Not dissin’ it: Frankly, online classes have been a mainstay in my personal practice as a student and as a teacher for a number of years. I owe tremendous insight and gratitude to Elena, Kathryn, Kia and co. who were generous enough to share their knowledge not just with a local class but with a growing global yoga community. Their experience and spiritual guidance have been a source of ongoing support and an important resource for me, especially when I’m traveling.
So why get my butt up and go to a studio with a rigid schedule, travel time to get there and, possibly, an overcrowded room with no air? Here are five reasons why shaking things up with regular trips to your local yoga studio will enrich our practice beyond expectations:
- Anticipation: Actually making the trip to the studio, whether on foot or in our car, already transitions us into yoga. We know we’re going to breathe, work our body therapeutically and do something just for us. Squeezing in a 15-minute video in between getting the kids ready and driving to work can make yoga feel like another item on our to-do list.
- Dirty Laundry: We make a conscious effort to commit to our practice without distractions. Maybe I’m a little on the OCD side but staring at my dirty laundry left of my mat and my desk piled with unanswered mail on my right can be distracting when I’m trying to balance in Warrior III!
- I had no idea!: Running into other yogis at the studio can be inspiring as well as informative. We may find out about local yoga events or workshops, learn of a new bookstore or meditation center not far from where we live. Re-realizing there’s a whole world of like-minded individuals right where we live can help us to stick to our practice.
- Decision fatigue: I don’t know about you but sometimes figuring out which class to pick is overwhelming! Should I work on shoulders, Ayurveda, is that a headache coming on?, do I feel up to 15 minutes, 60, 90? Committing to a class at the studio means we just do it, literally going with the flow as opposed to trying to optimize, customize and specialize our practice.
- Getting personal: Maybe this is the most obvious one. But finding a teacher we trust and who inspires us is one of the greatest, lasting gifts yoga can give us. Sure, seeing them on a computer screen or big flat screen is informative and helps us build a regular practice. Learning with the real person, however, is the real yoga deal. Plus: getting individual feedback from a teacher who knows you? Priceless.
So grab your mat and check out that new studio around the corner and thank yourself later for showing up!