Let’s be clear on one thing: there is no such thing as a “wrong” way to practice yoga. You might have huffed and puffed your way through 10 minutes of Sun Salutations, and your Downward Dog might resemble more of a bent scarecrow. But the fact is, you made it to your mat and you met your body wherever it’s at. And that, my friends, is what yoga’s really about, whether it’s online yoga or studio yoga.
And exactly the same applies when it comes to choosing where to practice. No two days are going to feel the same, which means your needs and requirements are going to be ever-changing too. Sometimes practising in class is exactly what we need. The energy, the sound of synchronised breathing and the warmth of other bodies around us can be really motivating and inspiring during our yoga practice.
That said, going to class is a luxury for many of us. Hefty class prices aside, simply finding the time to get to the studio can be difficult, not to mention the stress of trying to cram yet another activity into an already packed day. Sometimes all we really need is a bit of alone time, and a home practice provides the perfect ground in which to cultivate space away from the non-stop interactions and responsibilities of everyday life. But perhaps most importantly, a home practice comes hand-in-hand with the commitment to make yoga a part of daily life. That’s where the real journey begins.
As with everything in life, finding a healthy balance is key. Why settle for one when you can have both? So play around, mix it up and see what works for you! Here’s what we love about both home and studio classes:
The Benefits of Yoga in a Studio
The group energy we get from going to a studio class can be really motivating and inspiring! The sound of breathing is meditative in itself, providing a great environment to connect and focus after a challenging day.
2. Hands-on Adjustments
We all crave the power of touch. That final moment in Savasana when your teacher gently relaxes your shoulders or stretches out your legs. Studio classes are also invaluable from a technical perspective. For newbie yogis starting out, it can be quite helpful to have a teacher physically adjust you into correct alignment.
Yoga isn’t just a practice, it’s a community. The Buddhist tradition talks of the “Sangha” (community) as an integral part of the journey to good health, and ultimately enlightenment. Online communities are awesome for sharing experiences and lifestyle tips, but it’s different to the connection we feel when we share our thoughts and feelings in person. Attending studios classes is a great way to meet other yogis further down the line for support and guidance, and make new friends!
The Benefits of Yoga at Home
One of the biggest benefits of a home practice is that it allows us the flexibility to practice whenever and wherever we like. Not all of us enjoy the luxury of being able to fit in multiple yoga classes amongst work, friends and family commitments.
Joining live & interactive online yoga classes is the perfect way to feel the sense of connection we get in studio classes without the time constraints and stress of a long journey. Practising at home means that yoga naturally becomes a part of our daily life – and that’s exactly what we are passionate about here at Yogaia!
It’s only natural to compare ourselves to others when we’re thrown into a room full of random people. Class can be daunting at the best of times. Still have food down your T-shirt from lunch? Having a bad hair day? Who cares. There’s no one to impress when you practise a home. And this is a refreshing feeling for those of us who live a sociable or performance-led lifestyle, constantly surrounded by people. Practising at home immediately removes the pressure to perform, transferring the focus to YOU and your needs.
3. Better Body Awareness
Instead of comparing ourselves to the guy next to us who’s flexing his flashy handstands, or wondering where that girl in front got her awesome yoga pants from, a home yoga practise leaves us with just ourselves. This naturally encourages us to turn our focus inward, making us more aware of gentle tweaks and tensions in the body, or times when our breath shortens and we need to back off. Away from any distractions, it’s easier to anchor ourselves in the present – and it is in this moment of awareness that we can really absorb all the benefits of our moving meditation.
If you can, get the best of both worlds by incorporating both online and studio yoga into your personal practice! No yoga studio nearby? Yogaia’s live classes are an amazing way to create a yoga studio experience wherever you are – whether it’s at home, on holiday or wherever you are on-the-go!
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