As an owner of a brick and mortar studio AND an online and virtual studio, I am frequently discussing at home vs. studio yoga practices.
Those who love the studio often lament that they don’t think they could practice at home, and I discuss all the reasons why they should and the ways in which they can, the benefits, etc. In fact, I have a post about that as well — Benefits of Online Yoga.
But I also have those who tell me that they have always practiced at home and prefer that to coming in to a studio class. I am guessing you might lean that way since you landed here on this post, but I appreciate you hearing me out on why it might just benefit you to roll up that mat and walk into the studio (mine or one near you).
One of my values as a yoga instructor is the community of my students. I work to cultivate this community with my online and virtual students, and it’s definitely a component, but there is an easy, naturally strong community that grows between students in the studio classes. Even if it is someone’s first time, it usually doesn’t take long for a conversation to start or a moment of connection to happen. My studio and my classes and my students want this community and protect this community; the studio and my classes are a safe place for everyone to come and be welcomed, a safe place to relax and set down all that you are carrying.
Studio classes are also great ways to practice with friends. You can have a class each week that is your time to meet at the studio, practice, and leave feeling stretched and connected. You might also find friends in the class and connections in your larger community.
2. Leave it Behind
With that, the studio is a place where you can release and leave cares, stress, worries, negative thoughts, etc. I posted previously about it being my honor to sweep the floor after class and sweep up and discard everything my students needed to leave behind: check it out here. There is something about being able to physically walk out of the studio and leave the junk behind.
Sometimes we need space — literally, figuratively. We love our families and pets, but sometimes it is a nice break to come to a space that is free from distraction. You have no responsibilities at the studio beyond meeting yourself on your mat and taking your practice. You have no family or household distractions (you can even take off that smart watch and leave it in your bag!). You can just be you on your mat.
4. Props and Perks
The studio has all the props you could need — straps, blocks, bolsters, blankets, eye pillows, knee pads, twinkly lights, an air diffuser. Maybe your space is all stocked as well, but it is sometimes nice to come and have everything taken care of for you and for the space to be cleaned up after by someone other than you.
Someone else takes care of everything. You just arrive and leave. There is something special and indulgent about that.
Your instructor should be able to provide additional cues or adjustments and answer any questions you have. If you are practicing at home with videos, you don’t have someone to see your form or offer recommendations and variations. You might pick up bad habits or have misunderstood the alignment of a pose.
Especially if you have not taken a Beginner’s Workshop or Course to walk through the foundations of yoga, coming to studio classes is a great way to pick those up as you go, a little bit at a time in each class. Studio classes are not free, like some online yoga practices are, but there are always hidden costs to free, and there is also the benefit of supporting your local yoga instructors and their small business. You also can review the instructor’s credentials and know more about them, and them more about you and your practice.
You definitely want to have a safe practice, wherever you are. In fact, if you haven’t yet, feel free to grab my Tips for Starting a Safe Practice; it includes tips for in studio and at home.
6. Motivation and Accountability
You signed up for the class. Sometimes it can help motivate you more to come to the studio because you know someone will be noticing/expecting/looking for you. If you have friends who also attend, they will also be expecting you, and that can help motivate you and hold you accountable to your practice and yourself.
7. Find New Classes/Styles
Once you are connected to a studio, you will see their posts and/or receive their emails about their other offerings and special classes/workshops, and you might find a new type of yoga style or type of class you didn’t know about or didn’t know that you really enjoy. It is a great way to safely deepen your practice and complement your home practice.
I would love to hear from you about any things you love about the studio or questions you have about your practice. Comment below. Share with friends. And let’s yoga – in the studio or at home or BOTH. 🙂
If you missed it above, don’t forget to grab my tips for Starting a Yoga Practice (no matter where you practice — tips included for at home and in studio!) Grab it here or by clicking the image below.