I believe there is always a silver lining to be found, it's a question of perspective.
The COVID-19 situation provides an opportunity to delve into your home practice reaping a multitude of benefits now and seeds sown for future rewards.
Benefits of a home yoga practice:
TIME. You don't have to rush to get to class on time. Depending on how you practice at home (live streamed, pre-recorded online or independently) not only can you choose 'when' but you can also choose 'how long' your practice is. This means you are more likely to commit to a daily yoga practice because you're able to be flexible with your time to fit yoga into your daily life.
DISCIPLINE. Once you have decided 'when' and 'how long' your daily practice will be (it's best to choose a fairly fixed time) then you develop discipline by showing up every day. The long term goal here is to practice daily, whether that's 10 mins or 2 hours. So be honest with yourself and set reasonable expectations to start with that are easier to commit to. Be patient and persistent, when this becomes part of your life ,the time you set yourself can be increased and you're less likely to get distracted or give up.
FREEDOM. A home practice gives you the freedom to be yourself. Whether that means practicing in your Pj's without brushing your hair, practicing to music of your choice or taking a breather to miss out an asana that you know is not right for you today.....it's your choice. This is where you make yoga your own. An 'intermediate or advanced yogi'(ni) doesn't mean to you're able to get into lotus or hold a handstand for 5 mins, it means to be experienced and deeply aware of your own bodies - physical, mental, emotional and energetic. Tuning in to what is right for you during that practice without doubting or judging yourself.
Tips to develop and commit to your home practice:
Have some basic props; MAT, blanket and a strap (or similar alternative). Blocks/bricks are handy but if you don't have them at home yet you can improvise; have a chair handy, practice near a wall, find a thick hard -backed book and have a firm folded blanket/chair cushion (to sit on instead of a block).
Find a SPACE where you can practice safely, with little or no distractions. It doesn't have to be a dedicated room, just a space thats large enough to spread your arms in a circle without crashing into anything! Ideally with a door so that if you share your space with other people you can close the door requesting not to be disturbed. It's worth having your space set up and ready before your start time so that you don't spend too long faffing and getting distracted...or giving up.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY (not your ego!): Without the watchful eye and guidance of a teacher you will need to hone your self awareness skills. Tuning in to sensations guiding you towards an understanding of what your body and breath are telling you. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet your yoga practice with patience, compassion and determination. Watch out for the ego though.....that's the voice in your head that throws subtle body awareness out of the window in order to have a go at handstand despite your body telling you 'not today, instead I'll work on building shoulder strength & flexibility so I can try next week'!
If you want to find out more ways to develop your home yoga practice - get in touch or sign up to Paper Kite Online.
*new students will be required to fill in a health form and have a 5-10 video chat to discuss where you are currently with your yoga practice and health.