, , , , , , ,

6 Reasons to Practice Yoga at a Studio is an article written by a yoga instructor promoting classes, which had a completely opposite effect on me. Following are the reasons given to take yoga classes versus practicing yoga at home with a video.

1. Community

It is easy to see the isolating effects of technology and the current loneliness epidemic that plagues the modern person. Unfortunately sitting at home alone, even doing the beautiful practice of yoga, fails to foster a sense of connection with others.

First of all, I take exception to the remark about “isolating effects of technology.” I don’t agree that technology is isolating at all. If you don’t share this perspective read The Internet: It’s Made of People. Secondly – and fellow introverts, feel free to pipe in here – I am not yearning to connect to a group of perfectly shaped bodies with ideal alignment and balance.

2. Correction

Here’s the tricky thing about yoga: your body doesn’t want to have correct alignment. Your body wants to slump into a couch (and sometimes eat that entire bag of chips). As a result, practicing yoga alone can have the potential to put the body into a position more prone to injury, and also reinfforce bad habits.

That’s quite a stretch of the truth, in my opinion. I don’t believe most people who practice yoga want to slump into a couch and eat a bag of chips. Well, maybe they do, but they don’t slump and eat from a bag. They consume portion-controlled baked kale chips from a basket made of natural fibers while sitting in the lotus position.

Yoga teachers are not simply following a script, we are continually scanning the room and examining every body shape to see where students are lacking.

Oh yea, that’s what I’m looking for – someone to examine my body shape and see where I’m lacking.

3. Insight

And although the yoga teacher at your local gym might not be a sage guru fresh off the ashram, they’re still a source of valuable knowledge and wisdom.

I agree with the first part of this sentence. Maybe the second part is true too, but that’s quite an assumption.

4. Focus

By removing the distractions of home and joining others in a dedicated space, your personal practice gets strengthened as well.

Personally, the distractions are not in my home; they’re in my head. The ubiquity of my mental chatter follows me even into the land of om.

5. Mindfulness

Practicing yoga with others can bring up an interesting challenge: self-judgement. When we lose our balance in Tree Pose while the person next to us barely breaks a sweat in a handstand, a lot of harsh judgement, comparisons and a desire to compete can come up.Fortunately, these difficult moments provide the perfect time to practice mindfulness

If this is an argument in favor of classes, it seems counterintuitive. One of the reasons I prefer to exercise at home is to avoid judgment, comparisons and competition.

6. Touch

Savasana is already pretty blissful — but getting that last boost of oxytocin with the healing and loving touch of your teacher? That is a feeling is hard to top.

Not everyone likes strangers touching them.

The irony is that the author has created a few online videos, according to the article. I wonder about his marketing strategy to promote sales. Maybe he can use this post and boost my stats!

Which do you prefer for exercise – classes or videos? Or would you rather slump into a couch and eat an entire bag of chips? No judgment here.