Online yoga is a game-changer.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to practice in an incensed room full of attractive strangers. That way certainly has its perks, but there are plenty other ways.
Not everyone can make it to real-life classes. Not everyone wants to.
As with everything else in the digital age, technology is changing the way we practice.
Online yoga classes have the flexibility to fit your lifestyle (provided you don’t live under a rock). It’s not perfect, but it could be the best option for you. Here’s why.
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Benefits of Online Yoga
1. Technological Advantages
The digital wellness industry is booming. These days every man and his dog has a Fitbit, an Apple Watch and a personalised wellness schedule.
Now those technological advantages are coming to yoga too.
Online yoga streaming services like Grokker are built on very advanced platforms. You can plan and schedule classes, manage your practice and track your progress – all from your mobile device.
Thanks to wearable integration, you can also track your yoga practices via Apple Health, Fitbit and more.
Being able to better integrate your yoga practice into your overall health approach – and your life in general – is a huge advantage.
2. Complete Convenience
Online yoga is freedom.
Forget the rush hour dashes to the studio, the sweaty yoga outfits in your bag, and the painfully slow packing away of yoga props (is it so hard to stack blocks?).
Just fire up an app on your phone, lay out your mat and do your thing.
60 minutes of free time can become a 60 minute practice. You don’t have to plan an entire evening around making it to a single practice at the studio.
Only got 20 minutes? No problem, grab a quick vinyasa. Got 2 hours to fill? Great, stack a Hatha and a Yin Class.
Online yoga makes it easy to show up on the mat each day and maintain a consistent practice.
3. So Much Choice!
My local yoga studio offers only Hatha and Yin.
Another nearby offers Vinyasa Flow and Restorative.
They say “variety is the spice of life” but having a varied yoga practice at your local studios can be tough. Online, there are no such problems.
Grokker has over 4000 videos, YogaDownload offers 27 yoga styles.
There’s a lifetime of content for you to pick and choose from, and it’s constantly being added to and updated.
4. Great Value
Studio yoga classes are expensive. There’s no denying it.
They’re absolutely worth it in my opinion – provided you can afford it – but not everyone can fork out $100 a month for a regular class pass.
This is where online yoga classes can really shine.
For the price of a single studio yoga class, you can get a month of unlimited yoga online.
5. Access the Best Teachers
If you’re lucky enough to live near a prominent yoga studio, you might occasionally be able to see some rockstar yogis at a weekend workshop or something.
But unless you live in Rodney Yee’s backyard, you’re probably not going to get much access to the more famous yoga teachers. Sally around the corner will have to do.
Or you could just login to an online yoga platform and access content from some of the worlds best teachers.
6. No Pressure
Real life yoga classes can be intimidating, for sure.
Whether you’re nervous about being the only guy in the room, or worried you’ll fart in public (you probably won’t) – practicing yoga in public may not suit everyone.
To be honest, I’m sure most people are nervous about their first class. I know I was.
Online yoga classes taken from the comfort of your home completely remove the element of social pressure.
7. Work Towards Your Goals
I know I’m not the only one who’s been disappointed by a yoga class focus before.
Yoga teacher: “Today we’re working on building that booty”
We all want to achieve different things from our practice, and a pert butt isn’t top of my list.
While we have a general idea of what we’re signing up for when we join a Vinyasa class for example. We can’t know exactly what we’ll be focusing on till we get there. So these days are inevitable.
We certainly can’t plan our yoga progress around it. Well, online way can.
You can dictate the focus of every class you do. Work on every weakness, develop every strength. If I want to work on arm balances this week – I can.
Learning yoga online allows us to take control of our yoga practice.
8. Learn Yoga Wherever You Are
Just as technology lets us connect with the world from our toilet seat, it also brings yoga to the far reaches of the world.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can practice yoga wherever you are.
Or in the case of certain platforms like YogaDownload, you can download yoga classes for use offline too. Check out their new app experience in the video below.
9. Build a Personal Practice
The holy grail of yoga is a deep personal practice.
Classes are best for learning the process, but yoga is an inward journey. We truly start to flourish when we have the confidence and ability to explore yoga on our own.
Online yoga classes can help kick-off those positive habits of unrolling your mat each day and keeping up with your practice.
Learning yoga online is great primer for a personal practice.
Is Online Yoga For You?
There are many great reasons to learn yoga online. Whether you’re learning exclusively from home or supplementing your existing real-life classes, there’s tremendous value in online yoga classes.
Personally, I’ve had an active studio practice for a long time, but I’ve really enjoyed trying out new yoga styles online. In the past, being able to download yoga classes for my travels has been a lifesaver too.
That being said, I’d still recommend some live classes with a teacher, especially in the beginning. Getting feedback on your alignment is invaluable. Fortunately – due to the wonders of technology – there are still ways to do this online.
Give a virtual class a shot!
Virtual classes bridge the gap between real-life and online. With a two-way link, your teacher can see what you’re doing and offer tips and advice. Seems to be a good way to minimise the risk of learning on your own while still getting the benefits of yoga online.