Here in the US of A, yoga is becoming more and more of a respected method of healing and working out. Diminishing is the idea that yoga is just a fad trailing behind a hipster dress sense and 101 recipes for kale. And while there have been true western yogis for decades, a wide understanding of the asanas, their benefits, as well as the other eight limbs of yoga, has only recently been grasped by the general public. That being said, many modern day yogi’s prefer to stretch their limbs only in the studio, or always at home. I’m here to tell you, you can do both!
Earth-shattering, I know.
There is nothing wrong with preferring one over the other but each offer different benefits that a yoga practitioner can really grow and learn from. So let’s take a look at each practice and how you can incorporate both into your routine.
The Studio Practice
This is probably the most common, and a great way to get started. The best thing about studio yoga is the support. Someone is guiding you and offering adjustments. Adjustments help you to gauge what the pose should feel like when done properly. Studios also have a wide range of props to aid you in getting the full stretch.
Another great benefit of studio yoga is trying poses you often leave out at home. We tend to stick to poses we’re comfortable with, whereas the studio teaches a wider variety.
I think the biggest reason people don’t take part in studio yoga is fear. Fear of not being flexible enough or able to keep up, or that they’re being judged by their fellow students. In reality, every person in the room is focused on their poses, their mat, their issues, simply, their practice.
A great way to start your studio practice is to find a place that makes you feel comfortable, and voice any concerns to your instructor before you get started. I guarantee you they’ll put you at ease.
The At-Home Practice
Home really is where the heart is. This is where we work on what we love, where we can practice handstand with more humor and less self-consciousness, and where we can snore, unapologetically, during savasana. It’s very personal and quiet. You’re dealing only with your own energy, and it inspires you to create your own sequences.
There is no wrong time to practice at home, so pick a time during the day and just start with 10 or 15 minutes. Do this as long as you want until you’re ready to branch out and add new poses. You can even get ideas and tips from your studio instructors.
There really is no right or wrong way to do this, just do it, go into action mode. Yoga is a journey, so as long as you’re moving forward you’re going to continue to build a beautiful, healing practice.