Should You Practice Yoga Alone Or In a group?

Should You Practice Yoga Alone Or In a group?

Feeling tired and stressed is pretty much the norm today.

I don’t know what the trick is, but modern technology is supposed to makes our life easier. Now, all of us sit in front of our screens, but still at the end of the day we feel tired and stressed.

 You feel a natural urge to calm down, relax and tone up the body. An intense workout is great, but there is a better option.

 Yoga is great at balancing body strength and mind relaxing.

 Once you’ve decided to practice yoga, you’ll have to buy a yoga mat and you are ready to start.

 And the question arises.

 Should I practice at home or in group?

 Here are a few points that will help you decide whether you should practice at home or in a yoga studio.

1. You are a beginner and just starting

Should You Practice Yoga Alone Or In a group?

  • Group practice: when you are a newbie it’s recommendable to work with an experienced instructor to learn the proper way to perform exercises and avoid injuries.

    The yoga teacher will intuitively correct the mistakes you make while performing the asanas. A good yoga instructor will explain the fundamental principles of the practice.

  • Home practice: it can be challenging to practice yoga alone when you are a newbie. The biggest challenge you’ll face is that you don’t know where and how to start. Nobody will tell you if you do it correctly or not. This will arise questions that you can not answer. Starting alone you’ll feel like a blind man who knows his destination but moves slowly because he doesn’t see the road.

2. Understanding the limits of your body

  • Group practice: practicing yoga in a group you can benefit from the instructors help. A good yoga teacher intuitively knows when you need a little extra encouragement to push you closer to your limits or when you need to back off when you start to overdo it. This will minimize the risk of injury.

    An instructor will always remind that you have to only go as far as your breath allows. If you can’t breathe easily, you are straining and that is not the point of yoga.

  • Home practice: in the beginning you don’t know exactly the limits of your possibilities and the desire to do more may hurt you. Yoga isn’t supposed to hurt. If you feel pain, stop.

3. ConsistencyShould You Practice Yoga Alone Or In a group?

  • Group practice: there always comes a time when you feel like giving up. Practicing the yoga asanas regularly may get you tired and bored. And you’ll want to take a break. 

    Practicing yoga in a group makes it easier to get over this period. You don’t want others from the group see you giving up. This feeling of shame in front of your colleagues will make you continue.

  • Home practice: practicing yoga at home there is nobody to give you a kick in the butt to keep you moving. Whenever you feel like skipping a day or two,  it usually ends up with your mat rolled up in the corner of your room collecting a lot of dust.

4. Reduce the distractionsShould You Practice Yoga Alone Or In a group?

  • Group practice: the main goal of yoga is to relax your mind and body. Practicing in a group it’s hard to fully relax as there are a lot of distractions around you.

    Each of us has its own needs to be able to relax and feel comfortable. Yoga studios are greatly optimized to create that relaxing ambiance, but it can’t fit everybody’s needs.  

  • Home practice: at home you can create the ambiance you like. Just choose a small place in your house where you will feel comfortable while practicing yoga.

Are you ready to kickstart?

I know you would like me to tell you how well and relaxed you will feel practicing yoga, which is wonderful. Right?

But, we are being honest here.

To master yoga takes time, patience and discipline. The more you practice the more you understand your body and yourself.

And that’s not easy.

So, making the first steps in yoga is easier together with a group of like minded people and a teacher who will always correct you when you are off the mark.

Once you’ve learned the basics, such as proper breathing and how to maintain balance, you are ready to practice alone. If you want to attempt the more ambitious stretches, you’ll have to practice in silence and than you’ll begin to understand what yoga is really about.

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Ion Doaga
Ion Doaga is the owner of Massage Dreams. He believes that the human body has the power to heal itself, but it needs our help. On his blog he writes about the secrets of Chinese cupping, one of the essential elements of alternative therapies.

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  • Frank Martin

    I think both have their uses. I would recommend beginners ALWAYS learn from a flesh and blood instructor. A video might be great in terms of fitting into your schedule, but a video can’t alter the practice to adapt to your needs, correct your mistakes, or build a relationship with you that can supercharge your practice.

    For more experienced practitioners practicing solo is hugely important as your practice can be more about you and what you need that day and time. Group practice is still important, but for much different reasons. Group practice in a small class with people I’ve known and practiced with for an extended period does amazing things that are hard to put into words.