Pre COVID-19 way of life, we went about our merry ways, not really taking into consideration the small things in life. Like how beautiful the warmth of sunlight felt on our skin whilst sitting in a park, or the physical connection made when we hugged our friend before sitting down for a coffee with our reusable KeepCups. We’ve all had to make drastic changes and quickly, for the greater good-there’s no question about that. But in reality, many of us found the transition from ‘normal life’ to ‘iso-life’ very unsettling. I personally, couldn’t quite grasp the general feeling of ‘shitness’ when the restrictions sledge hammered down upon us. I then made myself feel even more crumb by feeling like a whingy privileged first-world person. At the end of the day, however, our problems are relative, and comparing oneself to someone who is much worse off, doesn’t make one feel any better, in fact, it does worse. Cue, inhale, exhale.
For many of us, movement, yoga and community has been a saving grace that we had intertwined into our lives to the point that it became our preventative health care therapy/medicine. When it was abruptly taken away from us, tension and stress crept back in and we weren’t able to relieve it (not to mention the physical aches and pains). Sure, we can all look up a video on YouTube, but just like having someone to talk to on the phone over listening to a voicemail, a Live Streamed yoga session is much closer to the real thing.
1. Connection To Community:
As already mentioned, part of the yoga class appeal is the sense of connection we gain from seeing friends at the studio, even just seeing regular faces creates a sense of community and belonging that us humans crave. When logging in to an online class from your yoga studio, you’re able to see familiar faces of teachers and other students, and even catch up and check in with each other. I found it so relieving knowing that others were on the same emotional roller coaster as me.
I don’t know about you, but when I don’t have to do something at a certain time, I quite often get ridiculous with procrastination (e.g.: Instagram black holes, baking, cleaning underneath beds, naps etc.) and push things off until the day has already vanished and I missed out on it…whoops! Well, having a scheduled event to build some structure around can be extremely helpful for those of us who may have an otherwise structure-less day. Showing up for class helps to keep up with a previously set routine, which will make it much easier to get back into ‘normal’ life once we’re all back to usual.
3. It’s Yoga!
I feel like this is pretty obvious, this isn’t the blog to tell you why bend and fly yoga is great, you’re reading this, so you already know why. But sometimes we don’t know how great it is for us until we stop doing it… A lot of us have been anchored to our desks or increased our sedentary time, resulting in new aches and pains, movement asanas and deep stretching is a practice that we need now more than ever to maintain health.
4. Tailored Touch
Just like an in-studio yoga class, your teachers want to teach people! They want to be teaching things that will help people and be enjoyable and having a target audience allows for just that. Communicating with the teacher to give feedback about what you’re needing and wanting allows the teacher to tailor their classes so that they’re well received by their students. This is a win-win situation for both you and the teacher. So don’t be shy about asking for specific things and talking with the teacher after class-they’re people too and are craving human interaction right now as well.
5. Release Of Self Preservation
There’s a moderately fine line that separates self-preservation and self-respect. There’s no denying it, doing yoga at home in your pyjamas at home is rad. Once those pyjamas have not been removed from your body for 7 days, then we start to enter the release of self-respect realm. Being in the comfort of your own home can help remove inhibition for your yoga practice. Ever wanted to try naked yoga but maybe not that keen on getting your kit off in public? Do it (turn your camera off though). Ever wanting to OM your heart out, but maybe felt a bit reluctant to do so in class? Do it! Ever wanted to try kicking up into an arm balance, but felt embarrassed to try in front of others? Do it (be safe about it though).
How many times have you been stuck in traffic, watching the minutes tick by knowing that your favourite yoga class starts in 3 minutes ago and you’re road raging the traffic lights or the slow person in front “GET OUT OF MY WAY #*&@, I NEED TO GET TO @&*!$ YOGA!” Just me? Well now this factor has been forcibly removed from us, and we can attend our yoga meeting online, wherever.
7. Trying Something New
As creatures of habit, we tend to create our yoga schedule and stick to it. Which is fine and great, but sometimes this sees us exclude other areas that we’re missing out on. Previously, I found myself not ‘having’ (really, not making) time for meditation or slower practices like Yin yoga classes. However, now that I have the opportunity (more time, flexible work/study schedule) I’ve found myself delving into classes that I wouldn’t usually do. In addition to this, the extra collective stress and hysteria that has come with the current situation has meant that I’ve craved softer mindfulness meditations for stress release.
8. Longer Savasana
Lastly, but possibly most importantly. LONGER SAVASANA! Really, why is lying on the floor after the yoga class just the best 3-5 minutes of the day? The floor, or even comfy bed/couch naps just doesn’t deliver that same sort of all encompassing gooey warmth that you feel in Savasana… So now, put an extra zero onto that time and increase your corpse pose to 30-50 minutes (merely a suggestion, it’s your time and space, your choice!).