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The pros and cons of live streamed yoga

At this point your favourite yoga teacher has moved his or her yoga class online and if you want to keep up a regular practice you’ll be getting to grips with technology like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Facebook live or another live streaming app. Live streamed yoga classes are a temporary fix in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but amid the debate about what will change when normal life resumes, I wonder if for many of us, online yoga with live streamed classes will be a thing to stay.

So how do online classes weigh up against your face to face classes? Well, as with anything there are both pros and cons.

 

PROS and CONS

Choose from a wider schedule

Pro: As travel time no longer factors in your decision as to which class to pick, the yoga timetable opens wide up for you. You can pick a class that starts straight after the kids go to bed, or if you’re an early morning riser you may prefer to live stream your yoga class at 6am. You might even squeeze in a cheeky little class in the middle of your ‘working from home’ day. Have you? I won’t tell if you don’t…

Con: Choosing the right time to practice can be the difference between an uninterrupted yoga practice or getting up every five minutes to help your family out with something. There’s something to be said for leaving the house and turning off your phone knowing that however long your yoga class lasts, that’s your time. Distractions and interruptions are going to be far more frequent when you live stream a yoga class.

Variety is the spice of life

Pro: In addition to having more yoga classes to choose from, you’ve now got an endless array of yoga styles to try. Maybe you’ve only explored one style of yoga so far? If that’s the case, there has never been a better time to try out different yoga styles. Choose from live streamed yin yoga, restorative, hatha, vinyasa, power, ashtanga, and iyengar classes (plus more besides).

And variety doesn’t just extend to the yoga styles available for you to try but also the huge selection of teachers that have moved their classes online for the next few months (at least). With distance no longer a factor, you can finally try the teacher on Facebook’s class you’ve always wanted to try if only you lived closer.

Con: All that variety can be a little overwhelming. When faced with the whole internet to choose from, where do you start? Furthermore if you attend a yoga studio the teachers are usually vetted by the studio to make sure they’re up to standard. That’s not the case with independent online teachers. I’d suggest asking friends for recommendations, have a hunt and see if teachers have offered any free videos that you can trial. You can apply the same technique when researching which yoga styles to live stream, free content is your friend.

Make the space your own

Pro: Have complete autonomy over your own environment. Light incense, burn candles, paint the walls, do whatever you like to create a yoga haven in your home. In contrast you can also roll your yoga mat out in any room in your house.

Con: The ambience may not be quite the same. We don’t all have an eye for creating the perfect relaxing space for yoga. so you might miss your favourite studio set up.

Practice naked!

Pro: Ok maybe don’t practice naked! I’ve already shared the video clip of the poor guy attending his work zoom chat in his birthday suit a few times this week. In an interactive live streamed yoga class your camera may well be on so that your instructor can see you better. Better that they don’t see more of you than you intend! But a pro is that you can turn the camera off and enjoy the class without having to think twice about what you look like. You can also turn your mic off so that no one can hear you grunt and groan… but remember if you’re going to fully relax and pass wind, check your mic is off first!

Con: As above.

Too shy, shy..

Pro: If the thought of going to a physical yoga class makes your stomach flip and your palms sweat then a live streamed yoga class is perfect for you.

Con: I felt a lot of anxiety before I attended my first yoga class. But when I finally plucked up the courage to go the teacher was so lovely I soon forgot everything that had been holding me back. Online classes are great but they can’t replace the connection that’s made in person. Your teacher will not only make you feel welcome but also provide feedback throughout your practice to help you on your journey. Your online teacher will also give you feedback but its dependent on a good internet connection and your camera working so they can see what you’re doing.

Perfectly priced

Pro: Try before you buy – many teachers offer online discounts to entice students meaning that online yoga can be more affordable for many students. You can practice yoga in the comfort of your own home on a budget that wont break the bank.

Con: There can be a big price discrepancy from one teacher to the next. Its worth nothing that an expensive teacher doesn’t necessarily equate to a good teacher, just as a budget friendly teacher doesn’t equate to a bad teacher. Their price point will be a reflection of the kind of students they want to attract and also what they need to make ends meet at the moment. These are strange times and many yoga teachers find themselves on very unfamiliar turf as a result. So, shop around until you find a teacher that you like that also fits in with your budget.

I hope that’s helpful 🙂

 

If you liked this article you may also enjoy reading How and When to find your yoga mat

Comments:

  • Penny Brooks

    April 4, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    I wasn’t sure about this on line lark – being an IT phobic this getting to grips with zoom has pushed panic buttons for me – but that said am getting there. And I am liking yoga this way – I miss the ambience of a class and seeing my yoga family – might only see them at a class but they are an important part of it. However, I have been able to attend more classes than I would normally do. I am able to switch off – I’m lucky in that I don’t have added distractions at home,. I have been able to take a break from work to attend – that’s become more flexible in our working hours and recognising the importance of our me time – especially now. It is lovely not having to walk/drive home afterwards. And I love my yoga but sometimes after work, I haven’t always wanted to go out again, even knowing that I’d feel better from my session. Yoga Nidra works brilliantly this way. So yes, I shall be pleased to go back to a class, but am enjoying these sessions equally- and feeling better for them

  • Penny Brooks

    April 26, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    I have been attending Amber’s classes for 2 – 3 years now – on a once a week basis in Elsenham – and now 6 times a week in my own home🙂. Amber’s classes are always thoughtful and mindful but with a sense of humour in there too. She is very caring of her ‘students’ and that we all take our yoga at different levels. Each session finishes with a relaxation during which she will read a poem – which are invariably inwardly thought provoking. Amber has a calming voice – especially effective during yoga nidra sessions. The transfer to online sessions has worked well, and whilst it can’t replace the ambience of a class session, there is still the sense of a yoga family. Seeing faces from other classes or those new to yoga due to the current climate and friends from our own classes. Yoga can sometimes open up emotions within oneself, and at each session end, she invites us to contact her if something comes up. Just over a year ago, I had a period of time when I felt unable to go out in the evening – however much I wanted to go to yoga (& other events). Amber was very supportive during this time. Pressure is not put on an individual to complete a pose, a sequence – there are always different levels and with the knowledge that these varying levels are available to us all. It might be that ‘today’ this is what is available to me (& will do this with herself) – no sense of failure. This is something that I have taken on board into other areas of my life and have shared with others.

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