While new yoga studios and classes have been popping up everywhere to accommodate the nation’s growing enthusiasm, it seems the students are now becoming interested in taking their practice back home – but this time, in front of the home computer or mobile device.
The fact that producers of YogaGlo.com even considered patenting the layout of their video-based yoga classes suggests that the online world of yoga instruction is becoming a growing resource for yoga practitioners.
Why the growing trend? Usually due to time or distance constraints for yoga students and teachers who may not have the time to attend classes outside the home.
The “in” convenience of technology.
Blame it on YouTube or the ubiquitous Internet access we hold in our hands throughout the day. We have access to anything at any time.
There are a number of online resources for yoga classes, and even more teachers showing their expertise of a particular pose or specialized practice. And, by the way, this doesn’t even begin to include the numerous yoga apps for smart phones and tablets.
Online yoga classes range in price, from an annual or monthly subscription fee, donation-based or pay-per-view, to free.
Why go back to video?
The fact is that time and distance are a challenge for everyone, and regular weekly visits to a favorite yoga class can be interrupted. With online video classes you can experience a class from your computer, tablet, or smart phone.
The reasons for using video may be endless, but some of the benefits for doing yoga online include:
- Experiencing a class with a yoga rock star teacher that never visits your area.
- Trying out a certain style of yoga before you head to the studio.
- Your laptop can become your studio away from home while traveling.
- Busy yoga teachers can practice with other teachers outside their usual areas.
- Regular home practitioners can change up their home practice.
- Find a specialized course for hips, shoulders, neck, stress, (fill in the blank) relief.
- Traveling yoga teachers can keep in touch with students at home with regular video classes.
The honest downside of video classes.
Is it possible that video-based yoga instruction can support a practice? Yes. But can it replace a class shared with a hands-on teacher? No. Never. Plus, there is something to say about a group dynamic that cannot be found while practicing alone – even if you don’t use a video.
Even if you’ve been doing yoga for 20 years, you’re never too good to be adjusted or fine-tuned by a teacher. Something a video will never do.
Sangha. Kula. Group dynamic. Whatever you call it, it’s the reason we all head to a yoga class at least once a week. Not just to get a hands-on adjustment.
A few places to find good online yoga classes:
MyYogaOnline.com – Touted as the #1 online yoga video web site. It features a few “rock star” teachers, and some great unknowns. Subscription options are one month for $9.95 or a full year at $7.95 per month. With a paid subscription of the site also offers other unique features such as access to Whole Health Programs, blogs and social forums, articles on yoga and healthy living contributed by members and teachers.
YogaInternational.com – A variety of class themes. Classes feature Himilayan Institute teachers. A $5 per month fee allows access to most video classes.
Myyogaworks.com –Whether you have 5 minutes or 90 minutes, this site offers classes for beginner through advanced level classes. You choose. Classes run $5 per class or a $15 monthly fee.
Bemoreyogic.com – Offers a number of different styles of yoga, including prenatal yoga. A 10-day free trial is available for those skeptical of online video classes. And, for anyone interested in unsubscribing to one particular web site’s claim for patenting, they are offering online classes free for a month in exchange for a copy of your cancellation.
PowHow.com – A resource for both teachers and students to experience live or recorded that includes yoga as well as other wellness and fitness classes.
DoYogaWithMe.com – Features a wide selection of teachers and styles. Price of classes based on size of viewing device (computer monitor vs. smart phone) and audio-only vs. video view classes.
YogaGlo.com – Features over 1,000 videos that include classes with “rock star” teachers like Richard Freeman, Kathryn Budig, Amy Ipooliti, Sean Corn and more. The site also features different styles of yoga classes, from Ashtanga to Kundalini, as well as yoga for cyclists.
A few reminders…
Before beginning any online class, be sure to know your own limits (this is true for all classes, actually). A video won’t be able to give you personal cues for modifications for pains or physical issues.
Remember the “ah ha” moment when you first realized that your amazing, professional, well-trained teacher gave you inspiration and led you to “the impossible pose” – which you had never experienced in front of a television without falling on your head.
Keep remembering that lesson. It is the value of a real, live teacher. And probably the reason you gave away that yoga DVD collection in the first place.