Stay at Home Yoga
“They were the best of times; they were the worst of times.”
Feels a bit like that right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine, doesn’t it?
There are admittedly some a-mazing advantages to quarantine.
Spending more time together as a family has been my favourite part of lockdown. So much more time for chats with the little one. And our families in Ireland and Australia have more time to Facetime and play quizzes on House Party. The mini Olympics every afternoon have brought out sporting skills we never even knew we had. Baking has become part of school homework. Squashing into our bed all together in the mornings to read before we kick-start the day is a more than welcome change to the usually busy school mornings. We’ve even spring cleaned a room in the house every few days, gotten a few odd jobs done about the place, and best of all … there is way more time to do yoga and meditate.
But deep down, we are all aware of the downsides too.
People are dying. Businesses are closing. Unemployment has risen over night. An economic recession is nigh. And the cortisol that courses through our bodies when we fret about how or when it will all end, tends to make us anxious in a way that could, in the long term, affect us on a physiological level, as well as psychologically if we allow it to continue. We’re worried about family members, especially our elderly. The media and news can be frightening to the point of making us feel fear in a way that we have never felt before. There is a lot more house-cleaning to be done (I live with two incredible, but seriously messy boys). And while the baking is awesome, I have developed a mild obsession for Banana Bread with chocolate chips, the results of which will not be pretty when I try to put my jeans back on when this is all over. .
So what can we do?
We can’t just mute the anxiety? On top of that, we’re probably finding it hard to stop fretting about where the money is going to come from. And we can’t just flick a switch and stop worrying about our elderly family and friends.
But we can find balance.
And right now, we can find that balance through self-care.
Looking after yourself, and primarily, making sure that you are in control of what thoughts are churning in your head from minute to minute, is one of the best things you can do for you and your loved ones right now. Because when you feel good mentally, you are in a much better place to not only care for yourself, but also to care for those that you love.
Think about that.
When you feel good, and light, and positive and happy, isn’t your interaction with people a lot different to when you feel down, and worried and anxious? Don’t you have more patience with your children or your spouse when you’re happy and light? Isn’t it easier to let go of anxious thoughts? Isn’t it easier to laugh, and smile and have fun? That’s where we want to be mentally, during this trying time. Happiness, calm and positivity will help us through this more than anything else will.
And that’s exactly what we can find in a home yoga practice.
It needn’t be a long practice. Just a few minutes every day to breathe and stretch. Some conscious breathing will help the light to shine through the anxious thoughts. Some gentle stretching will shed the body of tension and tightness. Thereby improving the state of, not only your mind, your attitude and your body, but your immune system too.
Self-care is what will bring us the balance both physiologically and pschologically, not only needed to deal with this situation, but to bring us out the other end of it, as better human beings.
So engage in that home practice everyone. You won’t ever regret it.
To help, I’ve started posting free yoga videos on my instagram page @oceanviewyoga, and my Youtube Channel Yoga For Everyone Cabo Verde. I’m currently posting three short videos per week, which suit every level, including complete beginners. For a longer practice the three videos can be done one after another, or just stick with one per day if that suits you better.
Now, if you are starting a home yoga practice for the first time, you can always practice on the carpet, a rug, on the grass or a towel to begin with, but having your own yoga mat will help tremendously in moving your practice forward. This link provides some great research on the different types of mats that can be ordered online and delivered to your door (including organic mats) https://www.consumersadvocate.org/yoga-mats
Stay positive. And have yourself a great day!