I advocate home practice. It offers a discipline that moves you forward in yoga and all other aspects of your life. When you have a space or find a place to practice, find your breath and listen to your inner voice, you can move through the rest of your day and life with more grace and ease. Yet having a studio where you practice and feel nurtured can help in both developing that home practice and in keeping it strong and healthy, like you.
Why? First, a studio space lets you escape and more easily practice mindfulness. It frees you from the distractions of your living room, study or even home yoga studio. On your own, it is easy to cut your practice short, pat the dog or take a break to send that message you just happened to remember going into trikonasana! When you come to a studio, you have turned your phone off, you most likely left the dog at home, no one is going to knock on the door to see you and the time you have taken is your own. Sometimes it is what you need to become fully present.
Too, when you practice on your own you can get into a comfortable rut. You work the poses you want to work, you plan your sequence based on what you have done before or what you feel like in the moment. It is often easy to not challenge yourself, even if that challenge is slowing down to accommodate other people. At a studio, your teacher will often guide you into poses you don’t like, that you have not done before or that are difficult for you. That is the point. Coming to a studio brings you slightly outside your comfort zone. There are other people there, you may or may not like them. The teacher chose a sequence or a focus pose that you hate. You find yourself asking yourself as you hold that deep squat malasana for another 10 seconds, “did I really need to come here today?” But then the teacher guides you back to your breath. He nudges your shoulders so they soften. Or she gently moves your big toe a millimeter out or in. You hear the voice reminding you to soften your jaw and to release tension where you don’t need it. You relax and come into your own space so deeply that it doesn’t matter who is next to you or which pose you are in. You simply are there: breathing, opening and letting the pose get into your body.
Most importantly, you get instruction in a yoga studio. The teacher will help you relax, soften your gaze, challenge you with a particular asana and create a sequence that takes your mind off everything else. If your hips are not balanced, she brings your attention to it and helps you adjust. When your knee starts to cave inward, he gently reminds you to align it. When your balance is faltering, your teacher stands next to you and lends you hers. That is the benefit of coming to a yoga studio.
Develop a home practice. It will serve you when nothing else will. But don’t forget the benefit of practicing at a studio, particularly Tribal, my yoga studio.
P.S. To help you at home, contact me at the web site. http://www.tribaltulum.com, to receive my 15 minute yoga audios. When you don’t have time for anything, remind yourself you do have time to find peace inside yourself, even if it is just 15 minutes.