Yoga is the perfect exercise for both your body and mind. But can you do Yoga without an instructor? Is it possible to learn and practice Yoga by yourself? Let’s find out.
Yoga is a spiritual practice that may take a lifetime to master. It involves many postures or asanas , which help in improving your physical and mental wellbeing and aids in relieving various aliments.
There are immense benefits of doing yoga: it relaxes your mind and body and allows you to sleep better. Yoga also improves the strength, balance, and flexibility of your body.
People of all ages practice yogic postures or do meditation every day. But the question is: can you do Yoga without an instructor? Yes, of course, it is possible. There are various means at your disposal, particularly after the advent of COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch YouTube videos, take online courses, read blogs, follow yogis or yoga instructors on social media to get some tips and tricks of perfecting your postures.
Some people like to practice Yoga at home because, in yoga classes, there are so many people who can make them uncomfortable.
If your aim is not to become a yogi or a yoga master in the future, then you can easily do yoga at home without the help of an instructor. This article will guide you with various ways you can learn yoga without an instructor.
What Are Various Options If You Want To Do Yoga Without An Instructor?
You may believe that doing yoga is only possible with an instructor. But let me tell you that you can easily learn yoga at home. It will take some time to perfect your yoga postures, but you will surely reach there.
You need to have patience and devote some time to learn Yoga without an instructor. There are various options available by which you can do Yoga without an instructor.
You can learn multiple yoga postures from books, YouTube videos, various online courses, yoga studios. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
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#1. Learn Yoga From Books
Yoga books are readily available in the market or in digital format to learn various yoga postures. Books allow you to learn anywhere, and they are inexpensive, but they might not be the most effective way to learn yoga, especially if you are a beginner.
Firstly, you need several books for reference because yogic asanas can be a bit complex. Secondly, it takes a lot of time to read and practice the postures correctly or know the various benefits of a particular asana or pranayama. Third, you would need to know when to avoid a particular asana, for example, in case of an injury, during pregnancy, during periods etc.
You have to remember all the tips, tricks, or the entire procedure written in the book, and then you can start the yoga asanas.
Lastly, if you can’t understand something, there is no one to ask your doubts and questions while learning Yoga from books. In short, learning a physical activity like yoga from books will take a lot of time and might not be most effective.
#2. Learn Yoga From Online Videos
You can easily learn yoga by watching a lot of online videos and yoga channels on YouTube and other social media platforms. You can visually see someone doing yoga postures and learn from them.
There are numerous videos on the internet from where you can learn yoga asanas and pranayama. But it becomes a challenge to choose which ones are teaching yoga correctly and have in-depth knowledge of the subject.
If you are a beginner, you would need to learn the asanas step by step. You would need to know how to safely enter and come out of the yoga asana. If you don’t know which video to follow, you might get confused with the amount of content that is online. For example, if you enter the name of a particular yoga asana on the search bar, at least 10 videos will show up, which may confuse you.
Further, the quality of teaching also varies from one video to the next video. Some of the instructors on YouTube demonstrate the poses without giving all the requisite details like what are the common mistakes, how to prevent an injury, how to align your body etc.
Again, the length of YouTube videos also varies. Some people benefit from a 45 minutes video, whereas others may get irritated and dislike lengthy videos. They are satisfied with and have time for only short 10-15 minute videos.
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The algorithm of YouTube might also be a problem in itself. Suppose you want to search yoga asanas for backache problems and start watching a video. Once you complete watching a video, you will see various videos of backache problems on the sidebar. However, a holistic solution would need you to work on the entire body rather than a particular area of your body. If you are a beginner, you might not know this and might continue watching only one type of videos.
In summary, to be able to learn well from online videos, you would need to do a bit of research before you jump into practicing yoga. Figure out which instructor is most knowledgeable and whose videos are well explained and easy to understand. This will prevent you from jumping from one video to the next, would save time and you wouldn’t feel confused while actually practicing yoga.
#3. Learn Yoga From Online Course
The content of online video courses is much better than YouTube videos. They are well structured so that a beginner can understand step by step. Most of good quality courses will tell you how to perfect your yoga asana, what should be the sequence of performing these asanas and what are the things to be avoided. They would also give you the small breaks that you need to catch your breath, as you move from one sequence to another.
These online courses enable one to do yoga anytime, anywhere you desire. All you need is a good internet connection. You can learn the positions from skilled teachers. But online courses may cost you a pretty penny in comparison to free YouTube videos and online books.
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#4. Learn Yoga from DVDs
You can learn yoga by getting a specific DVD series that will help you learn from an instructor actively. Some of the most famous yoga programs for which DVDs are available are easily available are Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown, Yoga Burn by Zoe Bray-Cotton (now in the form of App for both Android and IOS users) and P90X Workout Base Kit.
Even apart from these, there are various DVDs available online. You can purchase any of them. I will suggest you start from beginner’s style and later progress into an advanced one.
However, the most evident drawback of using DVDs is that this is a slightly dated technology and you would need a DVD player positioned in your workout space, to be able to learn from them. Most of the content that was earlier sold in the form of DVDs, is now available via Apps or on their YouTube channels.
#5. Learn Yoga By Researching Online Through Google
You should not forget the biggest tool which helps in solving most of the problems. You can google the tips and tricks to do yoga without an instructor.
You will find tons of information that will help you in performing yoga. Remember that all yoga is not alike, and all asanas are not for everyone.
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#6. Learn Yoga From Friends
If you know your friend or a relative who knows yoga, you can get tips or even short lessons from them. They will be eager to help you, and I think there is nothing wrong with asking for some initial guidance and support.
Advantages Of Self Learning Yoga
- Solo practicing yoga helps you take your own time and you can move at the pace which suits you the most
- Performing alone can be meditative and help you better focus on your body
- You don’t have to spend extra money
Disadvantages Of Self Learning Yoga
- Doing a yoga session alone will not give you a community experience. Since you’d be performing alone, you will not be able to communicate with others, get motivation from them or learn from others and it might get a bit boring at times.
- There are some movements in yoga that are challenging and are best done under some guidance if performed for the first time
- You would need to spend time in selecting from the various resources. There are lots of videos/ book/ courses available online. You would need to invest some time in finding what suits you the most.
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Tips To Do Yoga At Home Without The Help Of An Instructor
If you don’t have the practice to do Yoga alone at home, or you are at the beginner stage, then it may seem daunting in the beginning.
Regular practice will make you perfect. It will surely take time to do a correct and accurate yoga posture. But I will share with you a few tips which may help you in doing yoga at home.
Find A Quiet Spot
You need to find a space in your house where you can do yoga without anyone interrupting you. It is possible that you may not have a separate room in your house that you could use for practicing yoga. In such a scenario, one you can move your coffee table or center table aside and place your mat in the living room or kitchen, and you can practice Yoga. Second, select a time of the day when it is the quietest, so that distractions are minimized.
Start a Yoga Journal
Writing about your daily practice, your flow and your weak spots will surely help you a lot. You need to remember that you are teaching yourself. This will help you keep a track of which sections of the practice require greater attention. Also, keeping a log of all the asanas will help you avoid repeating the same sequence and you would be able to incorporate variety.
Make a Routine
You need to set a time, and ensure that your are punctual. This allocated time should be used only to practice yoga, away from all distractions. Make sure that you are not repeatedly checking your phone, mail or Whatsapp messages.
Being regular and consistent is the key in progressing further. This would greatly help connect your body and mind and you will feel calmer in life.
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End With The Resting Pose or Shavasana
Remember to do Shavasana (or Savasana) at the end. It is an opportunity to heal your mind and body and relieve any kind of stress in your body. In the beginning some people find it boring, but I would advise that you don’t miss it. You could start by practicing Shavasana for 2 minutes and then slowly increasing the time as you get more accustomed to it.
Frequently Answered Questions
#1. Can I learn Yoga without a teacher?
Yes, you can learn yoga technically by yourself. I think the best approach will be to search for an excellent online course to learn yoga.
#2. Why do we need an instructor to start with Yoga?
A yoga instructor teaches you finer skills of doing yoga asanas and breath work required with each movement. You will connect your body and mind more profoundly.
#3. Can I practice Yoga on my own?
Yes, of course, you can practice yoga on your own at home. But if you are a beginner, you should attend one or two yoga classes taught by an instructor so that you can know the proper flow for doing yoga.
It’s important to to be safe while performing yoga and you should not injure any of your body parts or aggravate an old injury. My recommendation would be to take a few classes in the beginning to get a hang of the basics and try independently at home.
#4. Can I do Yoga if I am out of shape?
If you think that you are out of shape, yoga would be very helpful in bringing your body back in shape. So, try to do yoga exercises every day, which will surely improve your health.
I think yoga is the best way to stay fit physically and mentally. You can learn Yoga by yourself without an instructor. Make sure you understand the postures and their benefits well and do not injure yourself in any way. Start slow, with beginner level yoga asanas and then slowly intensify your practice. Also, make sure you include a warm up, cool down and then finally Shavasana in your practice, along with the main sequences.
I hope this article has helped you in understanding the finer details of learning and performing yoga on your own, without an instructor.