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  • Sabrina Jo Atto

Private Yoga Session vs Group Yoga Class

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

Group Classes

The variety of group classes available out there are abundant. You can choose from gentle, therapeutic, alignment, hot, flowy and so much more. Depending on your favorite style(s) there are plenty of classes and teachers to pick from.

Teaching a Sequence

Typically, in a studio yoga class you will practice a sequence of poses, usually these poses will build on one another. Some classes may incorporate breathwork and/or meditation.

The teacher, depending on the class size, will be able to offer support by sharing cues throughout class. These cues are general and intended to help the student find their way into the pose. These cues may or may not help the student.

In a group setting the challenge becomes that all students are inherently different. The way you hold your body and the habits you develop are different than others in a class. So, a helpful cue for you could be counterproductive for another and visa versa. The teacher has to offer whatever knowledge she has to the best of her ability in a general way and because of this may be able to help a few individuals in passing through out class.


Group classes are taught as either All Levels - teacher will offer variations and modifications for all poses, or specific levels, i.e. Level 1, 1-2, 2, 3. These classes will all offer different type of guidance. Higher level classes may have students going into arm balances and inversions while Level 1 classes will focus on basics and foundation. Both classes offer their own version of a challenge.


Group classes can run anywhere between 50-90 minutes a class and for the most part end with Savasana, the traditional final resting pose.

Advantages of Group Yoga Classes

  • You can follow and take classes with teachers you really like.

  • You can get an hour of movement and breathwork into your day.

  • A yoga class can feel like a reset button.

  • Group classes cost less than a private session.

  • Studio classes are a great way to try and learn about different styles of yoga.

  • They are a great way to discover different styles of meditation.

Private Yoga Session

A private yoga session is very different from a group class. Where a group class has a general theme or sequence a private session is tailored specifically to the client.

General Private Session Breakdown

This is a general idea of what you could expect from a private yoga session with me (everyone is different). I would take some time to ask you why you’re interested in private yoga and what you’re looking to get out of our sessions. Once I understand your reason for working with me, I will have a better idea of how to approach our sessions.

The first private is very different than the others, it’s my time to understand your needs, understand your body and its movement (this takes more than one session, in fact it can take months but the first session is usually a good indicator of where we need to start.)

If there is a specific “issue” you are looking to address we would work on that. I have clients who are looking to correct pain they are experiencing, some want to work on transforming stress and anxiety, others are interested in focusing on both the physical and emotional, and then there are those clients who want to move their bodies and work toward developing strength and mobility.

Each session is specific to the client’s (your) overall goal, body and how you are feeling the day we meet. An appointment with a client will look different depending on the client’s mood, energy level, physical ability and needs that day. The private session will be one that brings you harmony in mind, body and spirit.

Unlike a group class it is less likely for me to offer you a flowing sequence. We will practice postures, exercises, breathwork and meditation in a way that fully serves you during our time together. These practices will be broken up with minimal dialogue and feedback.

Something I do more in a private session than in a group class is hands on adjustments. If a client is comfortable with me respectfully touching them, I will help guide them into a pose or use my hand to help encourage them to engage more. This could mean I place my hands on your back to encourage full breathing or have you press the heel of your foot into my hand for a more active stretch. In a private session I can engage more with you, helping you find the most beneficial variations and modifications of poses.

An important part of working one-on-one is that I get to ask A LOT of questions. I have a better understanding of what is helping a student and what isn’t by asking how you feel in poses or during exercises. This feedback benefits you, the client, because it allows me to understand your body and its needs.

Benefits of a Private Session

  • You receive my one-on-one attention and focus.

  • I can tailor sessions to your needs.

  • You can work toward specific wellness goals.

  • I’m present to help guide you toward your wellness goals.

  • I can help you create an at home practice.

  • You become aware of your body’s habits and patterns.



Sabrina Jo Atto is a seeker. She is a teacher of yoga, a business owner, a writer, and her passion in life is to help others heal.

Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan and completed her initial 200 hour yoga teacher training with Karma Yoga in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She went on to complete a 200 hour Anusara Yoga training with Skeetor Tichnor in Maui, Hawaii.

In 2013, Sabrina established Freebird LLC, a wellness coaching practice where she works with clients seeking a holistic or integrative approach toward healing anxiety and living a joyful life.

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