As we fall deeper into the Age of COVID, I have begun to hear more often “I have zoom fatigue,” or “working out online is not for me.” I’ve made some excuses myself. Our rituals and our regular community interactions have been broken since March, and just when it looked like it might be safe to peek out, we are asked again to stay at home. The ritual of getting to your mat could arguably be just as important as the yoga itself. But the commitment required for a home practice can (on the surface) be so much less. Assuming we can even cut through the din to check what class might fit our somehow very busy schedule, even if that schedule includes a whole lot of nothing, we immediately face the myriad distractions that abound. Oh look at the dust bunnies beneath the bed, what are the kids fighting about, what are we having for dinner, not to mention the dark pit that is our email inbox. All things BUT the yoga beckon us. How much easier it was for us to commit to our practice when we had to get in the car, and PARK it, and stay on our mat when the class in the studio had started. It’s as if there’s a layer of fog now, we cant’s quite see through it to stay focused. We may give up…well they can’t see me anyways. (Or half-ass it?) Maybe we stay logged in and we do other things. And then maybe we feel a little defeated and make up a few excuses.
The truth is Virtual Yoga is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. And we see now making this kind of commitment to yourself takes the focus of a lion. You have to be willing to turn every distraction off, set aside the time for yourself, and make absolutely zero excuses. We know in the end we will feel so much better. We know that breathing, moving, and hearing the voice of our favorite teacher live is going to lift our spirits. We know that when we practice every single day we grow in our physical, mental, and spiritual strength. So why then is it SO damn hard? I think we are so afraid of being still, being undistracted, and so afraid that we don’t deserve to take this time for ourselves when so many other things need our attention. But the truth is that we will all be better for it! We need to take the time to center ourselves, move our bodies, breathe, and come together as a community, even if it is virtually. Is it ideal? Absolutely not, but it’s where we are.
So what can we do to make this commitment more joyful?
- Find a space dedicated to your practices and claim it as yours! If it’s a spare bedroom put a sign up sheet for use of the room on the door and block out your yoga times!
- Create “sacred space” – bring in fresh flowers, light candles, use essential oils
- Have proper yoga gear! Have a good solid mat that feels good to you, have two yoga blocks, a yoga strap, a thick blanket, and maybe even a bolster (all on sale at yogaloftmbstore.com!)
- Register for your classes as far in advance as possible. Plug in your yoga and fitness routines into your calendar! Don’t leave it as some vague thing you’ll do when you have the time. MAKE the time, carve it out. Sign up in advance online and hold yourself accountable!
- Interact with the class! Keep your camera on if you feel comfortable. With our new set up the teacher will be able to see you and give verbal adjustments, the classes already feel so much more personal.
- Ask a friend to join you virtually! If you have a quarantine buddy or two have them join you for class in person!
- Be kind to yourself. Just like at the studio, back off when you need to and if something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. You can take breaks whenever you need to. Don’t focus on “am I doing it right.” Focus more on how it feels. If it feels painful, stop! Readjust until it feels ok. If it feels good then you’re doing it right. Book a private if alignment is concerning to you-but don’t stress out about everything being perfect. It never is.
- Mix it up! Try a flow one day and then do a yin class another day or maybe try something completely different like Pilates.
- Sign up for our virtual challenge! A deep dive into the practice might be just what you need to reinvigorate your excitement for the virtual experience and to find your own independence during such challenging times.
Please let us know how we can support you. If there’s a class you’d like to see on the schedule or a time that works better for you. We are here for you!
Practicing one moment at a time with you
Owner & Director of Yoga Loft