As newbie yogis, many of us have wondered about the best way to break into the world of yoga. Classes in the studio can be intimidating for beginners, but how much can a book or a youtube video really teach?
As is the case with many debates, the answer isn’t one or the other, but both. Both studio and in-home practices have unique advantages, and a combination is often most beneficial. Here’s a compilation of each method’s best features to help you decide how you want to start out.
Depending on the studio you go to, studio classes can be an awesome experience because of the community and instruction they provide. Studio classes are often tailored to create the most relaxing and yoga-friendly environment possible, utilizing the best music, spaces, and scents for a peaceful practice.
The community aspect of a studio class is the key: being able to learn from and connect with like-minded people is invaluable when it comes to both yoga and our lives in general. These classes are a great way to meet people and to learn how others choose to embody the yoga lifestyle.
It is also helpful to have an instructor present in-person to guide you through a session. The best instructors will walk around the studio space and offer individual suggestions about posture, breathing, and technique. This can be incredibly helpful, as its often hard to see where we can improve on our own.
However, for the beginner yogi, these classes can be intimidating. Depending on what you want to get out of yoga, practicing with others may not be the most comfortable option – and that’s okay!
The most popular ways to learn and practice yoga at home are by reading books, watching youtube videos, and DVDs. While these methods can’t provide the one-on-one feedback of a yoga instructor, they’re a great way to get familiar with the basic poses and ideas behind yoga.
At home, the practice can be freeing because it gives you the time and space to really be with yourself, and not worry about impressing other yogis or an instructor. It’s an incredible experience of self-care to give yourself time to just restore and refresh on the mat.
Practicing by yourself is also convenient because books and computers are portable, you can take them anywhere along with your mat to stretch out and relax. Many enjoy the experience of practicing outdoors, or in a place that has special significance. In this way, a solitary practice can be a powerful exercise in spirituality as well as physicality and mindfulness.
There’s no need to choose just one of these options—there’s so much to learn from practicing both alone and among others. Try them both and find out what truly feeds your body and mind the most!