Traditionally, yoga was ‘whispered wisdom’, a lineage handed down from one teacher to one student. As yoga burst into the American mainstream, group classes became the norm. This is wonderful, as it allows anybody anywhere to experience yoga. It can be a cost effective way to have a consistent practice. It means we can try out different styles, different teachers, and different locations. It means you can find a yoga class wherever in the world you happen to go. However, classes can be intimidating, alienating, or too generalized for what you most need and want. Private sessions return yoga to its heart: the goal of personal transformation.
Let's face it; 'yoga classes' simply don't feel right for many of us. That in no way means yoga is not an option.
In my own practice and as a teacher, I have seen that a few private yoga classes can teach more than years of group classes. This is especially true at the beginning of a practice, at a point of ‘taking it to the next level’, or when students have specific physical, emotional, or private concerns. Private sessions are entirely adaptive, supportive, and personal: any body, with any degree of mobility, can find here the profound healing, restoration, and preventative benefits of a yoga practice.
The basics: $125 per session. Each session lasts about an hour and a half. I strongly recommend that you commit to taking these in a sequence- taking a single class will give you a lot of information but no follow through. To make this more accessible, you can purchase 4 privates and get a fifth for free.
Students New To Yoga
Starting a yoga practice with a few private sessions can rapidly introduce both a sense of familiarity and ‘easing in’. It can break down some of the barriers of intimidation and alienation we feel in walking into a group of people we perceive to be ‘better’ at yoga than us, more flexible, more strong, or more confidant. Working with a teacher who will directly answer any question you might have and who can explain yogic concepts and postures as they apply to you and your body, your lifestyle, your experience is an invaluable gift. It is also entirely possible to set up an ongoing private session as your practice evolves; this can help you assess where you are, how to advance, and keep your practice rather than a synchronized yoga team as the goal.
Taking it to the Next Level
“I am currently in a teacher training program, and stumbled on Karin’s webpage. After a single class with her, I knew I had found my teacher. I learned more from her classes, her insights, and her conversations than I have in any trainings or workshops I’ve attended. She has clearly made yoga a calling and not a career. She watches to make yoga work, really work, for each and every one of her students. You don’t find that in most teachers or studios. You just don’t.” – Cari S
“I am a yoga teacher. I consider Karin to be a ‘teacher’s teacher’. She teaches yoga of the heart, yoga of life, yoga as the whole experience of being alive.” David S
“Knowing Karin has taught me how to make yoga real – not a brand name or a thing I do once a week, but real.” anonymous
“I’ve practiced yoga for more than 30 years and I have never understood or felt alignment the way I do when Karin teaches. Not all teachers are teachers. Karin is.” Maria K
Sometimes we plateau in a yoga practice. Sometimes we just wonder how the heck what we do on our mats is supposed to translate to ‘the path’. And sometimes we need to know more; we become interested in arm balances, say, or we are worried our practice has to change as we age, or we want to use yoga as part of training for a marathon. I’ve worked with a number of people who are in or are considering yoga teacher training and are hungry for dialogue. Whatever the prompting, private sessions are a powerful way to take your group classes, your home practice, your path a little deeper. It doesn’t take much – a private or two every once in a while radically transforms a practice.
Yoga Therapy, Yoga for Mobility, Weight loss, Personal Training, or Emotional Healing
We know – science has proven – that yoga works with things from anxiety to cardio vascular disease to Parkinson’s disease and fibromyagia in ways pills and talk therapy can’t do. But we may also struggle to feel a group class is right for us, or how we can possibly participate. Private sessions allow you to learn the appropriate modifications, experience the full benefits of postures, express any and all concerns and have them addressed. All Return Yoga classes are open to and appreciate the participation of beginners and those who adapt their poses: but stepping into a class means the teacher cannot focus on you constantly. Taking a private session or two can give you the confidance and information you need to adapt group classes appropirately and safely. Yoga CAN be practiced safely, promote self healing, and turn limitations into strong points. Yoga IS for you, it’s just a matter of answering to your specific needs.
Life coaching, spiritual direction, philosophy, distance coaching
“Yoga”, real yoga, does not mean yoga class or physical postures. Long story short, yoga is an eight limbed path, and the physical practice of asana is only one of those eight branches. Many of us are interested in all those other branches. This is incredibly important and something I want to encourage. Further, many of us need time to process and dialogue our yoga experience, ask questions, or get some insight into that vast and often times confusing world that is ‘yoga’. Many of us suspect ‘yoga’ might help but aren’t interested in the group style format. Private sessions allow for all of this. It’s your time. Sessions can be all asana (physical practices), all conversation, or a blend of both. Karin has training as a counselor, crisis intervention specialist, and advocate.
Who are private yoga sessions for?
Any of the above (new to yoga, looking to start a home practice, wanting to take it to the next level, or have a specific concern). Privates are also frequently recommended as a starting point or addition to group classes for fertility issues, obesity, disability, anxiety, depression, PTSD, pre and post natal, stress, chronic pain, cancer recovery, sleep trouble, illness….
Q: Why are Private Sessions Recommended for Herniated or Ruptured Spinal Disks? Many doctors are suggesting yoga to people with disk issues. Yoga can be very therapeutic and provide back pain relief. However, certain postures offered in a group class setting could also aggravate disk conditions. Safety and ahimsa (non-harming) is our first priority. With a little private coaching, someone with a disk issue can learn how to practice yoga safely alone or in a group class. In just one private session, a student can gain a basic understanding of which postures are most useful to their condition, which ones to avoid, and which ones to approach in a modified form.
Q: Why are Private Yoga Sessions Recommended for Pregnancy? Pregnancy is such an individual experience that it deserves individual attention and support. This personal guidance empowers the mother to be to practice safely. She can then attend ANY regular group yoga class at her leisure with the understanding of how to take care of herself by modifying postures to avoid strain or injury to the baby.
Q: What do I Bring to a Private Yoga Session? – What do I Wear? – How do I Prepare? There is nothing you need to do to prepare for your private session. If you have a spinal condition like scoliosis and you may want to bring a your X-rays or MRI report for the instructor to review. Wear clothing that is comfortable and will stretch and move with your body. You are encouraged to bring a notebook and pen. If you can, you may want to write down your questions or concerns in the days before your private to bring with you.