Yoga helps to relieve pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as prevent heart disease and helps in weight loss. And now there are seemingly endless opportunities for people to practice from the comfort of their home, either through livestreamed classes or YouTube videos. But can people glean the same health benefits of yoga through videos? Gayatri Tagore
discusses what’s better, Yoga videos or online Yoga classes.
Typically, Yoga videos are just for an introduction and not for learning purposes. Even if a yoga video tutorial manages to be thoroughly self-explanatory, not every practitioner has the same level of body awareness. Hence the presence of a Yoga teacher is needed. Even though you may be practicing yoga for the last 5 years, a teacher will still rightly point out when you are being laidback in certain postures.
Yoga-related injuries are caused due to unsupervised yoga practice at home. This is not surprising, because no feedback is provided on whether yoga exercises are executed correctly. If done wrong for a prolonged time, these exercises can be lead to physical injuries. It is important for inexperienced yogis, not to venture into online tutorials, to avoid difficult inversion poses, such as the headstand. Respect the limitations of your body and notice if any particular posture does not feel right.
Finding motivation might be extra challenging for YouTube yoga practitioners. Practising yoga in a group can help you stay motivated and get the right encouragement from a Yoga teacher, from time to time.
Apart from sustaining life, the mind, body and breath are so intimately connected that they deeply influence each other. The way we breathe is influenced by our state of mind, and in turn our thoughts and physiology can be influenced by our breathing. Deep breathing practices advocated in advanced yoga training, can have a positive impact on our physiology, both body and mind. Pranayama helps to maintain balance and restore physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Only a Yoga trainer can help with the correct breathing techniques and guide you perfectly, to hold your breath when needed for a few seconds, while practising Yoga.