How can I keep up a regular yoga practise?
If you want to keep your job, you simply won't be donning your new Lululemon top, rolling out your mat in your favourite corner of the yoga studio, with the familiar scent of lavender tickling the nostrils, while you warm up with a few wrist exercises and hand stand hops in the next five minutes. It's just not going to happen. Not today.
We've all been there. You were supposed to wake up an hour earlier to get to that power flow class at the studio around the corner, but hit the snooze button instead. You set yourself a goal to get to three yoga classes a week, scattered evenly amongst your ocean swims and marathon training. The perfect addition to your exercise regime to assist with injury prevention and recovery. Then that urgent email arrives in the eleventh hour, the clock ticks faster towards 7 o'clock, the sun slides behind the horizon, and there's just 10 minutes before the door to the yoga studio will lock to start the class you had all intentions to be in. Your palms start to sweat, your head gets cloudy, you re-write the same sentence over and over again. You were supposed to be in that class! Sound familiar?
Then COVID-19 spread its virus fingerprints on the world, and our best intentions to fulfill well-planned yoga goals were thrown even further into the bin along with every unsanitised item in the house.
As we all try to be the healthiest versions of ourselves, we might catch ourselves asking the question: How can I keep up a regular yoga practise in current Coronavirus times? How can I maintain a regular yoga practise while responding to the demands of an unpredictable job?
Nothing beats a yoga class with a physical teacher there to guide and support you except, perhaps, an online class that whisks you away to a stunning Caribbean beach. Visualise lying under the shade of a coconut palm, the sound of the waves rolling up the shore, a light breeze in your hair, the warmth of the sun kissing your skin and the sensation of sand on your toes. Your living room instantly transformed into a tropical paradise in the Cayman Islands. And the best bit; practise at any time of the day or night that fits in with your schedule. Get that final urgent email sent (minus the panic) and come home to roll out your mat to a class that suits your mood. Five minutes or 45 minutes, power flow or yin. The Activ Life Outdoor Online Studio will always be waiting for you with arms wide open to accommodate every occasion. Three classes a week turns into five.
Leave your yoga mat somewhere conspicuous. A place you walk by everyday. A place when sitting on the couch watching television, you can see. A place in full view from your desk. Some friends just leave it rolled out all day and occasionally float over to it for a Cat Cow Curl or Puppy Pose. A gentle reminder to stop and stretch, move, rest, relax. Start your yoga practise off with a handful of your favourite yoga poses. Open up the shoulders draped over a block in Supported Fish Pose (my absolute favourite), or lie down and put a cushion under your sitting bones and then lift both legs into the air. Ease into your practise with a few all-time favourites to counteract sitting at a desk for the 8.5 hours you've already done so far today.
There's no time requirement that you need to meet. Let go of the expectation that you MUST practise for one hour every time you come onto your mat. The benefits you will receive from just five minutes of meditation are overwhelming for both your mental and emotional wellbeing. Go on, give it a go. The increase in work efficiency from this short "time out" is scientifically proven. You could be squeezing those seven hours of work into five and then putting your feet up to watch The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
If you miss your yoga workshops and are looking for inspiration to master your arm balances, build on your handstand press or find innovative techniques to release tight hamstrings, check out Adell Bridges' 2-hour online workshops. Adell's incredible anatomical knowledge as it relates to everyday living is insightful and motivating. Combined with unique movement and sequences, you'll learn more in one of her two-hour workshops than an entire day of reading Yoga Anatomy (which I love by the way).
Obviously if your yoga studios are re-opening, please book in and support them. If time doesn't allow then the list of inspiring yogis sharing their amazing love and passion for the practise of yoga online is endless, providing you with ample motivation to keep up a regular yoga practise. I've kicked off the list with a few recommendations. Now it's your turn. I want to find out your online yoga favourites and together, let's create a list of suggestions to help everyone looking for more flexibility in a constantly changing world.