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?