It was 2:30pm and I was nervous. Butterflies, tight tummy, the whole shebang. “It’ll be fine,” Alex said, rubbing my hand, “I understand that you’re nervous but you have need to be. You’ll do great.”
Yesterday was my first ever one-to-one yoga class and to say I was bricking it would be an understatement. To be fair, it wasn’t just an average, run-of-the-mill class, this class was important. I needed to impress, I needed to be good.
How/why did I book a one-to-one class?
I arranged this class with my teacher, Lizzie Packham, to get a reference to start my Yoga Teacher Training course in November. You need to complete a form, submit a reference and pay a deposit for most UK Teacher Training courses; I had done two out of three, but Coronavirus had halted me from completing the final element.
We emailed back and forth and finally arranged a date. Lizzie sent me a questionnaire, asking what poses I wanted to work on, what aspects about the practice were my favourite, why I started yoga and why teacher training was for me. It felt good to put my intentions out into the universe, so I sent the questionnaire back completed the same afternoon.
We arranged for the class to start at 3pm via Zoom. I spent half the day nervously waiting, chewing on nails and aimlessly scrolling on ASOS. Fifteen minutes beforehand I prepped my space, angled my IPad and waited.
Lizzie popped up on my screen, smiling away, and I was immediately put at ease. We chatted about our families and caught up before she gave me a run down of what she had planned for the hour. As I have hyper extension, she really wanted to focus on stability and strength around my joints. As I have it in pretty much every joint (shoulders, elbows, hips and knees), we had a lot to go on.
What happened in the class?
We started with warm up arm stretches, making sure I wasn’t locking out through my elbows. After interlocking my fingers, I raised the back of my hands up to the ceiling, which showed Lizzie I wasn’t wrapping my shoulders. We talked about how to engage my shoulders to reduce the flexibility but increase the stability and I felt it instantly. I popped up into Downward Dog with my shoulders wrapped and my arms were shaking. I have done about a million Downward Dogs, but this felt like I was doing it for the first time. It was so intense but great, I felt strong. I explained how my body was feeling, which poses were challenging and got immediate results on how to fix asana – result!
We covered SI joint stability and mobilising the outer-hip in basically everything I do, as I wasn’t engaging my bum to do anything – I hadn’t even realised. Hyper-extenders use the smaller muscles of the body more than the larger muscles. These smaller muscles barge the larger ones out the way which can lead to instability and overall lack of strength, but mondo bendy-ness! Just another fun fact I learned from my lesson with Lizzie.
We ended the session talking about Yin Yoga, book recommendations and pranyama techniques and honestly, it was amazing. She also agreed to give me a reference and get me on the course in November. I’m so excited I could burst.
Would I have another one-to-one?
Absolutely! If you were considering a one-to-one yoga class, you absolutely HAVE to do it. Even if you aren’t considering it, please look into it. I know that they are expensive but the attention and care your teacher will give you is so worth it. You will get tips, notes to take on with you and a chance to explore your practice more with someone who loves it just as much as you. Just make sure you are honest with your teacher; if you want to practice Down Dog, then ask them! Don’t feel silly or that ‘you should know that by now’, it’s a safe space for you to explore your body, just as it is.