Yoga is great and it can totally be done at home with minimum equipment. That is how I do it (here is more on my personal experience with yoga and here is a post on the necessary equipment). But is it the right way for you?
In this post I will share some of the key differences between at home and in studio yoga practice that I myself or some of my friends have experienced. I hope it will help you choose the right one for you!
At home practice is cheaper. It can be practically free if you use free YouTube yoga lessons (they can be really good, here’s my favourite channel) and use what you have at home for equipment: a blanket instead of a yoga mat, a pillow instead of a block, etc.
However there are a lot of yoga studios now, within different price ranges. You can probably find one that fits your budget. Also, money can offer some extra motivation. I have noticed that some people are more likely to attend classes if they pay for them.
Safety and basics
If you go to a yoga studio, there will be a teacher there who will show you how to do the asanas in the correct and safe way, but you can also be very careful when you practice at home, listen to your body and follow the video instructions (if you are using video lessons) closely.
Actually, if you have never tried yoga before, I would recommend that you start with a few lessons in a yoga studio or with a teacher. This will give you a better feel of the basics and the safety. It will allow you to move to home practice easily.
If you practice at home, there is no need to be shy or self-conscious. It doesn’t matter how you look or what you wear. I occasionally practice at home half-naked or in my favorite pusheenicorn pajamas, and I love it.
However, the yogi community is generally quite accepting. Also, the people practicing with you in a studio can also be shy and self-conscious about their bodies – it can be a great way to work on your insecurities in a safe environment.
Studio practice is more disciplining. At home, if you find an asana challenging, you can stop doing it any moment. Of course it is true for studio practice as well – and you should stop doing an asana if something doesn’t feel right or it is too hard on your body. But in a studio, with the teacher encouraging you and other students still going on, you will be more motivated to keep at it for a few seconds longer – which can add up to quite a big difference.
However, you can practice self-discipline at home as well. If you are following a video lesson, try to hold the asanas as long as the teacher in the video does. Even if you want to give up just tell yourself to hold for just a breath longer. You can probably do it, and even just one breath with each asana can make a great difference.
Practicing at home is more convenient. You don’t have to travel half across the city – you don’t have to go anywhere at all. You can practice at any time. You can practice as long as you feel like.
However, yoga studios are abundant nowadays and their schedules vary: you can find something that fits your schedule.
A yoga studio is more atmospheric: dimmed lights, burning incense, soft meditative music, comfy lounge area, spacious rooms free of clutter…
However, you can create your own atmosphere at home, especially if you have the room for it. Even if not, there are various small touches that you can add: use essential oils, play music, choose a special yoga mat and so on – and you can tailor all that to your taste and your taste alone.I do recommend that you attend a few lessons in a studio or with a private teacher at the beginning: there are some asanas where you can hurt yourself if you do them wrong, so it is better to get the basics from an experienced teacher and in person. Click To Tweet
You can see that for every advantage or disadvantage that I provide there is a “but” or a “however”. In some situations home practice is preferable over studio and vice versa. You can combine both to introduce some variety to your practice.
And I repeat, I do recommend that you attend a few lessons in a studio or with a private teacher at the beginning: there are some asanas where you can hurt yourself if you do them wrong, so it is better to get the basics from an experienced teacher and in person.
Which practice sounds more appealing to you? What arguments were the most convincing? Share your opinions in the comments! Also, check out these related posts for more food for thought on yoga practice: