Google search ‘health benefits of yoga’ and you will get a choice of 287,000,000 sites. So I am not going to add to those here. However, over the last six months I have found out more about why yoga practice may be particularly suited to these uniquely challenging times.
Before lockdown I was delivering 13 yoga classes every week, and then suddenly I was delivering none. To make sure that the people who come to my classes could continue their practice I started 3 online classes per week and began posting videos on YouTube every couple of days. Now I have been able to start up my face to face classes again, but I am keeping the online classes going, and I am still recording video for my Youtube channel. What I have discovered is that some people definitely prefer to attend a class in person, but others like to do yoga at home - whether that is in a live streamed class or to a video, and some people like a mix of all three. I have people who started on Youtube videos and now attend group classes. I have people who used to attend the classes but do not yet feel confident enough to return, so they are doing more online sessions and are actually doing more yoga than they did before. I even have one student who does the YouTube videos while her husband takes photos and then sends them to me for feedback.
Attending real life yoga classes is an excellent way to remain active at a time when other forms of exercise may be less accessible. Whilst you may move around a great deal during a yoga class, you do so in one place which means that safe social distancing can be ensured. The only equipment you need is a yoga mat, and there is no need to share equipment with other people in the class. This means that you can be part of a yoga community (which I have always though is one of the best things about yoga) but will not need to compromise safety to do so.
So with face to face classes, live streaming, and pre-recorded videos it seems the flexibility (excuse the pun) and portability of yoga makes it an ideal way for people to contribute to their physical and mental wellbeing as lifestyles change and the ‘new normal’ begins to emerge.
I used to a be 100% face to face yoga teacher, but now I am delivering my classes in a range of different ways to suit the needs of different people. So whatever you are looking for from yoga and mindfulness there has never been a better time to make a start.
Hope to see you soon.