First and foremost, the Yoloha Yoga Family wants to take a moment and acknowledge you. You, the individual who is staying at home for the benefit of others. You, the person who is scared, anxious, messy, and riding a rollercoaster of emotions. You, the unique manifestation of energy, the highest self, that is capable of handling challenges. We see you, we thank you, and we want to support you in any way that we can.
During this unprecedented time of social distancing, yogis across the globe are creating a “home-practice” and for many of us, this is for the first time. Although the transition can be intimidating, practicing at home offers unbelievable benefits. Having privacy can create a sense of freedom; the freedom to move at your own pace, to add or subtract poses, and to tap into the intuitive teacher within. Being in the familiar space of your home offers a sense of ease and safety, opening the door to a deeper state of connection and meditation.
We are so blessed to have technology that connects us virtually across the globe. More than ever yogis are taking advantage of this technology, streaming classes and practicing yoga through guided videos. To help you create an even more powerful experience in your home, we want to offer a few tips to integrate whilst taking classes via video.
Prepare a Sacred Space:
Having a designated space in your home to practice yoga is a real luxury. For many of us living in smaller spaces this is not necessarily an option. Whether you have a beautifully curated yoga den or not, you can still create a conscious and sacred space. Pick one spot in your house that is best suited to take a yoga class in, and commit to always practicing there. Over time by practicing in that same space, the energy of that room will be shifted and organically help ease you into presence.
Keep a basket or box in your assigned yoga space that has candles, essential oils, crystals, incense or anything that you can intentionally arrange before beginning class. Consider creating an altar, whether it’s simple or extravagant, altars are a way to focus your energy. Altars can consist of pictures of loved ones, rocks, plants or anything that makes you feel joyous. Practice at your altar, use it as your focal point, and let in evolve into your very own little yoga studio.
Create a Ritual:
One of the challenges of practicing at home is creating the distinction between your task list, work life, and responsibilities, from the designated time to be on your mat. When practicing at a studio, there is a natural ritual of traveling to the space, entering the building, finding your favorite spot and then setting up your mat and props. These simple repeated actions send signals to your brain to prepare for presence.
When practicing yoga at home, create a 5-10 minute ritual to enact before you begin the video guided class. This will help consciously shift your brain out of the “to-do-list” and into your “yoga mode.” These rituals can be as unique as you are.
Here is a few suggestions to test out:
-take a 5 minute walk outside
-put on your favorite song and dance around the room
-intentionally set up your yoga space
-Drink a glass of water
-Lie down or sit on your mat and breathe for 5 minutes
Listen and Feel
When practicing asana in isolation focus on the feeling of each pose and the internal experience. Listen intently to the video and use your mind body connection to translate the instructions into shapes with your body. Resist the urge to stare at the screen the whole class. When in a yoga studio, teachers often advocate students to “stay on their mat”, meaning to direct focus inward, rather than concentrating on the other bodies in the room. The same goes for when you are flowing along with a video sequence. The video is there as a tool to provide a visual aid when necessary. Avoid using the video image as the sole way to follow the movements. By feeling into the practice, rather than regurgitating the images, you can accelerate the potency of each posture. Yoga is not a practice of mimicking, but a practice of exploring the self.
Head on over to yolohayoga.com/yoga-for-masks to check out a wide variety of yoga classes taught out of our local studio in Charleston, SC. All the videos are free and open to the public. As you try out these new classes, integrate the tools from above to create a deeper, more powerful experience flowing from home.