“How much sense does it make to start practicing yoga with a DVD if I’ve never been to a class? I wonder if I can hurt myself.” –Christine B.
Hi Christine! I’m glad you decided to ask this question, because believe it or not, many people wonder the same thing. Quite often, yoga centered DVDs can be a blessing. Working moms can get their yoga fix in during the day; students can take class without forking up cash every week; sometimes they help those who may be a little “yoga-shy” and may not be totally comfortable with being in class with other people. Recently, plenty of well-known teachers have released DVDs for their students to use when getting to the studio just can’t happen. These videos provide yogis with an incredibly convenient and cheap way to practice yoga in the comfort of their own homes.That being said, in my opinion, the benefits of taking class in a studio definitely outweigh those one can take advantage of with a DVD.
There’s something to be said about the special environment of a yoga studio. The ambiance, the people, and even the smells of a studio contribute to the true yoga experience. If you’ve been to class with other yogis, you would probably agree with me that the sounds of others’ breathing around you is incredibly powerful, the impact of the music is great, but most of all, the support of a good teacher cannot be matched. Teachers provide safety and individual attention to their students that cannot possibly be found in a DVD. Some people only practice with their DVDs, and while they may be applauded for being able to keep up a home practice, they may face the chance of doing postures incorrectly and unsafely. I absolutely think it is well worth it to make an effort to make it to the studio at least a few times before committing solely to your DVDs.
If going to the studio just can’t happen, don’t feel discouraged. Creating your own home practice is an incredible difficult and admirable thing to do, and may even spark some envy from other yogis! Here are a few things you can do to ensure this kind of practice is benefiting you. Be sure to always change up your practice. Try out new teachers and styles, levels and lengths. Also be sure that you’re keeping up with a regular practice as much as you can. A consistent practice is going to make yoga more enjoyable physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Also, try out some of the other incredible components of yoga. Perhaps make an effort to sit and meditate each day, read up on yoga-philosophy, or learn Sansrkit terminology. The Internet provides so many resources that I totally urge you take advantage of!