Many teachers offers 121s – but what exactly are they , what are their benefits and how do you get the most out of them?
A 121 is an individual session with your teacher and a real opportunity to deepen your practice and to be given personal advice and tuition on whatever subject you choose - whether asana , pranayama, philosophy or indeed anything yoga related.
A 121 can also be very useful if you are carrying an injury or long term medical condition as you can learn the fundamentals of appropriate modifications which would then enable you to slot into and participate fully in a public group class should you so wish.
Its important though that before you book a 121 you prepare for it by considering the following points
- If you have not been taught by the teacher before consider attending 1 or 2 of their classes to see if you like their style of yoga and teaching – even if the teacher has been recommended to you . This will also enable the teacher to get familiar with your practice so that the 121 time can be put to the best use .
- Be clear to your teacher what you want to achieve –and be realistic . For example if you have never practiced the Ashtanga Primary series before and are fairly new to yoga it is highly unlikely that you will learn all the postures with any appropriate modifications in a 1.5 hours session .
- Make sure you discuss everything you need to with the teacher – and don’t be shy – we’ve probably heard and seen it all before . And , most importantly listen to the teacher and take their advice on board about what is realistic in 1 session . It may be better spread out over a number of sessions so that you have time to assimilate what you have learnt and work on it before the next session .
- If the 121 is to be in your own home , then make sure that you have sufficient space for both of you and that you are not likely to be disturbed by incoming children , relatives or pets etc . If other people are in your house then make sure that they know that the session is taking place and that they should keep out of the way . Whilst its fun watching Facebook or Youtube videos of cats and dogs interrupting yoga its probably less funny in practice when it happens to you in a 121.
- 121s are not limited to learning more about a physical practice . If you want to learn Pranayama techniques , meditation or learn more about yoga philosophy then this could be looked at in a session as well
- A 121 session is an investment and a considered purchase which gives you quality time with your teacher . Ensure that you schedule the 121 sensibly so that you have plenty of time to prepare and afterwards to assimilate what you have learnt without having to rush from or to another appointment , work , school run etc
- Take a pen and paper to make notes and write them up in full as soon as possible after the session
- If you are working on particular poses ask the teacher to take photos or film you to check alignment etc so that you have something to refer back to at a later date and to monitor your progress
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a written summary of the session / points covered so that you have a resource to look at subsequently
In short 121s are a fantastic opportunity to have a session specifically tailored to you and to deepen any aspect of your practice outside of a group class setting . You do however need to prepare for them , be prepared to work , and be realistic about what can be achieved .
Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow Teacher Southampton and Hampshire