Do I need a teacher to practice Yoga is a common question that comes to the minds of many yoga aspirants. For me the answer is simple, it depends on an individual.
I know even this simple answer has still left you confused. So, let’s ask ourselves some simple set of questions and understand our needs and requirements. Try to have a little clarity before we make a giant leap.
Do I need a teacher to practice Yoga
Here are some of the questions you should answer about yourself and try to find out do you really need a teacher to practice Yoga.
How familiar are you with Yoga
If you have never done any sort of asana and have just a brief knowledge of Yoga then to take help of someone who is an expert in this field makes sense.
A teacher will correct your postures, save you from injuries, guide you whenever you stop or feel demotivated.
You can initially join a Yoga class, understand the basics and once you are somewhat comfortable with Yoga asanas /poses, you can start your own journey depending on your pace.
How much time you can spend to learn
You should understand your daily schedule, understand where all you can squeeze some time for yourself. You may be working full time or part time or stay at home types (it means so much more work!!!).
Think of all these engagements : your office time, commute time, household work time, friends’ time, laundry time and then think of how much time is still left in your kitty. It can be half an hour before everyone wakes up or 15 minutes before you go and pick up the kids.
If time is a constraint for you, will you be able to go and attend some nearby Yoga studio.If yes,then you can go for a Yoga teacher. It will have following benefits.
- Guidance under a teacher
- Saves times on the research and other means to understand any asana or breathing exercise
- Learn quickly and once you have the confidence, can start home practice
How fast you want to learn Yoga
It also depends upon how fast you want to understand things about Yoga. Yoga practice by self is a time consuming practice.
Also, there are certain challenges involved in doing home practice
- Which resource to use, best books published on Yoga or best online You tube stuff
- What is the credibility of the resource
- Which asana to perform first, sequence of asanas, is there any beginner’s course.
- If beginners course is over, then what next.
So, if you really want to bypass all these challenges, go for a Yoga teacher. It will also involve research about which studio to join but that won’t take much time as online reviews are always available.
How comfortable are you with online and book stuff
Learning through book or you tube or from a teacher boils down to a person’s preference. If you are comfortable reading about the asana and practicing it, you can learn Yoga on your own.
However, if you feel it difficult to follow an instructor in a You-tube or reading about a practice and doing it, then you certainly need teacher to practice Yoga.
How much patience do you have
So, you have started the practice on your own. After few weeks or days, you feel like it is not that much exciting as you were thinking or you just keep skipping your practice as there is no one to check. You feel like, you don’t have enough patience now to keep reading and understanding things.
If such are the cases, then go for a Yoga studio. In studio, you will feel motivated seeing other folks. Some people love practicing in group and enjoy the practice when done together.
Why do you want to do Yoga
So, finally you have made up your mind to learn Yoga and evaluated all the above conditions and now here comes the basic question which you should honestly answer: Why do you want to learn Yoga.
There can be a lot of reasons, weight loss, tone body, flexibility, strength, health, stress free life, reconnect with your self, want to pose(social media effect), make Yoga teaching as a career.(For people who want to teach yoga, just make sure you really want to do it and check what others have to say about it.)
May whatever be the reason, if you have finally decided and are serious about it, then just start the journey.
It is not that, you wont be able to learn without a teacher, however teacher is like a catalyst to your practice.
And for a serious student, nothing is really impossible, self learning or through practice with a teacher.
I hope that answering the above questions will help you understand whether you need a teacher to practice Yoga.
Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success. ~Svatmarama