Did you know that in the beginning, ALL yoga was private? Large group classes like those most of us attend today are the result of yoga's growing popularity and the desire to make it more accessible, but at one time, yoga was practiced with a teacher and a single student.
Today, there are many benefits to private yoga lessons, especially for new students, including:
Reducing/eliminating any level of intimidation associated with attending a group class for the first time. In one or two private sessions, your instructor can prepare you for what to expect in class and give you enough basics to make you feel comfortable.
Designing a practice to accommodate any injuries, health concerns, or other limitations you may have. Maybe you've put off attending your first yoga class because you're concerned about re-injury. Working one-on-one with an instructor will give you the opportunity to learn valuable modifications and postures to avoid for now when you are in class.
You have specific goals you are trying to achieve. If you are coming to yoga for a specific reason, whether physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional, and would like some guidance on how to tailor a group class to get the most out of it for you, a private lesson or two is a great way to get started.
Class recommendations. A teacher who has worked closely with you in one or more private lessons will be able to recommend appropriate group classes for you based on what he sees and hears from you in your private session.
Private yoga lessons can seem very expensive (at Valley Vinyasa, a one-hour private lesson is $65), but may be an excellent investment for the beginner who wants to start his or her practice but is uncomfortable just dropping in for a class picked from the schedule.