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Insights On In-class Private Lessons

Anyone who grew up with strict parents may feel the same way as I do when I say that getting corrections wasn’t always such a positive experience. Being noticed because you were doing something wrong was not a good thing. So, naturally, being the dutiful little Indian girl that I was, I needed to do everything as prescribed; being corrected meant that I had done something wrong that should have been done correctly in the first place. Fast forward several years, and that little voice inside of me telling me that “mistakes do not equal progress” still hasn’t gone away, though it has quieted down a bit with some life experience.

When I started coming to Joy Yoga Center, I noticed that the instructors did something in their classes that few other studios offered: they gave assists in class. You would think that would would incite panic and fear of making public mistakes within myself, but surprisingly enough, it only made me want to come more. This was a really great feeling because, as a yoga newbie then, getting my arms and legs to coordinate into unfamiliar Sanskrit poses was not happening without some sort of assistance. Eventually, my body started to naturally weave in and out of poses as instructors gently guided me to deepen my practice.

So now imagine having that experience and assistance throughout your entire yoga class. How awesome would it be to be massaged a bit while in child’s pose, to be supported in a challenging twist, and to make sure you don’t ruin your knees in lunges and warrior poses? That’s exactly the purpose and beauty of in-class assists. When I first tried one, it was very apparent to me at the beginning of class that I was going to have someone watching me the entire time. The intimidation and self-consciousness quickly wore off as my instructor begin watching my movements, encouraging me with their hands to go deeper into a pose, and offering suggestions to relax muscles that did not need to be tensed. I have a tendency to always tighten and scrunch my shoulders, especially in downward facing dog or while doing my chaturangas. This usually means that I am tensed and tight throughout the day, even after I’ve left the studio. Sure the mindfulness in my practice should be there to relax those muscles, but it’s so nice to know that someone is looking out for your during your class.

I learned that support from your yoga instructor is anything but centered criticism. It is a way to move deeper into a pose, learn new ways to integrate other muscles, and maintain alignment. We all seem to forget that yoga is supposed to sustain and protect our bodies, not only to be added as an exercise regimen. In-class assists are a great way to make sure you are pushing yourself just enough while playing with your body’s abilities safely in a class.

So, what happened to that voice that told me mistakes were bad? Well, it’s still there but less so with the help of some in-class assists. I am here at yoga to enhance my practice and delve deeper into this world of making mind-body connections. Traversing into this brave new world involved getting over what I’ll look like to other yoga classmates and how “good” my practice will be that day. All it took were some adjustments and in-class assists to build some confidence in my own yoga practice.

As a reminder, April is the perfect time to book an in-class private yoga lesson with your favorite instructor at Joy Yoga Center. All month long, the studio is offering 25% off of all private lessons bought, and there’s just a few days left! If you were on the fence about purchasing private lessons, now is the perfect time to schedule one.


For more information about private lessons Email Us or schedule your private lesson HERE!

Bhakti Chavda is a Joy Yoga employee and a Joy Yoga University student in teacher training. You can catch her welcoming yogis and yoiginis into class.

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