YOGA AT HOME VS STUDIO: BENEFITS AND DOWNSIDES
Are you confused as to whether you should practice yoga at home or at a yoga studio? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Studio yoga classes are best for beginners and for yogis who enjoy a social environment but they require a lot of time and money.
They are usually taught by experienced yoga teachers who know what they are doing and are able to expertly guide you through each yoga pose. Practicing yoga at home without a teacher is best for those who are short on funds and time, or desire maximum flexibility and variety.
Benefits of home yoga practice
Starting a home yoga practice has many advantages over a class setting, including convenience, flexibility, cost, privacy, and freedom from judgment. It’s also a great way to build strength, balance, and coordination.
It’s free or low cost
It may seem like a no-brainer, but spending money on yoga classes is actually quite costly. The average price of a single class ranges from $10-$20 per session. That adds up quickly over the course of a month. However, if you’re looking to save money, you can always opt to practice yoga at home. Many websites offer free trial sessions, so you can test out their services before committing to a monthly membership. You can also find tons of free online classes on YouTube. It is also fine to practice using books, yoga DVDs, and other resources from your local library.
Practice on your own schedule
With in-person sessions, you must show up at specific class times or risk being turned away from the class. One of the biggest benefits of practicing yoga at home is that you can get on your yoga mat whenever you want. You can easily carve out a few minutes before you leave for work for a short morning yoga session, or practice a few calming yoga poses right before bed.
Go at your own pace
If you want to take it fast or slow, have a short challenging flow or a long calming class of restorative poses, then you should definitely consider practicing yoga at home. There are no set times in a class, so you can do whatever feels best for you. This means that you don’t need to worry about being late or missing a pose. You can create a complete self-directed practice. For example, you could choose not to do any physical practices and focus on a breathing or meditation practice instead.
No insecurity or comparisons
By practicing yoga in your own space, you won’t feel embarrassed when you make mistakes because nobody else is watching. When you go to a class, you often feel self-conscious about what others think of your form or posture. But since there aren’t any other students around, you won’t be concerned about doing the wrong thing or not looking perfect in every single pose.
Class is as long or short as you want
The length of the class depends on what you want from it. If you just want to stretch out and relax, then short classes are perfect. But if you want to build strength, flexibility, and muscle tone, then longer classes will give you a greater challenge. Online videos are great for people who want to get started but don’t have much time. They allow you to choose from different classes as short as five minutes and as long as an hour.
A studio usually only offers classes in a few different styles of yoga. If you prefer to practice at home, you can find online yoga classes with tons of different yoga styles to explore. From Hatha to Vinyasa Flow, Yin to Restorative Yoga, there’s something for everyone to follow.
No commute, more convenience
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more exercise into your day without having to spend more time commuting and sitting in traffic, a home yoga practice is a perfect choice. Instead of driving to a gym or rushing to the studio during rush hour, you can simply hop on your mat and use the time you saved by not driving by spending more time on your mat or other self-care options to improve your everyday life.
You control the environment
When you practice at home, you have complete control over the temperature, lighting, and other factors that affect your experience. In a studio, these things aren’t under your control and you will need to accept the yoga instructor’s choices. A home practice removes this lack of control, which allows you to immerse yourself deeper into your practice.
Boosts grit, resolve, and determination
A consistent home practice gives you the opportunity to build up your resilience and determination. By practicing regularly, you’ll develop a routine and become more accustomed to working through challenges. It also helps you stay focused on your goals and avoid distractions
Downsides of a home yoga practice
If you want to start practicing yoga at home, it’s important to know what downsides there may be. These disadvantages include equipment purchases, less social interaction, and individual instruction. For example, you might not receive personal attention from a teacher, so you could miss out on valuable feedback and guidance. Also, if you’re new to yoga, you may not understand some poses well enough to do them correctly by yourself.
No personalized instruction
If you want to learn yoga but don’t know where to begin, it might be best to find a class near you. The instructor will be able to guide you through the basics and teach you poses specific to your needs. For example, instructors might ask questions about your current health status, provide feedback, or suggest modifications based on your body type or level of fitness. The instructors will also guide you through each pose and teach you proper alignment and breathing techniques.
One can fall into a routine
If you only practice at home, you will eventually develop some bad habits. As a beginner, you won’t possess enough flexibility, strength, and body awareness to attain the correct alignment in the poses. Without the guidance of experienced teachers, you might end up holding poses too long or developing poor postural habits which could lead to injuries and pain. You will be more likely to avoid advanced yoga poses and instead stick to easy ones which will stifle your growth and advancement.
Less social interaction
Unlike in a class setting, when you practice at home you are unlikely to meet many new people. This means you won’t get to make friends and interact with others as much as you would in a class setting. If making friends and sharing the same experiences as others is something you value, then you should consider taking a class at a local studio.
Technology tinkering can be a hassle
Unless you are an experienced yoga practitioner, you will need a source of instruction in your home. Relying on online yoga videos requires you to have a strong and consistent internet connection, as well as a device capable of streaming video content. If you are a technology novice, this might prove difficult and frustrating. The calming and stress-relieving benefits of yoga will be negated if you spend half your time trying to figure out how to stream your online class.
Need to purchase props
Most studios provide yoga blocks and other yoga props you may need to participate fully in a class. When practicing at home, you will need to purchase these essential yoga equipment items or make do with substitutions. This will create an initial cost, plus you will need space to store these items.
Benefits of a studio yoga practice
A studio yoga class offers many advantages, including access to expert teachers who know exactly what they are doing, and a supportive community where you can ask questions and receive feedback from fellow students. A studio class also allows you to focus completely on your own personal practice without having to think about anything else.
Yoga studios are a great place to meet people who share similar interests as you do. They offer many ways to connect with others who share your interest in health, wellness, spiritual practice and the yoga lifestyle. You will interact with like-minded people who can support you along your journey and give you advice on topics such as nutrition, meditation, and fitness. Some even offer off-site activities like volunteer days and retreats to make it easier to develop friendships.
Proper alignment of your body is important for many reasons, including reducing injury risk and improving performance. An experienced teacher knows how to adjust your posture so that you achieve proper alignment and can modify your practice accordingly. Yoga instructors are trained to spot common mistakes that beginners tend to make during their first few classes. At home, you will not benefit from this level of expertise.
Supportive and calming atmosphere
Many studios are designed and decorated as a calming environment to unwind, relax, and recharge. You may find yourself more focused and less worried while practicing in a studio than at home. After a stressful day at work, you may appreciate a space dedicated to attaining peace and quiet before heading home.
Lower risk of injury
The risk of injury is higher if you practice without any form of supervision. In a studio setting, there is always someone around to guide you through poses safely and correctly. At home, however, you must rely on yourself to ensure you are following safe practices.
Instructors can provide inspiration and encouragement to keep you motivated throughout your practice. Receiving feedback and making progress towards goals is much easier when you are surrounded by positive energy and motivation. Instructors are often available to answer questions and provide individualized guidance to help you advance in your practice.
It’s great to get out of the house
If you’re looking for a way to stay active without going too far from home, studio classes are a perfect option. Attending a class is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy some time away from family obligations, especially after a long week at work. It’s also a good opportunity to socialize with other people who have the same goal in mind. Many studios offer special events, workshops, and retreats that allow you to be out of the house for a long time while learning more about yoga and expanding your knowledge.