As you guys know, I practice yoga exclusively at home. Last week, I shared how exactly I do that, so this week I thought I’d talk about why and whether or not I recommend it for other people.
1. Cost. Studios are expensive. Like, really expensive. I’ve never really been in a position financially to pay for classes, especially not when I can practice at home. This is by far the biggest factor that’s kept me away from a traditional studio practice.
2. Flexibility. As I mentioned last week, one of my favorite things about yogaglo is that I can do any kind of practice, any time I want. At a studio, if you’re in the mood for Yin but the only classes that day are Vinyasa, or you’re in the mood for Vinyasa, but the only class that fits in your schedule is Hatha, you’re out of luck. Or maybe you don’t really like all of the instructors. Or maybe you really want to focus on your hips but when you get to class you find out the focus that day is backbends. Practicing at home means I can choose a practice perfectly suited to my body’s needs that day.
3. Convenience. Practicing at home means no trip to and from the studio. This saves even more time (my favorite).
4. Comfort. When you’re practicing at home, there’s no comparison trap to worry about and no intimidation. Neither of these things have any place in yoga, but we live in the real world and the reality is that they both happen.
5. Time. Most, if not all, studio classes are 75 to 90 minutes, with some being an hour. That’s all fine if you have that much time, but I sure don’t. Practicing at home means if I only have 15 minutes, I can do 15 minutes. Full disclosure? I’ve never done a 90 minute class before. I tried once and ended up fast forwarding through part. In fact, until recently, I almost never practiced for more than 30 minutes. The point is, practicing at home means you can make your practice work for your schedule.
Is it right for you?
I’m a huge proponent of home practice, and I think it is right for everyone. If you have experience with yoga and/or you’re doing some classes with a live instructor, then I see no reason not to practice at home. The real question is whether solely practicing at home is right for you.
To answer it, you’re going to have to be really honest with yourself, because in my opinion, it comes down to one thing: how well you take form cues. Because without an instructor to physically adjust your pose, you’re relying exclusively on your own ability to make micro adjustments. And the truth is that many people struggle with this.
It comes down to your spatial awareness of your body and the strength of your mind body connection. You know if this is something that comes easily to you or not. If it does, then full steam ahead with home practice! If it doesn’t, then it may not be right for you, at least not exclusively, or not without first putting in a good amount of studio time. If you fall somewhere in between, I’d suggest doing your home practice in front of a mirror and/or taking pictures of your poses so you can see what your body actually looks like in a pose.
Questions: Home-based yogis, any benefits I forgot? Studio yogis, what do you love about practicing in a studio?