Like you, I’ve been zooming, logging into different classes, both at Anahata’s wonderful staff of teachers, and all over the country. It’s wonderful to see different views, how teachers handle live streaming, and a wide variety of classes to choose from. This has given me a newer perspective on studio vs. home yoga practice. I have had a home practice, ever since becoming a teacher, but for most yogi’s, this has been a newer concept to practice at home. Some have had wonderful experiences, and others can’t concentrate when they see the chaos and dust, chores, and other distractions from practicing at home. I’ve broken down some pro’s and con’s to both, and here they are……..
Studio Practice, or in person
Advantages and Disadvantages
- There is nothing like community. A great community brings like minded people together, helps you develop friendships, and just feels better sharing this solo journey that yoga is.
- Meeting someone in person is often better, and you can discuss any concerns with your teacher before class begins.
- There is Nothing like a trained expert teacher, who can watch you intently, cue appropriately, to help you avoid injuries. You can do this online in a live stream class, but often the teacher has a tiny thumb nail size picture of you, which is too difficult to look intently at alignment.
- The energy of the studio, and energy of a teacher can either bring you out of a funk, lift your spirits, and leave you in a state of bliss, free of stress. This can be done online, but again, it is very difficult to see everyone, and to “feel” everyone’s needs moods to make a shift as a teacher.
- A studio will have every prop available, and teach you how to use them, so you can become stronger and flexible with practice.
- A studio is a clutter free clean environment, often conducive to the practice of yoga.
- Something that I have become aware of recently, is people often feel intimidated coming into a studio, and to be bluntly honest, I guess I did too…..I felt like everyone will be really good at yoga, and here I am, sucking. That is not the case, in every class there are always many levels of people who practice, some new to yoga, along with seasoned practitioners.
- When you practice at a studio, you set an intention, that you are worth it! You carve out the time of a busy schedule, and when you get there, turn off your phone, an unplug from daily life and distractions. Many of us have too many distractions at home to feel the peace.
- Your teacher will push you to new places, at home, you can hit the EASY button.
Home Practice, or your own practice.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- There is nothing more satisfying than scratching your own “itch”. If you know your body, you know where you need yoga, and go there, sometimes in a group class, not every need can be met.
- It is awesome to do yoga in whatever you want, lounger pants, jammies, or I don’t care if my shirt rides up. It’s freeing.
- No drive home, after a restorative class, I can just slide into bed, and no worries if I get stuck in traffic.
- The 1st on the list, scratching your own “itch”, can also work against you. At home, you often practice the same poses, maybe even the one’s you are really good at, and avoiding the ones you aren’t so good at. This will bring your body out of balance. Often if people are in a rut with their practice, going to a different style of yoga, or a different teacher can open up new ideas, and ways of practicing yoga that you need.
- If you are going through a tough time, either mentally, physically, or spiritually, a home practice (even with video and audio off) can allow you the grace to surrender and let go more easily at home. As a yoga teacher, it is called the study of somatics, where as trauma is held in the body, until you want to let go of it. During this time of quarantine, I have turned off my video, and allowed myself a good cry. That is probably the biggest reason to have a home practice.
In general, I always encourage my new teachers to develop both a home practice, and a studio practice to advance their study of yoga. Both ways can be advantageous to our growth as spiritual beings. Both have health advantages. Shoot me a comment if I have left something out that you either like or dislike regarding studio or home practice. Even when we are allowed back in the studio in person, we will continue live streaming for (future) those of us who want a home practice.
See you virtually on the mat, or in person!!