When you are starting your personal yoga practice, finding the right teacher is the first and most important step. In yoga, the teacher you are most drawn to and influenced by is often referred to as your “guru.” However, it can be very intimidating to enter a studio class environment if you are new to yoga. There are hundreds of reasons that yogis may avoid studio classes, but this doesn’t mean they should miss out on knowledgeable yoga teachers or the guidance they deserve. Thankfully, nowadays there are many resources such as free online yoga classes for anyone who wants to delve into their practice at home.
Benefits Of Practicing Yoga With Free Videos
There are so many beneficial reasons to practice yoga at home with free videos. Practice at home is much more accessible – both in terms of time, geographical location, and finances. Rolling out a mat with your laptop at home involves less of a commute than traveling to a yoga studio, particularly in more remote towns where yoga studios might be few and far between. In line with this, attending class in a yoga studio will cost you, normally upwards of $15, and this will of course add up over time. In comparison, practicing to videos on the internet at home can be free and will help with finances in other areas of your life.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. The Bhagavad Gita
Additionally, using free videos to practice yoga at home introduces a new sense of creativity and choice. When attending studio classes, you are limited by the offerings on the schedule. You may only be free in the evenings, and so therefore will be limited to those evening classes. This might mean going to a yin yoga class when really you wanted some energy pumping power yoga. In contrast, practicing to free videos lets you tune into your unique desires and needs on any given day, and allows the choice of video which aligns with that. Another benefit of practicing yoga at home with free videos is that it gives you access to world class teachers that you might otherwise not be able to take classes and learn from.
Drawbacks Or Practicing Yoga With Free Videos
While there are many benefits to practicing yoga at home with free videos, there are also drawbacks. Before beginning a practice led by online videos, you should give careful consideration to the following drawbacks. When practicing yoga with free videos, you may miss out on the depth of instruction you’d receive in an in-person studio. For instance, free videos generally range from 10-30 minutes, whereas studio classes are usually an hour minimum. Furthermore, with free videos you’ll miss out on the physical modifications from a yoga teacher. In studio classes, your yoga teacher should be examining your postures and offering you adjustments and fixing alignment, tailored specifically to you. By practicing solely to online videos, you may not even be aware of misalignments which could be putting you in danger or risk of injury. Another drawback to practicing yoga with free videos is the lack of social environment, energy, and sangha(community) you get from in-person studio classes. Even though you practice on your own mats and traditionally in silence, there is still a special social connection that occurs in studio classes. Additionally, one of the previously mentioned benefits of practicing to online videos could also be interpreted as a drawback: Although you get the freedom to choose whatever style class you want when practicing to online videos, you could also potentially be missing out on new styles of yoga offered in studios, that you might not otherwise challenge yourself to try.
“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.Rumi
These drawbacks to a home yoga practice led by free videos are important to consider, but they do not necessarily mean you should give up this kind of practice. Instead, arm yourself with awareness and knowledge, and let this inform your home practice. Additionally, try to mix in studio classes every now and then so you have access to a teacher who can modify your poses. You may find that even just an occasional studio class will give you knowledge to carry forward in your home yoga practice.
Best Places To Access Free Yoga Videos
Now that you’ve considered the benefits and drawbacks of practicing yoga at home to free videos, the next question is where exactly to find the videos. There are hundreds of resources online when it comes to free yoga videos, but it can be overwhelming to navigate at first. Below are four major resources to consider when looking for quality, free yoga videos. Each resource is an entire platform, on which you can find many different videos, often from a variety of different teachers. For each platform, a few examples are given of specific videos, channels, or accounts to access free yoga videos from.
Youtube is a well known and well loved online video platform. On Youtube, you can find a video on any topic you think of (and many you never would have thought of). This means it should be your first destination when searching for free yoga videos. To find quality yoga videos on Youtube, you can of course search for videos in the search tab. However, you might find it more productive to choose a few teachers you align with. Then, subscribe to their accounts. You will be notified whenever they post new videos to Youtube. Many yoga teachers now have their own Youtube accounts and keep a library of free yoga classes for you to access.
Carling Harps – Carling is a wonderful yoga teacher who runs a Youtube channel in tandem with her partner, Patrick Beach. She specializes in luxurious yin style classes. On her channel, you can find a variety of free yoga videos, ranging from 10 minutes to an hour in length.
Yoga with Adrienne – Adrienne runs one of the most popular yoga channels in existence, with over four million followers on Youtube. On her channel, you will find a wide variety of free yoga videos. Her most popular is the 30-day yoga challenge, in which you watch a video and practice every day for 30 days.
DoYouYoga is an online platform for videos, but unlike Youtube it is specifically geared toward yoga videos. On DoYouYoga, you can choose free video classes by teacher, challenge, category, and more. For instance, if you wanted to focus on wrist strength, you can select this category and find multiple videos from many different teachers specifically on this topic.
30 Days of Yoga Challenge – This video series has 30 videos and is meant to last 30 days. It is educational and inspiring and perfect for anyone who wants to connect with and learn from the same teacher over an entire month. It is lead by yoga teacher Jess Rose, who teaches in a relaxed and fun-loving style.
Yoga for Stress Management – On DoYouYoga you can select your yoga videos based on various topics of desires, such as stress reduction. There are a variety of videos on this topic, taught by various teachers and averaging around 20 minutes per video. various teachers 20 minutes, different topics
Increase Flexibility – You can also select videos on DoYouYoga based on physical categories, such as goals like increasing flexibility. This specific category has many different classes as well as multi-video challenges focused on this goal.
Yoga Journal is the premiere magazine publication on yoga, which regularly publishes issues that detail yoga sequences, common yoga questions, teacher biographies, ayurvedic recipes, yoga news, and more. The magazine is paired with its website, which is one of the most reliable and valuable resources on yoga on the internet. Although Yoga Journal is most known for its lengthy and informational articles, it also has a page which acts as a free yoga video library. Whilst Yoga Journal’s primary purpose isn’t to provide full-length yoga class videos, the videos it does have are extremely useful and educational. The videos range from offering yoga sequences, alignment tips, troubleshooting tricky poses, and tutorials for all levels of practice.
Pre-practice core workout – In this video, world renowned yoga teacher Kino MacGregor teaches a core workout to practice before a traditional yoga practice. She uses a prop called the Yoga Pro Wheel, which can be purchased online and may be a useful addition to any home yoga practice, particularly if you are working of core strength and back bends.
Yoga sequence for cooling down the psoas – In this free video, yoga teacher Sadie Nagini offers a gentle sequence for relaxing the psoas muscle, which stretches from the back through the pelvis and into the thigh. It is meant to be paired with another video that teaches a psoas workout. Pairing these two videos together could offer a well-balanced home practice.
Some yoga teachers run their own personal blogs or Instagram accounts, where they create and provide yoga instruction videos free for the public. One way to find these is by searching through the #yoga or #yogavideos or #yogateacher hashtags on Instagram. Many teachers will post short 30 second videos on Instagram, or longer videos on IGTV, which you can use to inspire your practice. Additionally, many teachers have their own personal websites or blogs linked from social media accounts. Within their blog posts you’ll often find embedded free videos. If you have a favorite yoga teacher at your local yoga studio, but you don’t have the time or the funds to regularly attend public classes, enquire with your teacher if they have their own Instagram or blog dedicated to yoga. Chances are they might, in which case you can take advantage of their teachings even when you can’t attend class.
Beach Yoga Girl – Kerri Verna is a Florida-based yoga teacher with a large social media following. She travels throughout the USA offering workshops, but she is also known for posting daily videos on her Instagram account, IGTV, and Youtube channels, all of which share practice tips, alignment advice, and more.
Kathryn Budig – Kathryn Budig is a fun and creative yoga teacher who has grown up in the spot light, from her traditional Ashtanga days as a cover girl for Yoga Journal, to her more funky and innovative teaching currently. Budig posts yoga videos on her Instagram and Youtube channels, and you can always learn a new pose from her.
Kino MacGregor – Kino MacGregor is a world renowned Ashtangi and is one of the few women in the world to have reached the fourth series, and is even on her way to the fifth series. She travels internationally to teach workshops, but in the mean time she posts daily videos on Instagram, IGTV, Youtube, and her own yoga video platform called OmStars.
The Journey Junkie – Allie is an online wellness blogger and yoga teacher who has built an extensive blog called the Journey Junkie. On her website, you can find a library of free yoga videos, each focused on a different chakra or area of the body.
There are so many wonderful benefits to practicing yoga at home, and missing a teacher shouldn’t be a barrier to you. With these previously mentioned resources for free yoga videos, anyone can practice at home with an internet connection. Embrace the creativity and choice that a home yoga practice allows, but as you do so try to remain mindful of alignment and safety issues.