How lucky are we to be living in a digital age where we have access to so much information online? We are witnessing more people working remotely, more students graduating from college online, and the ability to “one click” order anything from your couch. With nearly everything moving to an online space, the yoga community is following suit. Now more than ever, students can access yoga teachers online from all over the world. Are there benefits of online yoga memberships? Absolutely!
While there is a fear that online yoga does not create the “right environment” or the ability to connect, there are many students who find online classes to be the perfect fit. The right environment is different for every student and the ways to connect with a community online is endless. Thinking about giving online classes a try? Here are eight reasons why you should go for it:
1. Flexibility of when and where
Practicing yoga online allows you to attend classes when it best fits your schedule, instead of relying on the schedule of your local studio or gym. Are you an early riser? A night owl? A mid-day yoga fan? Practice when it feels right to you! Plus, you can attend class from anywhere. If you are traveling, like me, you can take your classes on the road with you and avoid falling behind. Enjoy the comfort of your own living room or a dedicated yoga corner in your home that makes you feel at peace. Do you love taking your practice outside? Awesome! Online yoga allows you to practice anywhere you have a wifi connection and some memberships will even allow you to download classes for offline use.
2. Low Costs
Practicing yoga at a studio can be expensive, with memberships ranging from $80-150 per month and drop-in class rates averaging $20. If you are on a budget, it can feel like an impossible decision to spend that kind of money. When I attended studios while living paycheck to paycheck, I had a lot of guilt about the amount of money I spent on yoga. Online classes are the perfect solution, with memberships ranging from $10-50 per month. Perhaps you can invest the savings into a retreat you’ve been dreaming of?
3. Try many varieties
With the cost of online courses being so low, it is much easier to enjoy multiple memberships with a variety of different teachers and class styles. Perhaps you love the yin-style classes taught by Sally’s online studio, but also love to build up a sweat in Jen’s classes. Why not do both? Some online memberships give you access to variety of teachers all over the world, while others give you a deeper connection with one or two main teachers. Play around with what works best for you. Try out free classes on YouTube to see what teachers you connect with. Sign up for free trials and cancel the memberships that don’t fit your fancy. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try out different teaching styles and find what works best for you. Everyone is unique and yoga practices are not one size fits all.
4. More control of your practice
Have you ever been in a yoga class and you sink into your favorite pose only to have the teacher ready to move on? With online classes, you have more control to pause the class as you would like. Need a bathroom break or a glass of water? No problem. Need to listen to the instructions on triangle pose again? Just rewind and try it again. Following a video can give you more control to take the class at your own pace, which can change day by day. Plus, you can pick the right class for you each day. Feeling tight in your hips? Limited on time and need a quick class for energy? You have the power to choose the perfect way to practice by selecting the class that is designed for your needs.
5. Feel comfortable
If you are new to yoga, studio classes can be intimidating and students can become embarrassed when not knowing the postures or falling behind on the flows. I have watched students struggle when teachers refuse to speak an anything other than Sanskrit or call out students who are not following instructions. Yikes! While this is a rarity, I have seen it ruin a student’s desire to practice yoga again. Practicing online can give students the power to take it at their own pace and develop confidence in their yoga poses. Perhaps the goal is to practice online until feeling confident enough to attend classes in person. That’s awesome! Online classes are the perfect way to develop your practice at whatever level you choose. My favorite part? Practicing in my pajamas or undies, rather than being bothered with designer yoga pants.
6. Connection to an online community
Whether you live in a small town without studios, do a lot of travel, or just don’t “fit in” with your local yoga groups, a number of online memberships give you access to a community of students all over the world. Meet new yoga friends who can encourage your practice. Even better, some allow you to really connect with the teachers on an individual level. This gives students the ability to email questions, attend live calls, or schedule private classes via Skype or similar programs. Just because you are practicing from the privacy of your own home, it does not mean you are practicing alone. Schedule online yoga dates or find an accountability partner within the program. Find your support system; find your tribe!
7. Invite others to join you
Have you been trying to get a friend to join you for yoga, but they’re embarrassed or don’t want to spend the money on a class? Invite them over for a yoga date and share your home practice. Have little ones at home? Online classes allow you to practice as a family. Children are curious about new ways to move their body. They are excited to “show off” new poses and want to be involved. It is not usually possible to bring kiddos to classes with you, but they can absolutely join in on your online classes. Plus, you can skip the babysitter! I could ramble on and on about the benefits of kids practicing yoga, but the most important is learning how to move, breathe, and enjoy mindfulness.
8. Try it live
Still not feeling connected to a pre-recorded video? There are plenty of online studios with live classes, so the teacher is practicing at the same time you are. In our interview with Alyshea Shaw, found of Spirit Tribe Studios, she chatted about her need as a teacher to really connect with her students directly while teaching classes. Her live classes allow the students to ask questions before and after class. As mentioned before, there is also the ability to schedule private lessons with online teacher, usually at a fraction of the cost to take a private lesson in person. Private classes are perfect for students who are new to the practice, have suffered an injury, or are looking to take their practice to the next level. Teachers work with you on an individualized way, designing classes to fit your needs and assigning “homework” to help you achieve your goals.
Whatever benefits were most intriguing to you, the freedom and flexibility is the biggest plus. Avoid the stress of rushing out the door to make it in time for your next yoga class and try something new! With thousands of classes online, ready to go, there is no better time to embrace a home yoga practice.
Ready to give online yoga a try? You can join our Remote Yogi Tribe and enjoy your first two weeks free! In addition to yoga, we offer recorded meditations, coaching workshops, live calls, and much more.
Questions about practicing online? What benefits stuck out to you? Comment below and let’s keep the conversation going.