Online yoga classes are a great way to practice yoga from the comfort of home. If I want to take a yoga class, no longer do I have to spend all the time looking for a class at the local yoga studio, plan in advance, drive and spend all the time in between just to get my practice in.
Now if I find a moment throughout the day I can find a class and teacher that I like in a few clicks. Of course, it is not quite the same as going in person, but I think the benefits outweigh the costs.
So, the million dollar question – Are online yoga classes really any good?
So, are online yoga classes any good?
Let’s break it down.
1. First. Online yoga classes can be taken at any time of day and are available on demand; meaning that they can be accessed when needed without having to wait for a specific class time.
2. Second, having access to a wide range of instructors is something definitely special. Being exposed to different approaches and teaching styles means you literally can pick and chose from some of the best teachers in the world.
Some platforms like Glo have hundreds of teachers, like Richard Freeman and Rod Stryker who are some of the most recognized yogis on the planet and pretty hard to book a class with as they are constantly traveling around the world teaching.
3. Third. While sometimes it’s nice to have other people around you while you practice, other times not so much. When there are loads of people in the room, it’s pretty easy for our attention to be pulled outside. All of a sudden, you care more about what people think about you rather than your own practice.
This is even more true if you are trying new poses; you can feel quite self-conscious, stage fright is real.
4. Fourth, One of the major benefits of taking an online yoga class is convenience – as I mentioned, you can take a session wherever and whenever you want without having to travel somewhere else or wait for a specific time slot at a local studio.
The unique aspect of taking an online yoga class compared with attending one in person is that there’s often more flexibility, especially if you are someone who travels a lot (like me) or busy in odd hours throughout the day, or just generally – busy with work and life.
5. Fifth. In terms of cost, online classes tend be much cheaper than regular studio prices. I have paid 200 dollars a month for a subscription to a brick and mortar yoga studio before, whereas online subs cost as little as 35 dollars!
Why is it so cheap? It’s so cheap is because instructors don’t need to rent space, hire staff, get insurance, pay for heating and a hundred other costs that come with running a physical space.
Is Online Yoga It Different from In-Person Classes?
When it comes to online yoga classes, many people are skeptical. And I get it. After all, yoga is usually a practice that requires physical guidance and in person adjustment from an instructor.
So can you really learn the same way virtually? The answer is yes.
Though there may be some minor differences between taking an online class compared to being physically present in one, they are largely the same. You’ll still have access to instructors who will provide instruction on poses and breathing. Your teacher can still offer helpful adjustments through words of encouragement or cues for modifications as needed (if you get a live class.)
Perhaps the biggest difference between virtual and in-person classes is that with online sessions you won’t get hands-on adjustments from your teacher – though depending on how well you know your own body this could actually be a good thing.
Not having someone touch you during practice gives students more freedom to explore their own range of motion without worrying about any outside expectations or pressure. This means that those practicing at home have complete control over their session – something not always possible when taking group classes in person.
The Drawbacks to Consider
Online yoga classes can be a great, but there are drawbacks that should be considered.
One potential issue is not having an instructor present who can observe and adjust your postures as needed. Without this kind of personalized guidance, it may be difficult to ensure you are doing each pose correctly and safely, which could increase the risk for injury or other physical issues. Without being able to be guided live into unfamiliar poses and the best way to modify them for yourself you may not progress as fast.
Another possible downside is the lack of connection with other people that comes with attending virtual classes rather than practicing at a studio in person.
While many online classes still offer a chance for students to interact through chat forums or discussion boards, not being able to connect face-to-face with those who have the same interest as you, can make it harder to feel part of a community.
Not being able to have meaningful conversations and connect with people who share the same passion is definitely a downside – so it’s not all good.
What Equipment Do You Need?
You do no need much besides an internet connection, laptop (phone), a subscription service, (or you can just go on YouTube for free), a mat, and a nice quiet place.
When it comes to physical equipment, there are several things that can help like a blanket and possibly some pillows or cushions depending on which type of poses you plan on doing during the session.
Blocks and straps may not be necessary, but they can certainly make certain postures more accessible if needed. If available, having some kind of wall-mounted mirror could also assist with checking alignment during specific poses – however this is not always possible when joining classes remotely, so don’t worry if you don’t have one.
Finding the Right Instructor for You
When it comes to online yoga classes, finding the right instructor can really open up doors to your practice. The right instructor will be able to help you find poses that suit your body type and can offer personalized advice for improving your form.
A good way to find an instructor is to just look online. There are a thousand ways to connect with an online teacher these days. Many studios now offer virtual “tryouts” where potential students can attend one class before signing up for more sessions. This is a great opportunity to get a feel for their teaching style and determine if they are the right fit for you.
Be sure to look at what kind of tools and resources are available through the teacher’s platform or website. Many teachers include helpful videos and articles which can supplement your practice beyond just attending live classes – this extra content often gives insight into their approach towards yoga which helps you decide whether it’s something that resonates with you or not.
Making the Most of Your Practice
One of the biggest benefits of taking online yoga classes is that you have more control over your practice. Instead of being limited to a certain studio or instructor, you can take advantage of different types and styles from all around the world without ever leaving your home.
If you’re not sure about committing to a regular schedule for in-person classes due to cost or other obligations, an online class might be perfect for you. With just a few clicks and some investment in equipment such as yoga mats and blocks, it’s easy to get started with your own personalized practice at any time that suits you best.