Should you consider doing online yoga classes? Can they offer a similar learning experience as an in-person class? And what are the pros and cons of doing yoga online?
When my wife first suggested I try out yoga, it was unthinkable for me that I would ever step foot on a yoga mat. When I finally got over myself and started practicing regularly with teachers at yoga studios, it was unthinkable that I would ever press play on an online class and practice by myself at home. But when our first child was born and our sleep and life schedules were properly disrupted, I started doing online yoga classes so that I could practice at home and at a time that worked for me.
At the same time I was starting out as a yoga teacher, and being able to take online classes with experienced teachers from all around the world helped me to build up my confidence, inspiration and vocabulary as a yoga teacher and learn lots of specific skills that are not always taught in regular studio classes.
And of course, when the whole world went into self-isolation and lockdown because of the global pandemic, online yoga classes for many became the only way to still practice yoga as well as a great opportunity for yoga teachers to start to share more of their classes and workshops online.
As studio classes, events and retreats are slowly starting up the option to take in-person yoga classes becomes available again, but it looks like online yoga is here to stay and that many yogis are embracing a combination of both online and in-person classes to grow their practice.
Here are some of the pros and cons of online classes:
- Worldwide: you can practice with your favorite teachers, wherever you are in the world
- Affordable: you can access an unlimited amount of online yoga classes for a whole month, often for the price of a regular drop-in class or even at no cost
- Flexible: you can practice at a time of your choice and choose the duration of the class to fit yoga into your schedule
- Efficient: you are on your mat in no time, there is no driving time to and from yoga classes, no checking in before or chatting after class
- Personalised: you can choose the focus of the class according to what you need on that day. You can pause the online class, rewind, or even end the class early
- Confidence: you can build your confidence by practicing by yourself, without the pressure of other yogis around you. It is also easier to skip a pose or take a break when needed
- Family time: you can practice together with the whole family. Your partner, kids and even pets can all join in
Practice online with Steven - get access to unlimited online classes for 12 USD/month (+/- 200 ZAR). Try out a free 10 min online class here:
- Assists: physical assists are not possible with online classes and you will need to rely on visual and verbal cues
- Interaction: there is no social interaction before or after class and you won't experience the group energy to help you through a challenging pose or sequence
- Technical issues: online classes depend on having a decent internet connection and a working device to watch on
- Distractions: it is much easier to get distracted or interrupted when doing yoga at home
- Props: when you practice at home you will need to get your own yoga props or find a way to practice without them
- Self-discipline: it takes more self-motivation to set a time for your home practice and commit to it
- Quality: as there is so much choice online it can be harder to find a quality teacher and class that suits you
Practice in-person with Steven: weekly yoga in the park classes plus events and retreats in amazing locations