The Kona Yoga community is a rich and active one. Yoga studios abound in Kona town, as do avid studio practitioners and independent yogis. Healthy personal practices like yoga, meditation, surfing, and consuming more plants are far more pervasive on the Big Island than in any other part of the country. No wonder Hawaii ranked as the healthiest state in America in 2018!
If you are looking to begin or expand upon your yoga practice, it is important to craft a yoga routine that is beneficial to your unique body and mind. For some, that means attending buddhi yoga once a week. For others, that means a gentle, daily personal practice in the comfort of one’s own home.
In previous blogs, we have explored the different types of yoga and their many benefits and drawbacks. This week, we will discuss the merits of both group and private yoga sessions. We hope today’s post will help you determine which type of practice is best for your individual needs. At Bodhidevi, we offer both group and private yoga lessons. We want to ensure that we can accommodate any and every woman in our beautiful community!
The Benefits of Group Yoga
Joining a group yoga class is an excellent way to forge new friendships and business connections. Thus, if you are a socialite or entrepreneur, making your debut in the Kona Yoga community and joining a group yoga class is an excellent idea.
Of course, social connection is an intrinsically rewarding element of attending a group yoga class. But those social connections can also inadvertently enhance the physical benefits of yoga. Once yoga class becomes a social occasion instead of an exercise obligation, you will find it easier to regularly attend. By extension, you will reap ever greater benefit from the practice!
Even in Kona yoga classes that are catered to specific experience levels, individual expertise will vary. There will always be someone more or less skilled, experienced, strong, or flexible than you in every class. Though intimidating for some, being surrounded by individuals who are more experienced than you can be a great motivator. If you are a competitive individual looking to cultivate an impressive skill set while improving your health, try attending a group session. The drive to meet and surpass the abilities of others will motivate you to maintain a consistent and rigorous practice.
Likewise, serving as an example to others can also serve as a positive motivator. Are you highly skilled and experienced? Attending a group yoga session will allow you to serve as a positive model for less experienced individuals. By extension, you will promote confidence and motivation not only in yourself, but also in other members of the group.
Perhaps you find competition more intimidating and stressful than motivating. Does that mean you should forego Kona yoga and opt for an in-home practice instead?
Not necessarily. One of the best things about group yoga classes is that you can invite your friends to attend with you. Thus, even if you are less inclined to compete or socialize with others, you will still find the comfort and drive to attend the class regularly. In fact, attending a group yoga class is an excellent way to strengthen the bonds of existing friendships. Establishing mutual support for adopting a healthy lifestyle by co-attending yoga is a great way to flourish together.
The Benefits of Private Yoga
Even the most social and adventurous woman may find a private, one-on-one session with an instructor more beneficial than a group Kona yoga session if she has specific goals and needs. Working one-on-one with an instructor affords you the time and space to communicate individually about your objectives.
This is especially critical for individuals with health concerns. It can be uncomfortable to confront a yoga instructor at the beginning of the class with health concerns. Further, it’s awkward to ask for modifications in the middle of a class. Unfortunately, failing to ask for modifications can, in turn, exacerbate an injury. If you have an injury or are suffering from specific types of pain, opt for a private session. Thoroughly discuss the nature of your injury with your instructor. He or she will be able to offer individualized attention and therapeutic solutions to improve your condition. Additionally, a private practice affords continual communication throughout the session. Thus, if pain arises or an injury acts up, you can ask your instructor to modify the practice.
Even if you don’t have a serious medical concern, the ability to obtain individual attention and feedback from an instructor can make a private session worthwhile. For example, if you are training to become a teacher or are interested in taking your skill set to the next level, a private session will allow for personalized attention and feedback to promote advancement.
Taking a group Kona yoga class will allow for some degree of personalization in terms of the type of practice you desire. You can select from an array of different yoga styles and practices, from a relaxing hatha yoga class to a fast-paced, strengthening Vinyasa flow.
A private yoga class, however, allows for a much higher degree of personalization. You can discuss your desired style, pace, and intensity with the instructor prior to your practice. Doing so also allows you to cater each session to how you are feeling on any given day.
Further, working with an instructor one-on-one allows you to determine what extraneous elements you would like to incorporate into your practice. Some individuals enjoy 20 minutes of pranayama at the beginning of every session. Some want to limit Savasana to a brief period, or omit it entirely. Pick and choose what works for you!
You don’t have any control over what Kona yoga sessions are offered when. However, you do have control over when you schedule your private session. It can be tricky to stick to a regular yoga regimen if you have to cram classes into a busy schedule. Plus, it is hard to relax and focus on your breathing if your class is during your lunch break, or if you have to pick up the kids immediately after class. Private sessions allow you to select the days and times that work best for you, in addition to the type of practice that will benefit you most.
Minimizing Mental Chatter
It can be incredibly difficult for some women to fully engage in Kona yoga classes. Some find it impossible not to pay attention to the sounds and movements in the room. Others may find themselves caught in a loop of comparison and anxious mental chatter, wondering whether more fit or experienced individuals are judging them. If you have an anxious or distractible mind, a private yoga session might be just what you need to unwind and really get focused on your practice.