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The Pros & Cons of Yoga at Home vs Yoga in a Studio

08/04/2014, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

Learn how to choose between yoga class and doing it yourself...

 

Capturing the perfect Warrior pose or holding your Half Moon for the ideal amount of time (four full breaths) are achievements yoga enthusiasts can unlock in a yoga studio or at home. 

As yoga becomes more popular for athletes hoping to avoid or overcome injury, busy parents de-stressing or anyone looking to find their centre, more and more people are choosing to practice yoga in their own way. 

There’s no right or wrong, but there are import and pros and cons of yoga at home vs yoga in a class setting.

Pros: Yoga in a Studio

There’s a special feeling, joining a classroom of peers and learning how to connect specific movements to the rhythm of not only your breathing, but the rhythm of the entire community.

  • Instructor inspiration: in addition to knowledgeable support for each pose, yoga instructors deliver constant wisdom to students.

  • Classroom motivation: you’re surrounded by peers, you’re sharing a space, breathing in unison. 

In a studio, students and instructors succeed together and struggle together. Yoga can build a strong sense of community, a connection between like-minded people that can only be achieved in a studio environment. 

Cons: Yoga in a Studio

The main hurdle to attending regular yoga classes?  

Life. 

The ironic thing is that the daily stresses we face running around back and forth can be eased by attending yoga classes, however, it’s just not always a possibility.

  • The cost: classes cost more time and money than yoga at home.

  • The schedule: yoga classes normally operate with a constant schedule, which may not work for you.

Another small con of yoga in a studio is that it can sometimes be tough for self-conscious people to get started. If this sounds like you, though, don’t worry. Most self-conscious people who go to yoga classes get over that feeling pretty quick. After all, everyone in a yoga class is focused on themselves.

Pros: Yoga at Home

Here’s 3 advantages of yoga at home:

  1. Practicing yoga at home is a fantastic way to start, finish or get through the day. When you know the proper alignments of specific poses and the way your body reacts to them, you’re free to focus on what you know works for you.

  2. Plenty of yoga enthusiasts combine studio classes with sessions at home so they stay in the groove. For daily yoga practitioners, a weekly class might be all they need to stay refreshed on new poses and breathing practices. 

  3. For some people, it can be difficult to concentrate at a studio. Yoga at home allows you to design your own distraction-free space.

Cons: Yoga at home

The most important element you’re missing out on with yoga at home is the interaction with other people. While yoga is ultimately about finding yourself and relaxing your mind within your own space, it’s often the connection to the energy of others that helps you find that awareness. 

  • You’re not held accountable for the effort required to do poses properly

  • More chances for improper alignment, inefficient poses and injury

The Energy of Yoga Everywhere

The North Shore Winter Club’s head yoga instructor Lauren MacRitchie attends her own yoga classes to feel the energy of everyone doing poses in unison. 

“It’s more of a community, people all doing the dame thing. You each have different goals but you’re there together.”

- Lauren MacRitchie

The key to any activity you’re keen to try is to do just that: try. Whether it’s at home or at a studio, yoga is a beneficial practice for anyone looking for an increase in balance, flexibility and strength.

… whether that last part is more mental or physical is up to you to decide.

 

Featured image by Kyle Lease

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