By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
Online yoga is really having a moment right now, thanks to #isolife. And while diehard yogis will know that online yoga classes are not a new thing, in fact they’ve been around for ages, they’ve defs become a lot more popular this year, with peeps looking for ways to keep their bods moving in lockdown – and they are turning to online classes.
In the process, we’ve uncovered loads of benefits that come with the virtual yoga classroom – you can practise from the comfort of your own living room, you can jump online at any hour of the day (eg: once the kids are in bed), there is no studio commute, no fancy yoga clothes needed, PLUS no babysitter needed for your kids (yaya!).
5 more reasons why we’re loving online yoga
1 // You can say buh-bye to the ego
Yoga should always be an ego-free playground, but this isn’t always the case. And it can be challenging to be in a full yoga room and not peek at how your Trikonasana compares to your neighbour’s pose. So when you’re practising yoga online, competition and comparison don’t even exist. You are there for YOU, focused 100% on your own practise, and you are able to really tune into your own needs and preferences, without being swayed anyone around you in a studio. Yes, practising solo is incredibly liberating! While the united energy of a class can be one of the joys of practising in a group environment, for those who are more introverted, may be new to yoga, or who naturally feel a little self-conscious, practising online means it is solely about your yoga journey and no one else’s.
2 // Yes, you will still feel deeply connected to the teacher
Having a fav teacher is one of the things that keeps us coming back again and again to the mat. However, practising online doesn’t mean that this connection to the teacher evaporates. We have become used to developing relationships through technology and communicating via screens. In an online class, you will still feel as though this teacher is right there for you, especially with a live online class where the teacher is literally practising and teaching with you in that very moment. In many ways, their sole attention is on you. There aren’t 50 other students that they are trying to accommodate to. In this way, online yoga offers a very personalised practise where the teacher is offering you something very special – their undivided time and attention. This class has been made with you in mind – the person who has taken the time out of their day to roll out their mat and practise.
3 // You can move at your own pace
While yoga isn’t all about reaching those Insta-worthy peak poses, practising online does have benefits when it comes to advancing your practise, in a few ways. Firstly, you can practise as often as you like. While getting to the studio can mean you are limited to one or two classes a week, practising online means you can add yoga into your day whenever time arises. Maybe you can sneak in a 30-minute class before work. Or maybe you find yourself with a sleeping child mid-afternoon and you can whip out your computer and enjoy a gentle flow in your own space. Another benefit is the good old pause button! When you are at home, you have the ability to pause the class any time if you would like a few extra minutes practising a particular pose. You can even rewind to listen to the cues again or switch to slow motion and watch the demonstration one more time! Many yoga poses take long periods of exploration and practise. Online yoga offers you more luxury in the time you have to play.
4 // You can do what you want, when you want
You may not always get what you are looking for in a studio class. While classes are generally well rounded, sometimes our body needs or asks for something in particular. After a long day perhaps you are looking for a more restorative class with lots of forward bends. Maybe you have plenty of energy and are looking for a fast-paced class with plenty of movement. Maybe you have a more specific itch you would like to scratch with twists, long holds, arm balances, external hip openers, balancing poses. Online yoga offers greater choice and freedom to really select a class that will benefit you in the present moment, every time you practice. Browse through the library of classes and see what jumps out at you. Online yoga allows you to customise your practise each time you jump on your mat which can make your practise that much more beneficial and rewarding.
5 // You build other unique and life long skills
Like any form of yoga, online yoga develops and refines skills that are highly beneficial to everyday life. Practising at home requires discipline – to roll out your mat, and to stick to the class and do your best. There is no teacher policing you, you are in control of finding your own limits in each pose. Along with discipline comes self-motivation, patience, commitment. You govern your practise, not an outsider. Making time for classes, resisting the ability to slack off, switching off from the possible distractions around you, these are all up to you. The discipline, motivation, patience and commitment that you can gain from practising online yoga has a powerful trickle effect, these attributes become a stronger part of who you are and infiltrate all aspects of your life. More power to you, babe!
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