Remember when everyone started growing green onions, or scallions, in mason jars on their windowsills at the beginning of quarantine? Or how about the exploding popularity of roller skating that caused nationwide shortages of roller skates in the U.S.?
There’ve been a lot of social trends and changes since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and there’s not many areas of our lives that haven’t been touched. Activities we used to go out into public and enjoy are still sometimes done at home to protect our health, and that includes fitness and wellness classes, like yoga. Even as vaccination rates rise, it's clear the world will never be quite the same.
Many yoga teachers are holding classes online via Zoom, Facebook live and other streaming platforms. It keeps students healthy and active and protects yoga teachers’ incomes.
But is it the same as the real thing? Not exactly, but teachers like Cindy David in Nashville, TN are working hard to make online yoga class as beneficial and distraction-free as possible. David has been practicing yoga for 20 years and teaching for two. She leads a Power Flow Yoga class, trained by Baron Baptiste.
Enjoying Yoga At Home
To get the most out of an at-home yoga class, consider the following before hopping online:
- Create your temporary studio. You know how the yoga studio usually feels—calming, relaxed, and usually with low lighting. Create that for yourself on a smaller scale with candles, cleaning up clutter and getting out your mat.
- Reduce distraction. David said distraction is a big factor for online yoga class. She said her own cat, now dubbed the “yoga kitty” likes to join her classes. Try your best to reduce distractions or, like David, find positive ways to incorporate furry or tiny human distractions. This also means chucking the phone away and turning off notifications on your laptop; emails popping up during class take you out of the moment.
- Stay open. “Show up with an open mind,” David says. “Stop comparing your practice to what it was in the studio and open up to a new way of being online.”
- Get your spouse or roommate involved. Part of yoga is feeling connected to a community. While we can’t always go out into large, public classes anymore, we can encourage the people who live with us to join our class, even if they’ve never done it before. Find new shared interests with a partner or roommate or invite them to try an important aspect of your life.
- Dress for the occasion. Many of us are pretty guilty of re-wearing the same t-shirt over and over… and over during quarantine. But yoga practice can be best enjoyed with the proper gear. There’s no gatekeeping yoga fashion police, but shirts that slide over our heads or shorts that ride up are no fun. Find your normal yoga attire, and bring any props you might normally use, like straps or blocks. And don’t forget your water bottle!
- Remember your eating and hydration schedule. Many yoga teachers recommend not eating heavy meals right before or after class to prevent nausea. You’ll also want to be hydrated before and after class. It’s important to remember those routines and habits even though we’re at home, where snacks and heavy foods are readily available. Again, no eating police here, but do remember that certain foods could upset your tummy, or a full stomach, during vigorous activity.
It’s Different For Everyone
David says yoga at home and online is hard on students and teachers alike, calling back to the distractions she mentioned as a struggle that teachers face.
“I would say the biggest struggle for new students that haven’t done yoga before is trying to see how to do the pose correctly,” David says. “Although the video is great, sometimes you’re inhibited because you can’t see the whole body and people need to see what their feet and upper body are doing at the same time.”
More Important Now Than Ever
David says yoga class is actually more important than ever, and encouraged students and teachers to keep up their practice.
“Yoga has amazing benefits not only for your physical body but your mental and emotional health as well,” David says. Yoga also reduces your stress levels and supports a healthy immune system.”
During a crisis, it’s vital to give our bodies the nourishment and activity they need to stay well. As David said, yoga can help strengthen our immune systems. While that might not defeat or prevent COVID-19 or any other seasonal illnesses like the flu, it can certainly help. Additionally, it keeps our spirits up and sets a healthy precedent for years to come.
“It is important to stay active not only during a pandemic, but beyond. you are forming new habits that will stay with you for a lifetime and extend the quality of your life,” David says.
A Free Yoga Class For Lora DiCarlo Readers!
David is exclusively offering Lora DiCarlo readers a free yoga class via Zoom. Readers are encouraged to email her at email@example.com to learn more about her upcoming schedule and how to participate for free!