I often get asked whether I prefer practicing yoga at home or in a class. To be honest, I can’t really answer that one because I get SO much out of both.
Going to a yoga class has to be one of my favourite things to do as I thrive on the group energy and feel so uplifted by the blissful surroundings that I always walk away feeling as though I have really done something amazing for myself. That said, I realise that going to class every day is a luxury and simply not an option for a lot of people.
Whilst there are a plethora of studios in most major cities or yoga hubs, the numbers do drop significantly in smaller towns, and some places have no yoga studios at all. There is also the cost to take into consideration. I’m both an avid practitioner and a yoga teacher and I fully believe in the power of attending classes, but I also realise that it can be a costly pastime and the reality is, not everyone can afford a daily yoga class.
This is where a home practice comes in. On those days you don’t (or can't) go to class, practicing at home is a great way of making sure that yoga is part of your daily life. And there are tons of benefits to it – like these 5!
1. You Choose When You Practice
When you practice at home, you have the flexibility to choose whatever time works best for you. This means you can fit your practice around your lifestyle and your work/family commitments (without having to rush to get there. This is almost another benefit in itself). If you struggle to find time during the day, I recommend getting up a little earlier in the morning as the benefits you will get from your yoga will almost certainly outweigh the little bit of sleep you sacrifice.
2. You Can Wear Whatever You Like
I bet I’m not the only person who has practiced yoga in their PJ’s! One of the things I love about practicing at home is that you can literally step out of bed and onto your mat. Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing my lululemons like anyone else, but at home you can practice in your oldest pair of trackpants (or PJ’s...!) and feel completely relaxed about it.
3. There’s Nobody To Compare With
In yoga classes (and in life) it’s human nature to compare yourself with others. This can be quite exhausting right? When you practice yoga at home, you literally have nobody to impress and nobody to use as a yogic benchmark and this creates the opportunity to tune inwards and have a deeper experience of yoga.
4. It’s Literally All About You
While yoga is a deeply personal practice, when we attend a class we are energetically connected to others and therefore sharing that experience. When you practice at home however, your energy is directed entirely towards you. This is not selfish, in fact this is a really smart thing to do particularly if you lead a super busy life. You’ll be way more relaxed and balanced so the people close to you will benefit from your experience too.
5. It Develops Self-Awareness
Focusing on you, means you really start to deepen your self-awareness. You become more aware of how you move, and you may start to notice where and how you hold tension in your body. You also become more aware of how you breathe and perhaps even more aware of how your mind works. This self-awareness can be an incredibly valuable tool to take to your next yoga class, or into your daily life in general.
Note For Beginners
Beginners, I definitely recommend seeking out a qualified teacher to introduce you to yoga before you start practicing at home. A beginner’s course is the ideal way to bring yoga into your life and will give you a solid foundation from which you can develop your own home practice.