Why Online Yoga Is The Future
Online yoga. Two words we didn’t really think would fit together ten years ago when yoga started exploding as an exercise and mindfulness technique. We thought of it as a practice in a studio setting with a teacher to give you hands-on assistance, other students in the class to give you social motivation, and a place to go to escape the day-to-day grind.
However, with the recent turn of events of 2020 (ahem, COVID-19, social distancing, and lockdown), yoga teachers and students have been forced to re-evaluate their approach as to how and where they get onto their mats to practice.
And the bottom line is this — COVID or no COVID, online yoga is the way of the future.
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It’s better for the environment
It’s 2020. Whether you believe in ‘climate change’ or not, I think everyone on the planet at this point can agree that we need to radically work towards creating a cleaner, greener Earth. Luckily, the world is a bit on pause at the moment, and with many places closed, there’s less people driving around, lessening the consumption of oil, gas, and air pollution.
And with online yoga classes, this means everyone can practice from home — reducing the carbon footprint of driving to and from their yoga studio. Not to mention, while yoga studios are not the highest on the list of energy consumption, running a studio still takes electricity, gas, water, (especially to clean the sweaty mats!), and contributes to waste in the world.
We live in a time where convenience is of utmost importance to how we live our lives. We purchase phones with faster and more user-friendly interfaces so we can navigate quicker. We upgrade our internet bandwidth so we can browse the internet faster. We get our groceries dropped off at our door, and who needs to go out to eat anymore with door-delivery services such as UberEats and Dash? My point is — we live in a world where convenience is high on the list of our needs, and this is what we’re going to move towards in the yoga world as well.
With online yoga, students can practice conveniently from their own homes, and perhaps even on their own time schedule (if it’s a recorded class rather than live). While going to a studio has its perks and benefits, it can still be inconvenient for people to commute and schedule their day around when the classes are held.
Higher pay for instructors
As yoga classes become more conveniently available, this means a greater potential of increasing numbers in yoga classes, which means greater pay for the instructors. Rather than having a studio monitor the instructors pay, instructors can charge what they please, without the cost of any overhead. Most yoga studios either pay a flat rate to their instructors (let’s say, $20 per class), or they charge per head and scrape off profit for the studios costs. Without a studio, instructors will be able to charge what they please, and pocket all profits. Plus, with online yoga being more convenient, this means there’s a greater potential of increasing the amount of students in their classes, which means bigger pay.
Greater accessibility for better instructors
Let’s be honest, the yoga market is a bit over-saturated. Don’t get me wrong — it’s great that many people want to become yoga instructors and are starting to spread yoga throughout the world. However, this also means there are plenty of new, inexperienced yoga instructors, making the odds of having an amazing class a little less likely. Having a good instructor really makes or breaks a yoga experience, and the likelihood of a new student continuing or quitting their yoga practice can definitely be correlated to the quality of their instruction and the style of class they take.
Luckily with online yoga, the best teachers around the world are more accessible to people who live outside of popular, urban yoga hubs, such as LA, San Francisco, and NYC. Most popular and quality instructors are now offering classes online through their social media, or are featured on different quality platforms such as Glo and other online yoga streaming websites. Even yoga retreats are now being offered online, so the demand to travel across the world to learn from renowned yoga instructors is now accessible from your own home.
Affordability of memberships
Memberships can be expensive. According to The Atlantic, an average monthly membership can range anywhere from $100-$200. With online yoga, memberships are significantly cheaper, only paying for a monthly subscription to platforms such as Glo, AloMoves, or SattvaConnect, which range from $10-$20 per month, rather than a couple hundred. Of course, there’s also SivanaEast’s classes, which are totally free! And now many teachers are now offering online yoga classes through their Facebook, Instagram live, and zoom, for free or donation based.
No intimidation factor
Finally, with yoga being online and conveniently accessed from the comfort of your home, this means greater incentive for those to practice who may have felt intimidated to enter a group yoga class. While there are definitely perks to practicing in a room full of other yogis, it can definitely be intimidating for a large population who have never been to a yoga class. With yoga accessed online, those who are shy and timid will be able to finally give yoga a try — and maybe even fall in love with the practice enough to one day make it to a yoga studio.
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