The two main ways Yoga and Pilates are popularly practised are through private tuition, with 1:1 input from a qualified instructor or through large classes, usually held at a gym or community facility. Personal factors, such as distance from the venue and times available will influence many individual’s final decision on whether to attend classes or engage with private tuition, but if the schedule isn’t the issue, what else should you consider in your choice of instruction?
Going large with a class
There are many benefits to attending a large yoga or Pilates class, not least the fact that this can be a sociable thing to do – one of the reasons that some companies offer their own in-house classes to help de-stress and bond their staff. When starting out, going along to classes with a friend is a great way to gain confidence, whilst if you’re new in town or have an isolating job or lifestyle, attending classes can be a good way to meet new people as the class itself will automatically be at least one shared interest or topic of conversation for you.
As far as the actual yoga or Pilates practice goes, attending classes with a group of others can be motivating and energising, as those in the group work together to improve their progress at an individual level and has the opportunity to learn from each other’s experience as well as the instructor’s directions.
Of course, where costs are concerned, classes also tend to be much less expensive than individual tuition, as the cost of the instructor’s time and the use of the studio is split across the whole group.
Second class service?
Unfortunately though, there are some drawbacks to attending a class and particularly when it comes to Pilates and yoga.
For one thing, it is easy to be overlooked in the group setting, which can be problematic when you’re learning or trying to progress to the next level and may need a higher level of instruction or input from the Yogi or Pilates instructor. If the group size is over 8, there is much less chance of your postures, movements, positions and breathing techniques being checked or adjustments offered at all stages as the instructor moves around the room.
Similarly, the group doesn’t even have to be too large for your sight of the instructor to be impeded – especially if you find yourself stuck at the back of the room. As yoga and Pilates involve the whole body (even when the movement is focusing on a particular body part or objective), the instructor’s whole body needs to be visible, so that the angle, movements and overall positions of different parts of the body can be seen. Although some people might think that an impeded view is acceptable as there will always be someone else in the class that you can see, to copy the movements, this is ill-advised as there is no guarantee that they are following the instructions properly themselves or forming the postures the right way.
With this being the case from session to session, it can actually be quite difficult and take a significant time to learn effective routines and to be able to successfully achieve the postures or poses required to obtain the maximum benefits of the practice. As such, although attending a class may be a cheaper option, it can take many more classes (at a greater overall cost) to learn properly and achieve your yoga or Pilates fitness goals.
Making it personal with private tuition
Private tuition means booking sessions to work one to one with an instructor, although occasionally this might be a two to one arrangement for couples, if this is desirable.
Although this might seem a bit intense and isolating, particularly to those who feel they learn better in a group environment, one of the main reasons individual teaching is particularly effective is that this is the traditional method of yoga teaching which enables hands on advice, instruction and correction so that you can be sure of completing postures correctly and to achieve the maximum benefits of the discipline.
Learning each posture, movement or breathing techniques is much easier and quicker too as each posture and the movements required to achieve it can be clearly seen with the personal demonstration provided by the instructor. As such, one to one instruction can be very time-efficient too, as there is no having to wait for the instructor to go around the whole class: being the only learner means you gain instant feedback and input as required.
Whilst some people might prefer a class as this feels more social and enables wider communication about a shared interest, one to one sessions mean an improved level of engagement with the instructor which affords a better chance to learn the theory behind the postures or the reasons for the type of breathing required: instead of the instructor having to ensure that 30 other people are completing the posture correctly, they have the chance to explain what is happening, how it is helpful and to answer any questions. This easy communication with an instructor sets private tuition apart from classes and can really enhance the yoga or Pilates experience.
Of course, the personal aspect of your practice benefits considerably from private tuition too, as individual needs or requirements, such as a medical condition, injury or fitness goals, are not only taken into consideration, but also considered when routines are developed. It also allows the Yogi or Pilates instructor to input into the follow-up routines you practice at home.
Private tuition can also be beneficial at a practical as well as practice level as it can often be easier to find convenient times for private sessions than to have to fit a gym or health centre’s class schedule into your busy day.
Finally, although private tuition is commonly viewed as a more expensive option, as indeed the cost-per-session may cost significantly more, it’s worth considering that mastery of the poses and postures can be achieved much quicker with the individual attention and support of the instructor, so private tuition to learn effective yoga and Pilates routines may not be needed for nearly as long as large group classes, for establishing an effective and beneficial yoga and Pilates routine.
Content provided by: The Klinik.