I know that most of us really love the personalized attention we get in a private session. I also believe that the energy of a group class can be a fantastic way to gain inspiration and a little umph by being with other students and their energy. However, how do we know when we are ready for a group class? I am asked this question all the time and I understand why; leaving the comfort and security of one-on-one time with your instructor can be daunting. But it is possible that exiting the nest is exactly what we need in order to further our practice.

The most vital bit of information may be learned from your teacher; do you have the knowledge, both physically and mentally to not only perform the exercises asked of you in a group setting, but to modify when an exercise presents as too challenging?

THIS IS HUGE! The answer to this multi-faceted question can be enormously complex. But, your teacher should know within 5 private sessions if you are ready to hop into a group class. He or she should be able to give you potential scenarios you could face in order to formulate an answer together. And…even if your teacher feels confident, you may not. And that’s SO OK!

If the group class is of the same or similar genre to what you are already doing with your instructor, fantastic. The answer will probably be clear to both of you.

But what if you’ve been super motivated to try something new? Again, you must rely on your gut and your teacher’s impression of how well you know your body and how ready you are to do some self-checking and guiding when that new teacher’s eyes are on someone else. If the answer is yes, have a blast! If no, then perhaps include some techniques of the unchartered territory within your private sessions, if your instructor is amenable to it. Most of us teachers are educated in many disciplines; take advantage of that!

Regardless of whether you are ready now or or need more time, your teacher will get you there. A good instructor is a partner and a cheerleader. They are there to guide and advise and introduce and encourage. Soak it all in and enjoy your sessions. Moving your body is one of the best things you can do. Hooray for you for making the time and giving it some elbow grease!

Amanda Jane Avis

Amanda Jane Avis began her exploration of movement as a child. Her very early dance training sparked an intense curiosity of anatomy and physiology, which led her to study the amazing human body after receiving her B.A. in dance from UCLA in 1996. She invites people of all disciplines and levels of athleticism to explore Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga, Raising the Barre, and dance. Amanda Jane is currently seeing clients online and in person.

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