Once again we’re back in lockdown and sadly for yoga students and their teachers, most yoga studios and gyms have had to close. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop practicing yoga! There are apps and videos and free yoga on Youtube, but many yoga teachers are doing their very best to keep classes going online, either from their homes or from empty studios. If you haven’t given online yoga classes a go yet, here are some reasons why online yoga could be the very thing to get you through these dark days of lockdown:
It gets you into a habit of yoga at home
Unless you already have a daily yoga practice, yoga may be something you do occasionally at a studio or the gym. The leap from making yoga from a class a couple of times a week, to something you do every day, can be tricky. The best way to develop a yoga practice and get the most out of it, is to get into the habit of doing a bit every day. Carving out a space and time in your own home to dedicate to your practice is the best way to ensure you stick to a regular practice. You don’t need a lot of space, just enough for your mat. Online yoga is a wonderful stepping stone between studio classes and a home practice, as you can have a class in your new dedicated yoga space. Your mind will soon come to associate that space with your yoga practice.
You still get the benefit of actual instruction over prerecorded Youtube videos
There are literally 1,000s of hours of free yoga on Youtube, and some of those teachers are really excellent. There’s nothing wrong with watching pre-recorded Youtube videos, especially using them to do quick 10-20 minute practices when you have the time. But it is worth having time with a live teacher as well. Even if it’s not as clear as in a studio, we can still see what you are doing and make sure you are safe and give you extra instruction if you need it. You can ask questions and get feedback with a real-time teacher; and although online, there is still the community spirit of a virtual class (I always have a little check in at the beginning and end of class to see how everyone is doing). I also theme my classes around what is going on currently; seasons, weather, how my students are feeling, so that each class is tailor made – something that pre-recorded teachers just can’t do. If you do enjoy Youtube yoga then even just a couple of 1-2-1 online sessions with a teacher can make sure you are adapting the yoga for your body and it’s needs.
3. Less hassle
How many times have you really wanted to go to class but you’re just too tired to go to the studio? Or it’s raining? Or you’ve worked late and it means cycling out of your way… the great thing about online yoga is you are already home! You just need to grab your mat and switch on Zoom. If you’re sleepy afterwards you can go nap; if it’s an energising morning class you can get straight on with your day. You can roll out of bed and on to your mat. Or if it’s a night time relaxing class (like my Relax and Shine class), roll straight into bed!
During a pandemic, in winter, self-care is important
The health benefits of yoga are widely documented so I don’t need to go into them here (I have covered them in other blog posts); but right now the benefits of yoga cannot be underestimated. We’re in a global pandemic, which even if you have not been affected directly, causes immense stress to the system as we worry about health, money, loved ones… living in our ‘flight or fight’ nervous system really does take its toll! Yoga calms the nervous system through breath, focus and movement – it really is a chance to ‘switch off’ from all the drama. For those working from home, it’s important to move the body to prevent injury, tightness and muscle atrophy. If you are sitting for the majority of the day, a practice that moves your whole body is so important. A daily walk is great, but a yoga session will help you get into all your muscles, joints and fascia and nourish them with movement and breath. It’s also taking time for you away from all your responsibilities which is always good for your mental health.
You are supporting teachers and the yoga community
It’s been a tough year for yoga teachers. Studios have been closed for a long portion of the year, and the ones that have opened for short times, have had limited mat space for safety reasons, meaning less students, and less income. The decision to move classes online has been tough for many; buying equipment, learning technology, and adapting to a new way of teaching with very little time. Whenever you pay for an online yoga class you are paying for that teacher’s time and energy, for all the prep they have done , setting up the camera, their home, etc… but more than that, you are keeping the community going. Many teachers are still contributing to their studios, running charity/community classes, finding ways they can get yoga to their students as best they can. By joining online classes, you are showing love and support for your teachers and I promise you we massively appreciate it. We love our students and we love to see you and how you are all doing. We love still being able to teach, even if it is through a screen and at the end of our sitting room. Every student we see is a little boost, and we hope we give you a little boost in return. And let’s be honest, in 2020, we ALL need a little boost!
I currently have three weekly online classes available, as well as seeing private groups and 1-2-1 clients over Zoom. For class bookings go to the yoga directory in the top corner of the website, and for 1-2-1s use the contact form.