Pros and Cons
In this day and age, yoga is more accessible than ever before. With more and more new videos sprouting up all over the web, yogis can now practice any day, any time in their living rooms, bedrooms, and dorm rooms alike. But are these virtual classes acceptable replacements for the personal experience of a live instructor class? We weigh the pros and cons:
Video classes guarantee you are front and center, the perfect spot to be if you want to keep your eye on the instructor. Any good yoga teacher whether they are teaching a live class or a virtual class will give vivid explanation of poses to help you learn how to do them correctly. However, by attending an in-person class, you have the advantage of a yoga expert keeping an eye on you and others in the class to ensure proper form. If they see something off or wrong, a good instructor will come by you and will offer corrections either verbally or hands-on. And sometimes the difference between doing a pose correctly or not could mean a greater chance for injury.
Accessibility and Availability
Do you work weird or long hours? Is the closest studio miles away? One con of live classes is that they are set to specific schedules. If it’s at an actual yoga studio, usually classes are at the same day and time every week. Many community or gym classes are program based, and require you to attend each week for a set number of weeks. With work, family, errands it’s hard to work around a yoga schedule. Virtual classes are always available, morning, noon and night! You can even practice at 2:00 in the morning if you really wanted to! This is a great way to work yoga into your busy schedule.
Most yoga studios are designed and decorated to create a calming atmosphere, perfect for yoga practice. From the colors on the walls to the lighting, curtains in the windows and scents in the air, the space is a sacred one. Unless you have availability to a big empty room that you can customize in this way, odds are when attending a video yoga class you’re somewhere in your home that wasn’t originally meant for yoga. There are an infinite number of possible disruptions including quarreling family members, rambunctious kids, all or nothing lighting, or barricading furniture (who needs tables and chairs anyways?). ***
The one major downfall to yoga can be the price. In person classes require a considerable number of costs including paying the instructor, use of the space, and props and accessories, to name a few. Some may believe the benefits of live classes outweigh the often hefty monthly or per-class price, but for others it’s just not realistically in their budgets. The great thing about yoga is that you really can practice for free, all you need is yourself! If you do need guidance and aren’t at the level of creating your own flows or just like the routine of following directions video classes are a great, affordable option. Most DVDs and web subscriptions are fairly priced.
So as it seems, there really are enough pros and cons to call it a draw. Every yogi is different, likes different things and needs different things. It’s up to you to find out what type of instruction works best for you on all levels and weigh your own personal costs and benefits.
Tell us, which type of class do you prefer and why?