any specific injuries or concerns you might have. I’ll give you a brief introduction to yoga as a system, myself and my teaching philosophy, and some ground rules. We will also discuss what your goals are for your private yoga sessions.
Then we move through a practice I’ve designed for you and I note what is easy, what is difficult and what I would like to work with you on in the future.
I like a very open dialogue with my clients – there are never any ‘dumb’ questions – and I pride myself on being a non-dogmatic teacher. Throughout the session you can ask any questions you might have, and I will be asking you where you might be ‘feeling’ a certain movement or stretch. All of this data helps me get an understanding of your body and how I can tailor your sessions to help you reach your goals.
After each private yoga session, you will receive an email with pictures of each pose covered in the session. This visual aid can greatly help in developing your home practice.
My goal is always for my clients to become educated, empowered and independent of me. In this way, they can take their yoga off their mat and into the world, wherever they may be.
I recommend that my clients do some sort of yoga practice, even for 15 minutes, 3x a week. That can be with me, on their own, in a class or with a streaming video or DVD. Usually after ~5 private yoga sessions, clients feel comfortable with their growing repertoire of postures to begin a short home practice.
WHAT IF I’M NOT FLEXIBLE (and other yoga fears)?
This is precisely the reason about 50% of my clients come to me. Modern life (driving, sitting, looking at phones) wreaks a bitter havoc on our bodies. It shortens hamstrings and hip flexors, and can contribute to back pain and even limit our ability to do simple things, like bend down and get up. Combine that with sports or activities like walking and running and you have a recipe for imbalance in the body.
In the yoga I teach, we are always striving for a balance between strength and flexibility.
In my own body, this has proved a life-long, challenging quest. Too much running or hiking or days at the gym and my flexibility is hindered. Too much yoga and my sacrum and hips become too open and unstable.
This elusive balance is what keeps me interested in learning a variety of new movement systems, not just yoga.
If you’re curious about learning yoga from a certified private yoga instructor, feel free to reach out to me. If I can’t help you, I can probably refer you to someone who can!
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