Why Should You Personalize Yoga?

| by

So, you have intended to join Yoga at the studio across your home for months now, but haven’t done it yet? Chances are that you were dissuaded by one of the following reasons:

-- Apprehension about practicing Yoga amidst a group of strangers

-- Fear of not being able to cope with ‘difficult’ Yoga asanas

-- Lack of time

-- Very high charges of personal trainers or some such reason that essentially deterred you from enrolling for a Yoga programme. Perhaps you were even discouraged after a trial run with Yoga, coming to believe that it was just not for you.

However, it has been long established that Yoga is suitable for people of all age groups, and medical conditions. It is infact, the most basic of wellness practices that seeks to attain for its practitioners, a holistic development of their physical, mental and spiritual attributes.

Yet, very often, in a Yoga programme of the types being conducted across the world today – in groups in studios – the essence of Yoga is coming to be somewhat diluted. Mild and holistic, the practice of Yoga is as much about spiritual development as it is about physical fitness. While it is appreciable to note the setting up of multiple centres offering Yoga services and its consequent popularity, it is not practical to seek the complete benefits of this form of holistic development amongst a group of people in a purely commercial establishment. 

Yoga works through several disciplines such as body alignment, breathing patterns, meditation, etc, all of which require regulated movements and individual objectivity – a practice best achieved in solidarity with oneself and the instructor and not entirely plausible in a one-to-many setting, typical of a Yoga class at a studio.

This is where personalized Yoga training comes in, an offering that combines the best of Yoga’s benefits with individual convenience to bring to its practitioner a unique fitness regime that is hard-to-miss. Apart from its apparent benefits such as anytime-anywhere practice, personalized Yoga training has a lot of other unstated offerings that you must consider before enrolling yourself in any other group programme:

Listen to your body

In this universe, nothing is identical. Similarly, each human being is different from the other in the way of their physical compositions as well as their emotional and psychological levels. No two people can fulfill such needs of their mind or body by taking the same approach to wellness and personal development.

Your reason for practicing Yoga may differ vastly from the next person’s. While you may be seeking improved flexibility, another member might be looking for a specific solution to resolve a breathing problem. In such a situation, practicing a common Yoga regime might hardly prove beneficial to either individual. Unless you are willing to pay big bucks, Yoga studios rarely offer customized training suited to every individual’s specific needs. Their services are based on a one-size-fits-all model and the effectiveness of the practice is thus diminished.

Personalized Yoga classes on the other hand allow an individual to maximize their practice by communicating with the instructor their bodily requirements and ailments.

Practice makes perfect

While the belief that Yoga asanas are ‘difficult’ is not entirely correct, it is true that Yoga does need a strict control on one’s regimes and adherence to regulations in order to reap its complete benefits. The emphasis of a Yoga instructor on a pupil is far less when his attention is divided amongst a group of people. Thus, it is not always that an individual can hope to understand exactly where he/ she might be going wrong and try to improve their practice. In a personalized session, your Yoga teacher is always there to observe and correct you, as you practice. They can observe your body’s limitations during the poses and can mould a pose specifically to help you perform it better.

One with self

The Yogic text Hath Yog Pradipika says:

Na veshadharanam siddheh karanam na ca tatkatha/

Kriyaiva karanam siddheh satyemetanna samsayah//66//

Wearing a (particular type of) dress does not bring success; nor does talking about it (Yoga).

Practicing alone brings success; this undoubtedly is the truth.

Invariably, an individual’s attention while in a group setting is on several factors from the people around them to the clothes one wears to the way one behaves. This very human instinct of distraction is against the discipline of Yoga, which propagates an environment of calm and concentration in order to help you attain spiritual insight.

In a personalized session, your focus is on your senses, your breathing, your instructor and your solidarity. You are a lot more at ease with the asanas that you perform and are looking to improve with every move that you make.

You versus you

It is often said that ‘success is nothing but the consequence of effort and confidence.’

The same is applicable to Yogic practice as well. While practicing Yoga, it is important to accept oneself (body, mind, emotion) the way it is and to believe that it is indeed the best way to be. 

In a group, one typically tends to compare themselves with those around them. Perhaps unintentionally, but one might end up progressing a competition of sorts with a fellow practitioner, often forgetting their body’s unique limitations. This could be injurious to one’s body as well as self-esteem.

A personalized session allows one to compete with oneself. To set their own goals and to be confident of achieving them in their own unique way. It is only then, that one can truly benefit from Yoga.     

Thus, if you are looking to ‘Yoga’, look for a personalized program to give yourself the best that can be.