For those new to online yoga, many people discovered the plethora of benefits that come with the virtual yoga classroom- you have the opportunity to practice from the comfort of your own living room. You can switch on your computer and bust out your downward facing dog at any hour of the day that suits you. You can practice with your favourite yoga teachers as much as you pleased. You have access to literally hundreds of yoga classes to pick and choose from. There is studio commute, no fancy yoga clothes needed, no babysitter required for your kids and no awkward moments navigating your poses to avoid side-swiping your neighbouring yogi.
At Zenko Yoga, we were amazed and overjoyed at how many tribe members switched over to join us in online daily classes while the studios were closed. This enthusiasm is one of the reasons why we decided to launch Zenko Yoga Online and keep the virtual classes going. Many members revealed that they experienced many of the above perks of practicing from home and were keen to keep this practice alive.
Aside from the common benefits mentioned already, there are a few additional benefits of online yoga that you may not be so familiar with. These lesser-known perks may inspire you to switch a few of your weekly studio classes for your own at-home studio space! Let’s dive in and explore them.
The absence of ego
It goes without saying that yoga should be an ego-free playground. Yoga students and practitioners should always feel free to come and move and flow according to their own unique needs and body types- we are all different and each yoga asana is unique to each individual. However, this isn’t always the case. It can be challenging to be in a full yoga room and not peek at how your Trikonasana compares to your neighbours pose. Practicing yoga online, as the sole individual in the class, competition and comparison do not factor into the equation. You are there for you, focused 100% on your own practice, and you are able to really tune into your own needs and preferences, without being swayed by those that may surround you in a studio. Ultimately, practicing solo is incredibly liberating. While the united energy of a class can be one of the joys of practicing in a group environment, for those who are more introverted, those who may be new to yoga, or those who naturally feel a little self-conscious, practicing online still offers a high quality class that is solely about your yoga journey and no one else's.
You will still feel deeply connected to the teacher
Having a favourite teacher is one of the things that keeps us coming back again and again to the mat. However, practicing 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 practicing 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 practice 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 practice.
You have the opportunity to advance quickly
While yoga isn’t all about reaching those instagram-worthy peak poses, practicing online does have benefits when it comes to advancing your practice, in a few ways. Firstly, you have the ability to practice as often as you like. While getting to the studio can mean you are limited to one or two classes a week, practicing online means you can add yoga into your day whenever a period of 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 practicing 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 practice. Online yoga offers you more luxury in the time you have to play.
Your practice, your needs, your choice- every time
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- 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 practice each time you jump on your mat which can make your practice that much more beneficial and rewarding.
You develop other unique and life long skills
Like any form of yoga, online yoga develops and refines skills that are highly beneficial to everyday life. Practicing at home requires discipline, discipline both 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 practice, 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 practicing online yoga has a powerful trickle effect- these attributes become a stronger part of who you are and infiltrate all aspects of your life.
Online yoga certainly has its own unique space in the world of modern yoga. It offers its own unique benefits that essentially allow yoga to be even more accessible and part of your daily life. If you haven’t given it a try, you have nothing to lose, and possibly a great deal to gain.
Zenko Yoga Online offers daily live yoga classes and an extensive library of past classes with all the Zenko teachers that you know and love.
Daily passes, monthly memberships and annual memberships are available.
Already a Zenko studio member? You can enjoy FREE access to our online studio- email us for your unique access code.