Online Yoga classes - Pros and Cons
Updated: Jun 6, 2020
Lately the online Yoga world experienced a boom due to the corona pandemic. Many Yoga teachers offered free Yoga classes online to support people throughout the crisis.
Other Yoga teachers had no other choice but to relocate their Yoga studios into the virtual world.
Many people have tried online Yoga or even Yoga for the first time during this time.
In this article I want to point out the advantages and disadvantages of taking Online Yoga classes in general (apart from times of viruses) in comparison to going to a Yoga studio. Furthermore I will speak about the differences compared to practicing with free (Youtube) videos.
PROS of taking classes online
1. You can step right out of your bed on your Yoga mat – no traveling is needed, no changing clothes, no showering, no fixing hair
2. You don’t lose time to travel from place to place and you don't get cold on the way home when you are sweaty or have wet hair
3. Online Yoga classes are usually less pricey. In this way you can practice more often and more consistently for less money
4. It basically doesn’t matter how you look or smell, the other students might not even know you and the teacher and students cannot see you clear enough to recognize much of your appearance
5. You can shower and change clothes at home. This has a long list of benefits: No carrying any bags full of shower articles, clothes, towels, make up articles and what not to class and back home. No forgetting of a hair brush and realizing it when your hair is wet and messy in the public bathroom. No banning of shaving body hair. No forgetting things anywhere and no bed smelling towels in the sport bag from the last class.
6. Due to the size of a screen most Yoga teachers offer classes to smaller groups only. We at Yogicbreath for example don’t teach more than 10 students per class. This means the teachers can pay more attention to your practice, individualize it better and you can progress more
7. It doesn't matter where your favorite teacher is located, you can join the online classes even if you live far away from your favorite Yoga studio
8. You make your home a place of practice and by building the habit to practicing there it will be easier to keep up the practice on your own when you don't have class
9. You have less distractions. No matter how hard you try, in a group class in person you will always see others and get distracted from your own practice or from your point of focus
CONS of taking classes online
1. Sometimes it can be freeing to step out of your house and have a change of place to be in the right mood for a Yoga practice. In an online class you are bound to the range of your internet connection. If you have a spacious home though, you can still create that feeling by finding a special place in your home just for your regular Yoga practice. You can decorate that space a little bit and keep it clean, so that you feel the same good vibes when you enter your space which you would feel when entering your Yoga studio.
2. The teacher won’t be able to give you hands on adjustments. You might not be able to get deeper into the pose than your body allows naturally.
3. It is more difficult to see what the other students are doing. This might make you less motivated to give your everything. However, this is at the same time an advantage for your practice. You will have to listen extra carefully to the instructions and to the feedback of your own body, which enhances concentration, body awareness and safety in your practice. In the end it is YOUR practice and we want to educate you anyways to become independent in your practice, so that you can take care of yourself throughout your life in general.
4. We already spend a lot of time in front of screens. Your Yoga class will add to that.
However you can try to focus on yourself and the instructions more, instead of on the screen.
5. In your own home you might get distracted by family members, calls or pets. Try to avoid that by switching the phone silent, using a laptop for the class, asking your family members for some quiet time and closing the doors of your practice room.
6. The internet connection might interrupt your class. If this happens, see if you can fix the connection on your end. If the problem is not on your end, just keep breathing in your current pose or continue with what your body feels like until you get reconnected.
You might wonder:
IF I PRACTICE ONLINE ANYWAYS, THEN WHY NOT JUST WATCHING A YOUTUBE VIDEO?
1. The teacher in a video cannot correct you or help you with individual questions. This is extremely important, especially in Yoga, because Yoga practices work powerfully on your energy body. If you don’t know how and what you’re doing, it can lead to injury or against your favor. It is important to practice with professional guidance.
2. For those who have difficulty to stay motivated over a long period of time: Only registering for consistent classes and connecting with a teacher can give you the necessary obligation and binding to keep you coming back. Having the freedom to practice or not to practice with your Yoga video makes it difficult to motivate yourself consistently and to build up a consistent practice. But consistency of your practice is the number one important thing to bring long-lasting changes in your life and your well-being.
3. Once you have started with a class with a teacher, you can not just change your mind and shut down the video. The teacher will keep you motivated and bring out your strength.
4. After some time you might be done with your favorite videos and need a new challenge or some changes in your practice to further progress. This can be demotivating and might stop your consistent practice.
5. The teacher can adapt the class to your ability and give you individual variations.
6. Also keep in mind: Anyone can upload a Youtube video. You don’t know the teacher’s expertise. No matter if you chose videos or classes, make sure the teachers are well trained and certified.
I hope you liked this article. Please comment and let me know if I forgot any PROs or CONs. If you are interested to take online Yoga classes please check out YOGICBREATH. We are certified and experienced Yoga teachers by heart and profession.