Most working mums will know this: The balance between work and kids is a constant challenge and more often than not, personal fitness falls through the cracks. But all is not lost – the recent rise in home-based workouts means that you too, could squeeze in some self care without dashing into a studio in town. However, there are various pros and cons that come with practising yoga at home and in a studio – we’ll break it down for you.

Home yoga practice builds discipline and self-care

It’s easy to roll out a mat at home, but it’s even easier to just leave the mat lying on the floor untouched. With so many distractions at home (toddlers, anyone?), many people find it difficult to set aside an hour to just flow or meditate. 

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Once you start, you might be further distracted by pings of your phone, your laptop screen, or background noise at home. To counter these, try finding a time and space at home where you have more silence and fewer distractions. You are wholly responsible for your practice, and it takes a lot of discipline to continue doing so without anyone telling you to.

A yoga studio doubles as a community

When trying to stick to a fitness routine, people often recommend going to a gym because you’ll have teachers and friends waiting for you. They will hold you accountable and if you end up making a close group of friends, you’ll be excited to go there on your own accord too.

Conversely, signing up at a studio also means you’ll have to travel in order to get there. This is more work for you as you’ll have to dress up and head out the door instead of just using your mat at home. We recommend choosing a studio that is close to your home to prevent yourself from flaking.

There is vulnerability in a group

When there is community, there is also judgement. Some good, but some bad. It’s hard to avoid the attention and glances in class, especially if it’s your first time there. But rest assured that most yogis are more interested in studying the different anatomies and alignment rather than your actual pose.

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After all, the yoga studio should be a space that is free of negative energy. Once you get past the idea of people seeing you practise, it can end up being a breath of fresh air because you’ll drop your ego and expectations, and concentrate purely on learning.

Find flexibility at your own comfort

If you work late hours or have young children to care for, you might not be able to find a class that fits your schedule. Though there are many studios that offer early morning classes and late night classes, they might not be located near you. 

Practising at home means that you won’t be rushing to and from class to your next appointment, which can make things easier if you have a jam-packed schedule. You can also select online classes with durations that best suit you. If you are someone who does prefer to schedule everything in black and white, then having a studio schedule that you’re booked for might make it easier for you to keep up with a regular yoga practice.

So, should you do yoga at home or in a studio?

As with almost everything, the ultimate decision is based on personal preference. Studios are great for beginners as you can have proper guidance and you will get to meet a community, but they are also useful in helping experienced yogis progress by seeing other bodies.

Home practice is great if you don’t live near a studio and you want to do yoga at odd times of the day, but you’ll need to take initiative to actually start doing yoga.

Text: Carissa Wong / Shape