Private Classes

For the first two years of teaching, I built my client base, my yoga friendships and my yoga instructing techniques from teaching private yoga classes to one, two, three or four people in a small room outside my house.  I still love to teach private yoga classes because it gives me the opportunity to know the student and together we decide what is the best type of yoga offering for him/her/them on a particular day.

I have trained to teach several styles of asana (yoga postures).  They include: vinyasa, yin, restorative, pranakriya and power yoga. I have also been trained to teach meditation and pranayama (breathwork). It’s been my experience that I serve my private clients most profoundly by using a combination of these various trainings to tailor a practice uniquely for them.  Below is a description of each of the types of yoga in which I have been trained:

Vinyasa: The literal translation for vinyasa is “to place in a special way.” The vinyasa practice is one in which you open the body in a very calculated, systematic way.  Every pose and every breath has a purpose: to open the body in a specific way and/or to experience in the body/mind a certain sensation. Each pose prepares you for the next pose or the pose after that.  The purpose of each breath is twofold; it is designed to create openness in the pose and openness of the spirit.  Many people believe that vinyasa means, “to flow.”  While this is not the exact translation, I love the notion that as we move in a special way, as we harness the movement of the mind, we can rest from our resistance and struggle of life and become in synch with the movement and the flow of life. This is the “yoga flow.” Very often this practice incorporates sun salutations, however, it is not a necessary requirement of a “vinyasa” practice.

Yin: Yin is a very slow and deliberate practice as one holds poses anywhere from 3-20 minutes.  In yin, we usually target the hip and shoulder girdles as well as the spine; although there are some yin poses that also affect the abdominal cavity.  In many definitions of yin, it is said that yin yoga addresses the connective tissue of the body.  While this definition is true, it isn’t really helpful because in our more active (or yong/yang) classes we address the connective tissue- i.e., bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Here’s the difference: The yin practice is designed to relax the practitioner’s muscles thereby allowing the ligaments and the tendons to stretch out a bit more.  Conversely, the yang/yong practice focuses mostly on the stretching and the strengthening of the practitioner’s musculature (with a minor benefit to the bones, the tendons, the joints and the ligaments).  It was through holding these poses for 3-20 minutes that my ADHD mind began to calm.  This practice led me to my meditation cushion and that’s when my life began to transform; I was reintroduced to the source of peace in my life.

Restorative: Having begun my yoga journey with a very physical practice and being such a “stretch junky”-yes, I love stretching my body and feeling the energy flow!, when I trained with Judith Lasater to learn to teach Restorative Yoga it took me 3 out of the 5 days of training before I really understood that Restorative Yoga is NOT a practice of stretching ANY PART OF THE BODY!  Rather, Restorative Yoga is the use of props to allow the body to assume a shape WITHOUT stretching anything.  So why do it? I have one word for you…AAAAAAAAH!! How often do we allow ourselves the opportunity to be completely supported in anything we do? With restorative yoga, it’s all about allowing the universe to hold you so you can relax, heal and reinvigorate yourself.  Because there is no muscle expenditure, each pose is able to benefit a different system, organ or other part of the body in a deeply profound way.  In addition, it allows the mind to calm and relax from its busy agenda.  A restorative practice is a true gift of love and nurturing that you can give to yourself!

Pranakriya: Pranakriya Yoga was developed by my teacher, Yoganand Michael Carroll, a long time student of Amrit Desai, Swami Kripalu, and other teachers in Swami Kripalu’s tradition.   All forms of Pranakriya yoga involve moving the energy in the body through asana (yoga postures) and pranayama (breath work).  There are three types of practices: Gentle, Meditative Postures and The Yoga Work out.   The Gentle practice is suitable and adaptable for all body types, body challenges and ages.  It is designed to move the body in a gentle manner so that energy is freed to flow through. The Meditative Postures practice is a more physically demanding class that allows the practitioner to move with breath into a more meditative state.  The Yoga Work Out practice is designed to work the body in the most challenging way while still allowing the practitioner to relax into a juicy savasana (lying down on your back with eyes closed and relaxing) at the end of practice.

Power Yoga: This vigorous practice is designed to build heat in the body as it works toward strengthening the practitioner. A power yoga practice typically begins with a child pose and then transitions into sun salutations.  For the remainder of the practice, the poses are usually held for 5 breaths. There is a series of standing “power” postures (i.e., warriors, side angles, triangles, etc.) followed by standing balancing poses, back bending and forward bending postures, sometimes an inversion and then savasana.  As the name implies, it is a powerful practice that allows the practitioner to feel his/her own strength.  If you like to challenge your body, enjoy a good sweat and need to work your strength more than your flexibility, then this is a suitable practice for you.

Meditation: Meditation is the act of being still in order to understand the way the mind works and to remember that there is a much larger part of YOU that is not mind; that part of you that is in fact love and freedom from any disturbance. Many mistakenly believe that meditation is the act of turning off the mind.  While there are deep states of meditation wherein the practitioner can experience this, the act of meditation is simply to become the observer of the mind; to notice how it navigates the seas of your life and creates its own turbulence.  In short, meditation is the means by which you can come to know your Self very intimately.  There are many types of meditation, some of which are mentioned in the yoga sutras (i.e., mantra or maintaining a certain type of focus); some are guided; and some may even involve movement (i.e., walking meditation).  In a private or semi private class, we can work together to determine what type or types of meditation is/are appropriate for you.

Pranayama: Pranayama can be translated as either Pran ayama which means the extension of life force or as Prana Yama which means the restraint of life force.  Simply put, pranayama is breath work.   It includes several types of breathing practices.  By engaging in pranayama, the practitioner can experience relaxation, greater vibrancy and deeper states of consciousness.  If meditation is, as I mentioned above, the means by which you can come to know your Self very intimately, then pranayama turbo-charges the meditation experience.  The combination of these practices has been invaluable on my journey inward.  In a private class, we will select the types of breathing exercises that will support your individual needs.