By Brian Reyes
We’ve been in self-quarantine for a while, and if you’re like me, you probably miss practicing in the yoga studio A LOT by now. Self-practice at home is great and has a lot of advantages, but practicing with your teachers and community at the studio just gives that extra energy and encouragement that we all love. So what to do when you miss that studio vibe, but have to stay at home?
Let me share with you some things that I do to feel that energy boost of a studio practice, but still remain safe and healthy at home:
1) Make Space: Set aside a special spot where you can put down your mat and practice in peace. Set the scene to your liking: maybe a bit of gentle lighting, yoga props, aromatherapy… the good stuff! Yoga studios take special care to create an inviting space dedicated for just 1 thing: practice! If you can recreate a space at home that makes you look forward to practice, then the battle is half won.
2) Make Time: Not everyone has enough space at home to dedicate specifically for practice. I live in a tiny apartment, so what I do instead is I make time: usually an hour an a half a day. For that 90 minutes, I’ve negotiated with the people I live with to let me use our common space for practice. It’s a temporary shala, but it does the trick. To me, it kind of feels like when you have a favorite time slot in the yoga studio you frequent, and you arranged your daily schedule to be sure to make it to that class.
3) Listen to Your Teachers: One thing I miss with studio practice is listening to the instructions of my teachers. Hearing them gives that extra support that motivates me in my practice and helps me learn new things. It’s really cool that during this quarantine, a lot of teachers stepped up to support their community by doing live online classes in different platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Play one of your teacher’s recorded videos on the background, and flow with their guidance even from afar.
Many yoga studios and teachers also offer private sessions via online platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and even simple video calls. If you are looking for more specific instructions, cues that are just for you, and to actually interact with your teachers, this is the way to go. It almost feels like you’re in the same room again!
4) Practice with Others: Whether that person is your roommate who put down their mat next to you, or someone online who is practicing miles away in their own home, it is nice to share energy by flowing through the same practice together. A lot of online platforms allow multiple students to listen to the guidance of the teacher as if you’re in the same space together even if you’re in different time zones. It’s interesting how this quarantine shows that it doesn’t mean that our community has become disconnected in this time of distancing. In fact, our yoga community is very connected and our circle is wide. It is a wonder to see that even apart, we are one in finding ways to set intentions, breathe together, practice together, and heal together.
Most of us still have a few more weeks to go in self-quarantine and studios will need time to safely re-open again. In the meantime, let’s keep up the home practice. We’ll see each other in person soon!