1:1 and Therapeutic Yoga

1:1 Yoga sessions with Sarah Waterfield
One-to-one is how Yoga was traditionally taught and learned. In many ways it is the best way to teach and learn yoga, allowing the deepest and most personal experience. The teacher can apply the many aspects and techniques of yoga according to the student’s unique individual circumstances at the time, giving maximum effect. In the 1:1 setting the teacher-student relationship also becomes more focussed and a source of learning in itself. Both the student’s and teacher’s practice and understanding of yoga deepen and grow within this relationship.

‘What is education? The teacher on one side, the student on the other side, knowledge and wisdom between them, the process of teaching joining them.’
(Taittiriya Upanishad,1.3.3)

The cost for a one hour 1:1 yoga session is £52, which includes a written and drawn practice sheet to take away. The cost reduces if the sessions are regular and ongoing. For example, for ongoing weekly sessions the cost is £42 per session, for monthly or 3-weekly sessions the cost per session is £47.00. Costs always negotiable depending on circumstances – money must not be a barrier to learning yoga.
Download a pdf with further information 1-1YogaPracticalitiesSept2020

1:1 Therapeutic Yoga
All yoga is therapeutic in that it provides a means to work with yourself to increase the wellbeing of your body and mind. In the hands of a skilled and experienced teacher the many aspects of yoga (postures, breathing, mudra, meditation, sound and chanting, yoga philosophy) can also be applied to specific illnesses, conditions and situations. For some conditions the yoga will help to alleviate symptoms, in some cases removing them altogether. In other cases the yoga cannot affect the symptoms but can radically transform the person’s attitude to their illness or condition, bringing much greater peace of mind.

The yoga view of the human body is that there are 5 interconnected aspects (I have used my words and interpretation here rather than the Sanskrit words):

the physical body
the breath or energy body
the thinking and feeling body
the knowledge and wisdom body
the connected consciousness body

In any one person these bodies are all existing together, being containers for one other. An experienced yoga teacher can see many things when they look at a body; as well as the physical details they may see places where energy is blocked, the effects of what has happened to someone in the past, and the person’s mental attitudes reflected in the shapes and patterns of the physical body.

Yoga contends that these patterns in our bodies are formed by many factors; traits inherited from family, things that have happened to us in our past and our reaction to those happenings, our habitual daily activities and movements, our past and present thoughts and mental attitudes.

Sometimes these patterns ‘solidify’ and cause us pain. This is not saying that pain is ‘your fault’! It is saying that it can be a product, a result of many factors and situations. A crisis or illness or injury can be an opportunity to address an underlying pattern, maybe to ‘unravel’ it and transform it. Yoga, with its uniquely holistic view of the body and existence, deep wisdom and multiple tools and techniques tried and tested over thousands of years, provides us with a powerful means to transform these patterns.

This is not coming from a point of view of ‘something is wrong with you’. On the contrary, in the yoga view everything in the universe is ‘sat’ – a Sanskrit word meaning truth or ‘how it is’. How you are is a product of what is happening or has happened to you and your reactions to that, and what is going on in the world around you. Yoga gives us a way of being objective, of observing our reactions, both mental and physical, and through the act of observation, our reactions can change. The techniques of Yoga (postures, breathing, meditation etc) also give us very concrete and practical means of laying down new patterns, ones that are more in harmony with the universe and so bring us more peace of body and mind.

Yoga can help with any situation. The limitations come only from the limitations of the teacher’s skill or experience, and any lack of receptiveness from the student. Even there, yoga helps us by exhorting us to have shraddha, meaning trust and faith (in yoga, in ourselves, in our inner wisdom, in our teacher, in the universe.)

‘As long as there is breath, we can do something.’ T Krishnamacharya