Workshops, Semi-Private Classes, Private sessions!!! Oh My!!!


I found yoga in college. I took a yoga class for one-credit and it was taught in a classroom style. I learned the basics of the breath and Bandhas, broke down the basics of the postures, and even talked a little about the philosophy behind yoga. As we progressed through the year the teacher made sure we had an understanding of not only the postures but the alignments and the benefits of each posture.

My weekly classes are semi-modeled on this. I try to pick postures to focus on in my classes and break them down to help my students grow. I can’t always get to all my students because of class size, or  because I have to hurry off to my next class, but I try to make sure my students know the correct alignments and ways to do the postures.  However, there are things that students can do to help themselves learn more about specific postures and sequences. The benefit of this is growth in your practice, and more importantly, safety.

Workshops are a fantastic way to learn about a posture or sequence, try out a new type of yoga, or learn more about the philosophy of yoga. Workshops usually focus on one thing and attract others who are interested in learning more about that “thing” and they are usually a little longer than a regular class.  This means there is plenty of time for the teacher to go over the little details and there is more time for question and dialogue. Workshops usually have an attendance limit based on how many people can fit in the yoga room.

Tip: If you don’t see a topic covered by a workshop, or you just want to know more about something, don’t be afraid of asking your teacher or the owner of the studio that you go to for a workshop on that topic. I guarantee you are not the only student in that studio who has thought the same thing.

Similar to a workshop, a semi-private workshop is a series of classes tackling a sequence or series of related postures. A good example is headstand. You could take four to six weeks (one class per week) to tackle that one posture. Attendance is also limited to five or six people so that you can really deep dive into the posture with like-minded students who are along for the journey with you.


If you are looking to grow in your practice or have a difficult schedule private sessions are fantastic option.  Think about the times you have walked into class wanting to tune up your jump backs or try floating back and the teacher just plowed through the postures. Private sessions are the perfect way to get the one-on-one time to work on that. Private sessions are convenient because you only have your schedule and the teachers schedule to worry about. Often, the teacher can come to you or use the yoga studio if there isn’t another class schedule.

Tip: If you are worried about the cost of a private session, talk to the teacher and see if they would let you bring in one to two friends to split the cost!

As a yoga student, you should remember that the studio and teacher is there for you to learn. Do not be afraid to ask a teacher or the studio owner to work on something specific.

Have you been to a workshop, semi-private workshop or private session before? What is your preferred way to learn the postures?

If you liked this post check out Why should you do a workshop?

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Comfort vs. Pain

When many people think of yoga words like peace, bliss, and relaxation might cross their mind. People don’t often think of sweat, worn out muscles, or discomfort as parts of a yoga practice. However, some yoga classes are tough as H***. In these tough classes the word pain might even come to mind; however there is a difference between discomfort and pain.

More athletic yoga practices are tough because you stretch your muscles in ways you aren’t use to. As your muscles start to release you move onto new muscles that you definitely aren’t use to working. No matter what your experience level, as you deepen your yoga practice you push the limits of what your body is used to. As this happens you might hear a little voice in your head that tells you to stop (click here to read my blog post about ego). This voice wants you to think your discomfort is pain.

Here’s an example, when you expand a rubber band it always wants to snap back into its resting state. Your muscles are the same way. Now, take a strongman competitor and think about how big their muscles are. They spent years lifting heavy weights and continually contracting their muscles. If they were to take a yoga class, it would take a lot of effort for them to expand their muscles. Their muscles are used to be in a state of contraction, and want to snap back into their normal state. The act of expansion is pushing against their norm for their body so they will feel discomfort.

Don’t get me wrong it is possible to feel pain in yoga and that is bad! You will need to listen to your body and determine if what you are feeling is discomfort or pain. The idea of discomfort on the physical plane is the when your body is pushed out of its resting state. The idea of yoga is self discovery of how your body works and moves. As you move through your yoga journey you need to be able know the difference between pain and discomfort. Examples of pain could be the feeling of throbbing or pinching which could be commonly caused by bone on bone action. Pain is how your body tells you something is wrong. This could mean that you are doing a posture wrong, you pushed yourself too far in a posture, or you are not ready for a posture.

As you pay attention to what your body is telling you then you can start to understand what the difference is between pain and discomfort. Remember to breathe through discomfort and think about fairy dust and butt farts. This will help you grow in your practice.

Do you have a particular posture where you feel discomfort vs. pain?

If you liked this post check out Why Yoga?

For more yoga tips and helpful resources like me on Facebook and to follow my daily yoga adventures follow me on Instagram.