Here is the rundown of the difference.

Group Class:

  • affordable price - you can spend anywhere from $10 to $20 per class, and sometimes even get a free class, or a next to free class with a Groupon.
  • sense of community - our lives are often very isolated. A group class can provide that sense of togetherness that many people find is missing in their lives. We can talk about common problems, laugh together, exchange ideas, and feed off each other's positive energy.
  • at the same time, it is easier to hide in the back of the class and preserve your anonymity, too, if you are not yet ready to delve deep into your issues.
  • the content of a group class may not be the right fit for everyone - some people will end up doing something that is not appropriate for them. No serious injuries usually occur, but the likelihood is higher. The teacher simply cannot give individualized attention to each participant at all times.
  • that is why certain basic abilities are somewhat of a requirement for a group class. You have to be able to keep up with the group and be able to do most of the things in order to participate fully.
  • slow learning - it may take months, if not years, for you to really begin to feel like you know what's going on. Even if you do at some point think that you get it, I'd venture to say, maybe not as much as you think. Many of us routinely do poses incorrectly, for years. In the beginning the benefits of Yoga add up quickly, but it is the slow and steady wear and tear through poor alignment that eventually spells trouble for some practitioners down the road.
  • a group class is a wonderful way to sample a wide variety of Yoga approaches and teaching styles, to experiment and to begin to develop a taste for a regular practice, as well as an understanding of what you like

Private Class

  • Price ranges from $55 to $150 per session. In a few weeks/months, however,  you could become completely independent and begin to practice for free at home. So, the cost comparison is not exactly fair in the end. 
  • home practice! I usually give all my private students an individual practice for them to do at home.
  • You work one on one with the teacher, which means that you cannot hide behind others and must face your issues. A Yoga Therapist like myself usually works with people who have reached the point in their lives when they are ready to take an honest look at their suffering, probably because it has become unbearable. People often wait too long to begin to address their problems.
  • you are able to have a very quick learning curve with any mistakes or misalignment corrected immediately and any questions answered right away. Increasing self-knowledge is the path to alleviating suffering.
  • ability of any kind is not a requirement. Even if you are in such pain/discomfort or so out of shape that all you can do is breathe, then it's a start! A well-trained Yoga Therapist can offer you many different breathing exercises that will make you feel more relaxed, and as you relax, the pain will begin to abate, and you will find yourself actually doing a lot more than you ever imagined yourself capable. The practice could be adapted to your abilities, not matter what they are.
  • a private yoga session can address some issues that a group class never would. Some deep structural issues, emotional or mental issues can be impossible to address to a sufficient degree in a group setting. In the privacy of individual setting, you will feel more free to share your feelings and thoughts, as well as have a good cry.
  • a more intimate relationship between teacher and student. You get to know each other, you get to trust each other. It is extremely healing to be in the presence of someone who is there just for you, to listen to you and to see you as you are, who will not judge, who wants to help, who is compassionate and patient.

I hope this helps.


Anna M.