Online Yoga at Home
There has never been a better time to start a home yoga practice. Fortunately, many of the world’s best-loved yoga instructors are now available and ready to be beamed into your home at the touch of a button on your laptop or mobile phone. Read on for some bright home practice ideas as we explore the wonderful world of online yoga at home.
Launch your Bali yoga experience at home online
The Yoga Barn has launched online yoga classes, live sessions and spiritually-centered virtual gatherings to support your daily home rituals of self-care and self-love. Centring its ‘global pandemic response’ in the tenant of Ahimsa, the intention is to anchor with its worldwide community in practices that support staying at home. We are all responding to the current global situation, so to share in a live sense of connectivity keeps our hearts open, spirit buoyant and immune systems strong, the Yoga Barn folks say.
“We bring the magic from our Yoga Barn studios to you with accessible yoga and healing art classes. Connect with your favourite teachers to embody the high vibration of Ubud in dedication to the greater good and collective conscious required to move forward and heal. Tap back into the live frequency and healing medicine of Ubud from our studio’s and support your personal Sankalpa (intention) and path of self-discovery, healing and transformation.”
Find out more at theyogabarn.com
Stay home and stay healthy with YogaDownload.com
Being stuck indoors sucks, but there’s no need to go stir crazy because there’s an easy way to keep moving for a healthier body and calmer mind. Whatever your personal goals, from getting fitter, to being more mindful, to learning essential yoga moves, YogaDownload.com's video classes and programmes have you covered.
Together with yoga’s many physical benefits, there’s never been a more crucial time for including stress-busting movement in your daily routine, because it is offering a massive 50% off everything on its site. And who knows, you may come away from this extra time at home feeling better, healthier, and fitter than ever before!
50% discount site-wide -- OmAtHome
Save 50% on memberships, individual class downloads, music, and all programmes including:
Calm In The Storm
We all know that yoga routines, like the Relaxing Restorative Yoga At Home Programme, can be relaxing, but did you know that studies have found it can actively combat anxiety by reducing the levels of stress hormones in your blood? Breathing is deeply connected to stress and by controlling yours through yoga, you can hit the reset button on a bad day.
Fired Up And Feeling Good
If you’re looking for that post-workout buzz of endorphins but are lacking a home gym, then the HardCORE Yoga Programme is guaranteed to get your heart thumping, while building strength and improving the stability of your joints, helping you to prevent injury.
A Levelled-Up Mind And Body
But you don’t have to get hardcore to level up. A 2017 scientific review concluded that five simple yoga poses, including Ardha Phalakasana (Low Plank) and Vrabhadrasana (Warrior) are actually the most effective poses for building core strength and making those abs pop, while your mind lets go of those negative thoughts. What’s more you can access all of them in a Beginner Yoga 101 Programme. Now, get moving!
Find out more at YogaDownload.com
James de Albuquerque enjoys the highs and lows of live streaming classes via the Zoom platform
I went into voluntary ‘lockdown’ on March 14. I withdrew from a Saturday morning yoga class after firm (some might say ‘strict’) encouragement (or was it instructions) from my family. So that was that!
I set up a home yoga studio in the spare bedroom. I have never found lonely yoga anything like as good as a class but maybe
if I practiced it more often this too would improve.
However, unbeknown to me, my local teachers in North Hampshire were already zooming into action and suddenly we had Zoom Yoga.
One of the compensations of Corona isolation has been, and still is, Zoom Yoga. Through an easily-installed piece of software and a simple passcode, hey presto, we have our yoga class. God bless the teachers who have adapted so well to addressing a webcam in an empty room so that we enthusiasts can continue our classes almost seamlessly.
Clearly the camaraderie is forfeited. So too is the humour and the comfort of seeing the poses performed in a less than perfect way by the people all around you. There is a big mirror in our spare room, where I have assembled my makeshift studio. Occasionally, I catch a fleeting glimpse of someone who bears a more than passing resemblance to yours truly, in a pose that shows enthusiasm but is a very poor imitation of that which is shown on my screen by my esteemed teacher. Poor things: what they put up with! I am comforted by the thought that our enthusiasm and occasional triumphs sustain them when they gaze upon the limitations of others. A big thank you needs to be extended to all Zoom teachers. Learning how to use Zoom as a facilitator requires a much greater degree of preparation beforehand, a greater degree of concentration during the class and then a massive degree of exhaustion afterwards.
How to find calm during difficult times. By Amy Coop
Anxious? Overwhelmed? Scared? Hopeful? Whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone.
In the last month, our worlds have been turned upside down, and we didn’t see it coming. While we can’t control what’s happening around us, we can control how we feel. Difficult times require us to go deeper inwards.
The state of the world may not change, but our inner experience will.
Breathing is a big comfort because you can always turn to your breath to find calm. Meditation is much more nourishing than the never-ending news cycle. Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, try a few rounds of Triangle Breath:
● Breathe in for a count of 5
● Pause for a count of 5, and
● Breathe out for a count of 5
Every exhale creates space from stress, so you can hear the voice of your inner wisdom. When you truly listen, it’ll guide your way and give you a spiritual roadmap in times of uncertainty.
Get out of your head and into your body
Your yoga mat is a safe place to explore the emotions stirring inside you. Slow down and observe every sensation with curiosity, over judgement, to ground you in the present moment. It takes 90 seconds to transform a feeling. Breathe into yours and let them move through you.
Even just 10 minutes a day will get you out of your head and into your body, so you can shift your energy and feel calmer.
I know that when I show up to my mat, my practice shows up for me tenfold. In difficult times, it’s helped me navigate my inner world to find courage, cultivate calm and see with clarity.
Focus your energy and attention
Where focus goes, energy flows. So, where are you focusing your attention now?
If you’re feeling low, your emotions can be compassionate alarms, alerting you to the corners of your life that crave your attention.
Honour your precious energy by tuning out the rest of the world and tuning in to the things that made you feel good. It could be a lovely cup of tea, FaceTiming your friends, settling into a creative project, writing your gratitude list, connecting to your dreams or taking a long salt bath. The antidote to anxiety is action. What can you do to feel better and uplift your energy?
Another way to shift your focus is to interrupt the flow of negative thoughts with a mantra. One of my favourites is inspired by A Course in Miracles: “I choose peace instead of this”. Or a simpler one: “I am safe”. These mantras have the power to shift your energy in an instant.
When you support yourself with practices that create feelings of calm and safety within, you can inspire that calm in others. The more relief we feel, the more the world will heal. Perhaps not right away, but things will feel lighter as we get through the difficult times together.
PRANA + PATCHOULI
Amy Coop is the founder of prana + patchouli, a digital sanctuary devoted to yoga and meditation for stress-relief, relaxation and emotional wellbeing.
• Livestream Classes: Slow Flow, Yin and Restorative Yoga, Meditation and Yoga Nidra.
• Private and Corporate Online Classes.
• Sunday Savasana Sessions: Free weekly yoga videos to cultivate calm.
• LIGHTER: A monthly mind-body-spirit membership and community sharing practice notes and tutorials, yoga videos, meditations, live membership circles and more.
Find out more at pranapatchouli.com
The Zen Challenge
Teen Yoga Foundation launches online challenge for the nation’s young to navigate the stresses of the current times
The Teen Yoga Foundation exists to promote the wellbeing of teens through therapeutic yoga. It continues to do that during the Covid-19 pandemic. Student-led learning has always been a focus of its work, and it is now working to empower young people to be a force for good in their homes and communities in these difficult times.
The project is called the Zen Challenge.
To do this, the Foundation has created a team of dedicated yoga teachers, drawn from the TeenYoga community of over 1,000 teachers all around the world. They all work with young people, they are all insured, accredited and highly experienced, and many also normally work as school teachers.
They are guided and supported by Charlotta Martinus, the founder of the Teen Yoga Foundation (a UK charity), to offer online classes for young people and their families in the mornings. As interest grows in other time zones, such as Australia and the US, the aim is to offer live morning classes there too.
Every day, until schools reopen, there is a class (#zenchallenge) at 10am (UK time) on the YouTube live channel (details opposite). The class will last around 45 minutes and include the following, as well as the Zen Challenge:
Yoga: introducing simple but fun movements to engage the body and mind, with something challenging to practice during the rest of the day and to show to the others the next day.
Breathing: the practices will be therapeutic and respond especially to the needs of young people at this time, such as calming anxiety or helping sleep.
Wellbeing tip: such as self-massage, mindful walking, how to make herbal tea or plant vegetables indoors etc.
The last part of the class, the #zenchallenge is focused on helping others, and ways of helping others in the community who are vulnerable and self-isolating (sheltering in place) and providing support or company.
There will be a downloadable ‘bingo sheet’ with challenges to complete, and an awards system. There are different levels of virtual awards depending on how many people have completed.
Interaction from the young people participating is encouraged, either by simple comments, or other communication by video or photo, to ensure student needs are being addressed accurately and promote engagement.
Founder, Charlotta Martinus, spent many years as a broadcaster, and her partner is an expert in online learning with both having many years of experience in secondary education across the world, so they are confident that this initiative is pitched accurately to this age group.
This offering will continue as long as schools are shut.
To find out more, please check the Facebook page: facebook.com/TeenYogaMindfulness/
Or visit the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW56cm0SXozQzVH3GNn6t8A
For donations to the charity please go to: teenyogafoundation.com and click on donate.
Things I've learned since taking my classes online (and other stories). By Claudia Brown
I didn’t know I could teach a class online from my living room. (I didn’t know I wanted to teach a class online from my living room). I’ve never recorded myself teaching a class, then watched it back. That’s an experience!
I say, ‘So …’ a lot when I teach. I’ve adapted very quickly to technology that I’ve never used before (Zoom).
A lot of people don’t read instructions. I definitely have at least three chins (the camera doesn’t lie!).
I talk A LOT. Which I knew already, but it’s worth repeating. I am now refining, improving and expanding my repertoire of teaching cues. Online teaching is a whole new world.
I can’t rely on physical feedback when I’m online. I can’t see my student’s faces clearly, can’t hear their breathing or muted moans of agony (joke, or is it?), so it’s a strange one coming to terms with very little or no feedback. My laptop just sits there and doesn’t say a thing! The sense of community via online provision can be felt acutely. It has been a real source of comfort to me personally and professionally. This has really taken me by surprise. People don’t understand you better if you talk louder. I’ve reached a new audience by taking my classes online.I’m amazed that I need to wear at least twice as much make up when I teach online, otherwise my face is just a white blob (I’m not talking RuPaul’s Drag Race but it’s a bit heavier than usual!).
The people who said they always wanted to take a class with me but haven’t yet because of time or geography, still haven’t taken a class with me. There is plenty of time yet, so I remain optimistic.
Everyone has an opinion on the merits (or lack of) of teaching online. Make your own decisions. Whatever you decide, it’s the right one for you.
I waste a lot of time in the yoga social media world reading things that actually are a waste of time for me. Delete. Mute. Unfollow. It’s been very liberating.
Claudia Brown is a yoga teacher in the Staffordshire area (yogabyclaudia.com)
Practice with the best at omstars.com
Beaming super yoga content from the USA, Omstars is fronted by the amazing Kino MacGregor, renowned Ashtanga teacher and much-loved by students around the world.
Here you’ll find live sessions and a vast digital library of classes covering pretty much every type of yoga you could wish for, from the basics to expert masterclasses.
Among the other 80-plus teachers is former OM magazine cover star Laura Burkhart.
Your personal yoga sanctuary, omstars can help you commence or to deepen your practice no matter what level you are at. It also connects you to a global community of spiritual seekers who are committed to living the yoga life.
Classes for every level, ability and every stage of life. No judgement. No deadlines. No competition. Tap into the magic of yoga no matter where you are on this planet.
And look out for the free 14-day trial when you sign up, so you can explore the site to your heart’s content.
Find out more at omstars.com
The Way of Dru
Dru Yoga & Meditation online yoga and meditation
Dru stands for empowerment, transformation and community. Each year it spends over a quarter of its turnover on innovation to make sure its programmes stay at the leading edge of yoga, meditation, spiritual development and healing modalities such as Ayurveda.
So to help you thrive during the next few months it has devised a fabulous new array of online content specifically to enable you to learn, grow and thrive.
Join Dru every day on Together@Home where it’ll be streaming a weekly programme.
• Live inspirational wisdom and vedanta talks
• Live kirtan and chanting
• Live yoga and meditation classes
• Live masterclasses
• Study groups
• Webinars, blogs and articles
• Over 250 online classes
A special feature is the World Healing Meditation. Register today. Let’s use this time to come home to ourselves.
Melissa Albarran explores the growth of virtual yoga retreats
Times are a’changing in the yoga community. Where once upon a time you would study directly under an experienced yoga teacher, now trainee teachers find themselves perched in front of a Zoom (other software programmes are available) taking notes from a trainer who could well be teaching from halfway around the world. But while live-streaming may work well for this form of yoga e-learning, other aspects of yoga tradition are something not even Zoom can replicate.
Retreats have long played a part in said yogic tradition. First witnessed in religious orders, the practice of travelling to remote locations to engage in deep meditation has long been considered a means to greater reflection, spirituality and enlightenment. In more recent times, yoga retreats have become less an opportunity for spiritual enlightenment, more the chance to unplug from the constant demands of modern society and to dedicate uninterrupted time to yoga.
How online yoga helps me to navigate through life's daily changes. By Kat Farrants
We all know that the nature of life is change, and change is to be welcomed. Our practice changes, our energies change as we grow with our practice and sometimes our bodies change suddenly; we might be recovering after illness, or maybe our bodies change very suddenly after a nasty accident and will never be able to make the shapes again. But that is the nature of life, and after all, isn’t the nature of yoga learning about transitions, and learning to love the learning edge? As we grow and learn, we are able to start really living. We can start to live with ever more wisdom and compassion, we become more refined in the way that we say things and how we act.
As our practice starts to deepen and we change (as we all do every day), why not start to embrace this? Perhaps with a look into styles and types of yoga which your younger and less experienced version of yourself would not have been interested in. I know that my yoga practice is unrecognisable from when I first started to practice 25 years ago. And it’s not just a question, that as your practice deepens, so you’ll be able to try out new asana. No, in my experience, quite the opposite. They said, ‘practice and all is coming’…well what if life gets in the way? In my late teens and early twenties, my practice was Ashtanga and plenty of Vinyasa.
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.