It’s a turbulent time in our society right now. COVID-19 has many of us at home and in self-isolation. The government advice (please refer to the World Health Organisation for latest updates) to stay at home, along with the closure of many businesses, means that for now, we can't eat at restaurants, grab coffee or (worse) go to yoga class.
But all is not lost. We live in an internet age and practicing yoga at home is an easy alternative to the studio. All you need to know is how to get started.
Here are Yogaline's top tips on how to start practicing yoga at home.
1. Make some space
We'll begin with the obvious: Yoga requires space.
Whether it's your living room, bedroom or even your kitchen, make yourself enough space in your house to setup a yoga mat and stretch out your arms. That might mean pushing the dining room table into the corner. It might also mean moving the glass wear out of stretching distance (trust us on this one).
Whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable and free to move, it's worth it. Yoga is a vital component to a healthy lifestyle. It'll make you feel grounded, fulfilled and spiritually enriched. It'll help you remain mentally strong during a time of heightened anxiety and stress. It'll also help you separate your home and work life balance.
Make some space and get practicing.
2. Get yourself a yoga mat
Finding the right yoga mat can be tough, but yoga isn't yoga without a mat you feel comfortable on.
Whether you're shopping for something eco-friendly, something personalised to your body measurements, or something with a super strong grip, we suggest you do your homework and find a mat that works for you.
Here at Yogaline, we've developed the world's only personalised yoga mat with tailored alignment guides. Measure your shoulder height, your shoe size and your arm length, and we'll build you a yoga mat with customised alignments that work for your physique. (You can even choose to add your own monogram....)
3. Watch out for pain, pinching and pushing
Without an instructor by your side, yoga at home can sometimes be tricky. This is especially true if you're a beginner yogi.
It can be challenging to know if you're properly aligned, if your posture is correct, and whether or not you're over-stretching. You want to feel a gentle and comfortable stretch in your muscles as you perform the postures. To help reduce your risk of injury and to keep safe, watch for the three Ps: pain, pinching and pushing.
Yoga at home (or yoga anywhere for that matter) shouldn't be a painful activity. If you feel pinching or pushing anywhere in your body, consider lessening your stretch or switching your routine up to something less intensive. The last thing you need is an injury.
Instead, we recommend you follow the other three Ps of yoga: practice, patience and persistence. You don't need to touch your toes on your first go, for example. Work towards that goal slowly and safely, and watch out for pain, pinching and pushing.
4. Find the right (virtual) instructor
The internet is a beautiful thing. This is especially true in a time when you've been made to stay at home.
YouTube, Vimeo and the plethora of studios running online tutorials means that classes are in abundance. Whether you're looking for beginner yoga classes, specialised yoga classes or advanced routines that continue to test your skills, there really is something for everyone.
We recommend exploring these channels:
- Yoga with Adriene on YouTube for every kind of yoga.
- Glo.com for yoga and meditation classes.
- Yogiapproved.com for high-quality yoga straight from the experts.
- SarahBethYoga on YouTube for a range of specialised routines.
- Alomoves.com for working up a sweat with vinyasa practice.
- Yogainternational.com for advanced techniques.
- Grokker.com for more intense yoga and other strength-based classes.
- Doyouyoga.com for a personalised yoga class recommendation.
- Martamasieroyoga.com - for dynamic and invigorating vinyasa classes.
- @Yogabylauren - for free daily meditations on Instagram
- YogabunnyUK - for our friend Carly Roger's latest tips and classes.
There are many other yoga channels out there that are worth exploring. The key is to find one that works specifically for you and your goals.
5. Commit to the time and make it work for your schedule
Yoga at home is about two things: self-discipline and routine. It can be all too easy to fall out of a daily practice routine without the motivation to head out to the studio. But you shouldn't let that stop you.
Be sure to commit to a time in the day that you put aside specifically to work on your yoga. Not only will in continue to do wonders for your body, it'll help maintain your mindset, too. And during this time of turbulence, that's an important thing to maintain.
Of course, many of you will be working from home, caring for children, and faced with many other unique challenges right now. It's important, then, to make your yoga routine work around your schedule. If you're working later into the evening, consider taking a mid-afternoon break to do a little yoga. If you have children at home, consider introducing them to yoga and educating them on basic poses and routines. If anything, it's a great way to spend this time with one another.
Don’t forget to remain present minded, meditate and practice pranayama
Yoga is all about the connection between mind and body. And today, that connection is of utmost importance.
Being stuck at home can be testing on your spirit. It's easy to head to the fridge one too many times throughout the day, to feel lethargic and uninspired to practice, and to feel bored, isolated and alone.
Now is the time to use yoga as a way to establish routine throughout your day, and to remind yourself to remain calm and collected during this time of trouble. If you take anything from your yoga practice at home, let it be this:
Breathe deep, slow it down and remain grateful. Namaste.