A few weeks ago, Alice shared her top five reasons to practice yoga at home which inspired me to get on my mat in my practice space on the days that I’m not able to make it to a group class. As a guide and participant in many group classes, I also know first-hand the benefits of practicing yoga in a group. I hope these inspire you to create a balanced yoga practice at home and with others! Here’s why I love to go to a yoga class:
#1. The Guiding Support of a Teacher
I love attending a class and can sense the loving presence of a great teacher. They are able to see things I may not be aware of that allows me the opportunity to refine my practice in new and unique ways. Another benefit of an instructors is hands-on or verbal assists that they can offer which can guide me into a deeper intelligence in my body and mind. I leave with tidbits of wisdom that inspire me as a teacher, yogi, and human.
#2. The Power of Sangha
There’s a Sanskrit word, sangha, which translates to community. You’re not really socializing during a yoga class, however, you can connect with someone before or after class and you already have something in common: you both practice yoga! It’s a great way to break the ice and create new friendships based on shared interests and experiences. Then your practice benefits are even greater, as social interactions are critical for your mental and physical health too!
#3. Exploring New Spaces
Most yoga studios are carefully designed and feel welcoming and relaxing. I’m fortunate to teach at some stunning spaces in the Philadelphia area. But it’s not just about how a place looks. I’ve also practiced in a bookstore basement, under the Ben Franklin bridge, and in someone’s living room. A great part of yoga is learning how to appreciate beautiful spaces and at the same time connecting to the heart of your practice no matter where you are.
#4. The Power of Moving and Breathing Together
Yoga typically is a solo practice, but there’s something wonderful that happens when you’re able to practice with others. There’s a power that comes from a group of people choosing to be in the same space with the intention of moving and breathing with awareness. In a culture where we’re increasingly more isolated (next time you walk around, take a look up from your phone and notice how many people are looking at their phone or have headphones on!) we seem to be cutting ourselves apart from the collective environment. When we gather together in this way, it’s as though we each remember what a vital part we play in the symphony of the human experience.
If you’re inspired to explore practicing beyond your home or office studio, we’d love to see you! We’ve got an amazing team of teachers at Prasada that also teach group classes around the Philadelphia area, so check out one of our classes. You can find Meg and Johnathan at Amrita Yoga and Kate, Angela, and Jen at Wake Up Yoga.