Group vs. Individual Structured Work

Though I believe yoga can be adapted to everyone and that yoga should be made accessible to everyone, receiving your personal adaptation in a group yoga class can be difficult to access, optimize and achieve fully given time and setting constraints. In a group class I am often having to think of individuals with specific issues that warrant my attention for a particular movement into and out of a posture. At the same time, it is unfair in a class setting for me to direct my attention to one individual throughout the whole class. I have to prioritize who gets my attention when and I also have to distribute my attention evenly. In a group class setting, I have to teach to the majority which may not work well for individuals who have multiple and/or major issues and concerns. 


Oftentimes, individuals are at a point in their life where the culmination of unconscious unhealthy habitual patterns are not going to be addressed thoroughly in group yoga class. Though I try my best to adapt the practice in a group setting to everyone in attendance, the efficiency of the adaptation given has multiple factors behind it. Does the person understand the adaptation? Are they willing to accept it, even if it is very different from the rest of the group? Has the person been open to me about their condition or are they withholding information? Is the person willing to wait while I speak to the majority situation?


Group yoga classes certainly do have the appeal of being more affordable and they do provide social motivation to practice, but a personal consultation session greatly reduces risk and provides an in-depth learning experience. Multiple frequent group classes is not necessarily better than a few focused individualized sessions combined with a client's personal motivation to practice. Quality oftentimes is better than quantity. In a group class there is a greater chance that you are not truly adapting the work to your particular condition. Group sessions do offer a person structure to work with, but the structure offered is done so to accommodate the majority situation. 


In a one-on-one session you have the time to give me feedback which allows me to adjust and optimize to your response. In fact, you can take what you learn in a one-on-one session and feel more confident about learning and participating in a group class setting. This can be meaningful to those who feel that attending group class fulfills an important need in their life. Otherwise, the most meaningful benefit of a one-on-one session is receiving your own personalized script for home practice that targets your areas of greatest need.

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