Teaching Private Yoga Sessions: For Stress - Yoga Practice Blog

Teaching Private Yoga Sessions: Pranayama for Stress

yoga instructor trainingBy Faye Martins

When taking your yoga certification course, you might not expect so many people to be stressed out. If you’ve been practicing yoga techniques for years, you might not feel the level of anxiety that you see in others. Regardless of how you handle daily problems, some people are walking an emotional tight rope, while they are barely managing to maintain their sanity. Outside your practice of asana, meditation and pranayama is one severely stressed out world. This is one more reason why private sessions offer a refuge to our students.


People choose private yoga training sessions for a variety of reasons. Some students are unfamiliar with yoga and pranayama and feel more comfortable in a one-on-one setting. Some students might have a specific injury or ailment they are working on and others just prefer a quiet, homey setting to practice yoga. Clients can let the yoga instructor know their specific desires and he or she can then develop a program to suit their individual needs. Some students want to work on pranayama, or breathing, techniques. A yoga teacher should carefully develop a program based on the client’s knowledge, experience and goals.

Know the Student

It’s important to inquire about the source of the stress the client wants to work on. Is it a daily occurrence? Is it the result of a specific person, even or experience that might be avoided altogether? Find the source of the stress so you can give specific advice on how pranayama can benefit. Encourage your client to release all of that stress with each breath during your meditation sessions. This attitude will eventually transfer to daily life.


Find a Quiet Spot

If you are going into the client’s home to teach private sessions, make sure they know ahead of time to secure a quiet, comfortable place for the pranayama. Minimize interruptions during the session by turning off phones. Play quiet music to provide a buffer for other minor distractions.

Educate the Student

Begin by explaining the importance of breathing and how many of us take it for granted on a regular basis. Encourage the student to take a few deliberate, deep belly breaths to see the immediate effects of such a breath. Let your yoga student know the benefits that people gain by practicing pranayama on a regular basis, like reduced stress and anxiety, conflict management skills, increased blood flow and better overall health and well-being. Very often, we take for granted the fact that yoga training brings about states of happiness.


Teach the Techniques

Once there is an initial understanding, teach your yoga student a few easy breathing techniques that he or she can begin to employ on a regular basis. They might start and end the day with a few minutes of breathing or stop to breath during stressful situations. Provide a written handout for the student to refer to any time, anywhere.

Follow-Up with the Student

After a session or two, check in with the student to make sure the pranayama techniques are having the desired effects. Ask the client to be honest about what they are feeling and how the meditation is working or not working for them. Then adjust accordingly to provide the client with a routine that will truly work for them.


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