If you’ve decided to work with a private yoga instructor, but don’t know where to begin or how to find and decide on the instructor that would be best for you, check out the following insights to help guide you in the right direction.
Take A Moment To Reflect
Whether or not you’ve started seeking your instructor yet, ask yourself these questions:
- Why am I seeking a private yoga instructor and what do I want to get out of my private yoga sessions?
- (if you already practice yoga) what types of instructors have I liked taking class with ? What specifically do I like about their teaching, style, personality, etc.
- What type of yoga do I want to practice? To name a few examples, vinyasa? (a flow-based yoga class, linking breath with movements, designed to warm, strengthen, and stretch), yin ? (a type of yoga where poses are held for several minutes, designed to stretch the deep connective tissues), restorative? (a type of yoga where the practitioner holds passive poses for several minutes that are very supported with props).
Getting more clear on what you want will help refine your perspective as you search and decide who to work with.
Where To Find Your Yoga Instructor
If you live in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or another major city, you might already know that there are hundreds of yoga instructors and many studios, with teachers eager, qualified, and happy to share the practice of yoga. You just have align yourself with where they are.
- YOGA STUDIOS
(If you already practice) find out if your favorite teachers at your yoga studio offer private yoga. This way you already have a sense of how they teach and are familiar with the studio and location.
I use Thumbtack and have found it to be a very useful platform that connects people seeking services with professionals who provide services.
It helps you get a better sense of what you’re looking for by asking questions which refine your search, and then matches you with the professionals who align with what you’re looking for. You can check out their profile, reviews, photos/videos, and get a better sense of their background/personality.
You may have to do a little bit of research but you’ll eventually land at a few teachers’ websites and get a better sense of who is available and offering private yoga locally.
This is helpful because it allows you to learn about different instructors and their background, probably read some reviews, and be able to sense from afar without making any commitments if they seem like someone you’d like to work with.
- WORD OF MOUTH
If you are connected to a yoga community, see if anyone knows or could recommend a teacher who teaches yoga privately. A great alternative to finding someone online, working with an instructor referred by someone you already know has a sense of familiarity and trust built into it.
Connect with Your Prospective Teachers
- If Offered, Do An Intro Session
When a new client reaches out to me, I offer our first session together as complimentary. This serves a mutual purpose, of giving me more background about my prospective client so I can see if I’ll be able to meet their specific needs, AND gives you (the prospective student) the opportunity to see if you get a good vibe from the instructor.
Communicate with them during the session about what you’re looking to work on, the type of teaching you want, what you want to gain out of sessions, your previous experience with yoga, etc.
Communication will clarify for both you and the instructor if it will be a good fit.
- Set Up A Phone Call
If an intro session isn’t offered or you’d rather get a sense of the instructor without committing to meeting in person initially, set up a phone call with whoever you’re considering. Be ready to tell them a bit about yourself and have questions for them so you can see if they would be a good fit for what you’re seeking based on their particular background and skills.
- Take Their Group Class
If you’ve contacted a few teachers but still aren’t sure, consider finding out if your potential private yoga instructor teaches group classes and take one of their classes.
Be wary, however, of the type of class you’re taking; teachers can have a wide range of the types of yoga they teach so it might not be the most accurate representation of all the ways that teacher can help you specifically.
Overall, Trust Your Gut Instinct
Regardless of the way you cast your net into the community in search of your instructor, when making your decision on who to work with, trust your gut.
Notice and reflect on what resonates or doesn’t resonate for you, for example, how do they listen to you? Do you like the way they teach? If they offered cues/adjustments, were they helpful/supportive? Do you feel comfortable around them? Could you imagine yourself working with them again, why?
To recap, try to get as specific as you can with why you are seeking private yoga and what you want to gain from the sessions.
Connect with a few instructors to get a sense of the different types of teaching approaches available, and then from there, check in with yourself; notice if with the instructor you experienced a sense of comfort, excitement, perhaps inspiration, relaxation, and then go with the one that you instinctively feel best about.
Natalie Mazur is a bilingual (English/Spanish) yoga instructor based in San Diego, California. She teaches private clients in their homes and offers weekly group classes. Natalie has nine years of study and teaching experience combined, and has taught in the U.S. and internationally.
To book Natalie for a private yoga class, event, or retreat email her now at:
or check out her website at: