Doing Yoga at Home vs Going to a Yoga Studio

My yoga every day usually consists of a combination of lunch time yoga (I’m really fortunate to work somewhere that offers this, so obviously I jump on it), the odd new class and yoga at home.

What I love about Practicing Yoga at Home

First off: this guy.  Hermes likes to hang out with me while I do yoga, or better yet, get right on my yoga mat as soon as I lay it out.

Doing yoga at home

At home I can go at my own pace. I can really just focus on myself and what I’m doing and feeling.  Because let’s be honest, we’re all looking at the person next to us in class.  Not to say that we’re always competing, but the temptation is there.

I love that I can just put my mat down and do it.  I don’t have to schedule it.  I don’t have to be in the mood to do it at a certain time.  I just do it when I want to.

yoga mat yoga at home

And home practice is free.  I think charging $15 for a one hour class is a little much.  Extra if you have to rent a mat, which I usually do because I don’t like carrying my mat around with me.  And if they have free ones they usually smell bad (especially if you go to a class that’s at a gym – always, always, always bring your own mat to a gym yoga class! Trust me on this one.)

I usually put music on as well, and I love being able to control the sounds around me.

So, to sum it up, yoga at home offers:

  • Hermes hang out time
  • flexibility
  • complete selfishness in my practice
  • cash money saved
  • control of my surroundings

What I love about Going to a Yoga Studio

Now this is not to say that I always enjoy doing yoga at home.  There are some things that a home practice can’t do.

Like adjustments.

Some people are uncomfortable with people touching them.  I don’t mind.  I mean, as long as they’re not creepy about it.  I actually appreciate it when a teacher takes the time to adjust my position.  And then I remember it and take it home with me.

Going to a class can completely take you out of your head and you just go wherever the instructor tells you. I love doing flow classes at studios.  When I do it at home, I’m tempted to skip some poses (especially if I’m feeling lazy) and if I’m doing it without a guide, I have to think too much about what I’m doing to do next.

I love learning new ways of going about something.  There are so many minor adjustments that can be made in yoga.  Although I try new videos and podcasts regularly, it’s not the same as being in a class and having the teacher demonstrate the pose.

At home, for me, it’s about practicing the poses that I’ve already acquired.  Usually from classes.  So I do try to get out to a new yoga class at least once a month.

And yoga studios are lovely.  The ones that I’ve been to put the effort into creating a space that is tranquil and inviting.  If I’m stressed, just walking into a studio (that I’ve been to before) can make me feel calm and relaxed.

So, to sum it up, yoga at a studio offers:

  • adjustments
  • guided practice
  • new ways to do things
  • new poses
  • relaxing ambiance

At the end of the day..

I have to say that home yoga wins.

I just love being able to do it on my own schedule and I’m at the point now in my practice that I’m challenging myself both to do new poses and to hold the tough ones longer.

What about you? Do you prefer to go to a studio or practice yoga at home?

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10 thoughts on “Doing Yoga at Home vs Going to a Yoga Studio

  1. I far prefer classes, though they come with their own set of drawbacks for me. I get anxious about them, too focused on other people etc. I love having a teacher to correct me, adjust, compliment sometimes. They help me focus too on their voice and remind me to get back to my center, my breath. When I’m at home…I’m…awful. I want a sequence, a flow, a plan. Not just…a set of random poses. I’m always like that though. I also lose focus SO much more easily at home. I just can’t bring myself to do any yoga at home, even though it SOUNDS good.

    I also think classes are expensive. They are $17-25 per class here. It’s just not feasible!

  2. MK says:

    I used to be terrible at home practice too. I started by doing 20 minutes at a time – yogadownload.com has great (free) 20 minute sessions. I close my eyes and just go along with what the instructor says. If I’m not in the mood it’s really really easy to lose focus. My savasana at home always sucks.

  3. Honestly I haven’t done any yoga in so long I can’t remember the last time. That said I used to always prefer going to studio classes. I tried a few gym classes but I found those to be less…serious, less-focused. I too liked the ambiance, adjustments, new poses and overall discipline of being a part of a class. You absolutely can not be distracted, at least not as easily; when I first started they taught me through Iyengar Yoga that you’re not doing yoga if you’re not fully in the pose mentally and physically.

    However these days my goals and interests are aimed at doing yoga at home (this is a new habit I need to pick back up). And for all the reasons you mentioned MK – my dog being in my face, the “freeness”, on my own time, my own pace, etc – but I also like the idea of being more focused and disciplined. If I cannot obtain this myself than I am more likely to fall back and lose track.

    I like your advice to set say 20 minutes, chances are some sessions are going to go beyond this all on their own. Plus it’s easier to guilt ourselves into doing our yoga because come on, it’s only 20 minutes! And as I tell myself and others about exercising, you WILL feel better when you’re done. So I’m gonna vote for more home yoga.

    Take care,
    eLPy

  4. Great post! I’ve recently discovered the Yoga Studio app, and it really helps me get 90% of the things I love about a class at home, including detailed instruction on how to transition between poses, which is super helpful for newbies like me!

  5. I’ve always been a yoga studio person, but now I’m taking the 200-hour yoga teacher training and I’ve had to develop a home practice. I get to my mat every day except Saturday but right now it’s four days at a studio and two days at home. I’m going to check out the Yoga Studio app Nicole mentioned.

  6. GavinSpaceFace says:

    I think class practise is MUCH better. The benefits are numerous. For starters – a teacher can teach yoga better than you can teach yourself. Secondly, you are sharing space with like minded people – it creates an energy in the room. And thirdly of course once you’re there you’re committed and are going to stay until the end. For me one of the most appealing thing about yoga is that a group of people make the effort to meet in a place together and practise this wonderful art to improve ourselves. Always go to a class 🙂 Never practise at home!

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