“… but it was the saxophone soloing that challenged credulity, it’s length and perhaps its unwillingness to tell a traditional story… If there’s one thing the facile critic needs to do his job, it is some verbal personality from the bandstand, some words to transcribe into the review – anything to make a thoroughly musical endeavor more literary or conversational. Coltrane would not provide it.”
Ben Ratliff

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

Teaching Yoga One on One

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My preferred setting to teach Yoga is one-on-one. In my first years practicing yoga I attended weekly group-classes. Later, soon after I met my teacher, I began studying one-on-one, practicing on a daily basis and left the weekly classes behind. I believe that one-on-one creates opportunities for deeper and more personalized teachings.

A core idea in my teaching tradition is that at the heart of Yoga is a practitioner (rather then a practice). I was given an extensive set of practice tools which can be methodically applied in many forms and variations. As a teacher I make choices about which tools are best suitable for a student. Group teaching is a setting that requires compromise, an average choice that caters to the needs of a group of individuals. One-on-one teaching is a setting in which tools are selected and tailored specifically for the needs of one individual. It gives me an opportunity to get familiar with a student, to develop a practice over a period of time and to respond to the ever-changing life settings into which Yoga practices are introduced.

Ultimately, when teaching one-on-one, my intention is to provide a student with a practice that can be introduced into day-to-day life. This may take on different meanings and forms for different people – but it is the best way to go deeper into Yoga and experience reflections of practice in life.

Usually, the first few sessions are dedicated to acquiring basic skills of breath and movement – which are the basics of practice. From the end of the first session a student is given a daily practice – usually a short and accessible practice. As basic skills are acquired, I get better acquainted with a student, a student gets better acquainted with me and with Yoga and I am able to offer a relevant practice. For some people one practice is enough, other people may require two options (for example: a short practice for weekdays and a longer practice for weekends).

The first few sessions are most effective when they are close together – to sustain a substantial learning experience. Then a student is free to explore. Some people come back after a few weeks for a review and possible modification of the process. Some people don’t come back for months (some people don’t come back at all). Some people stay in touch via phone or email. Sometimes I refer people to a Yoga teacher near their homes for additional support.

It is up to a student to choose Yoga, to maintain a practice, to constantly seek inspiration and new knowledge.

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