With gyms and yoga studios closed, beaches shut and self isolation in full swing your at home yoga is your saving grace in these times of housebound uncertainty. We run through why yoga is important during Covid-19.
With the global plot twist of COVID -19, 2020 has delivered you a whole new world – or rather your whole world is now your apartment. With gyms and yoga studios closed, beaches shut and self isolation in full swing your at home yoga practice is your saving grace in these times of housebound uncertainty. A daily Yoga practice has an echo effect into your mood, physical wellbeing, mental health and keeps you from being swept up into the chaos of the crisis at hand.
Our day to day behaviours and simple actions are what help keep our overall wellbeing in check – sleep, exercise and eating a balanced diet – however in these times of self isolation you can begin to feel cooped up and your routines that kept you healthy and active have to re-adjust. Having a regular yoga practice is the perfect way to help keep a sense of structure and routine while we all hold our breath and wait out this pandemic. Without a routine or a sense of something to wake up for, our days can start to become a blur, it’s 3pm and you’re still in your pyjamas, productivity starts to slip and spirits start to dull. Sound familiar? Starting the day with a yoga practice not only helps you to feel grounded and build mental endurance to meet the day but gives you a feeling of achieving something. We have evolved from our primitive natures into the technological and socially advanced humans we are today thanks to your brains’ need to feel a sense of accomplishment – to continually be completing tasks and having something to work towards. In the physical practice of yoga there is always something we can be working towards, longer holds, fun arm balances and inversions or better balance – there is a lifetime’s worth of shapes you can work on so schedule out a little time each day to put your activewear to some good use and get your body moving. You can tune into all different kinds of yoga classes on youtube that cater to all levels and styles.
Let’s get physical
You may have started to notice why you need to take the dog out for a walk every day – when you’re shut away inside all day you can start to go a little stir crazy. Your body needs movement to help keep all of the joints and muscles lubricated and functioning, to keep your cardiovascular and hormonal systems in balance. Having a physical outlet also helps to relieve us from the mental stress that can start to pile up when we don’t have physical affection or social catch ups with friends to help us relieve some of the tension that we collect through our days. Getting physical also flushes the body with happy hormones, it forces you to get out of your head and provide some much needed space from over thinking and trying to map out which way the future will move. The best thing about practicing yoga at home is that you don’t need any special equipment and you don’t need lots of space – you can set yourself up in your living room or bedroom and dial up the intensity as you need it. If you are really starting to feel cabin fever or you need to burn off some of the overwhelm, try a power yoga class online – it will get your heart rate up and have you sweating out all the stress!
The combination of isolation closing us off from so many of our activities and outlets plus the stress of what seems some days like never ending bad news our sleep patterns can start to suffer. Sleep is one of the most crucial functions our body undergoes allowing the hormone systems to be reset, your memory bank takes its inventory – adding and sorting new information and our cellular repair and immense system have their opportunity to come online and tidy up the inner landscape. When you start to lose sleep your health deteriorates quickly, your mood becomes unstable, your metabolism slows down causing us to put on weight and crave extra sugar and coffee for some energy to keep us going. Yoga has special practices like yoga nidra that can help the brain slow down its brain waves, stabilise your state of being and get a peaceful night’s sleep. Managing stress and anxiety is crucial for getting enough sleep and getting enough sleep is crucial for managing stress and anxiety – it can feel like a catch 22 sometimes and often the more worried we become about not falling asleep the harder it is to fall asleep. Yoga Nidra can be practiced lying down in your bed, using body scans and self observation you release the circuits of your brain that are wired into the physical reception of the body and start to anchor yourself into the witness of the mind rather than the part of you that attaches to the stresses and feels weighed down by them. Try practicing a yoga nidra recording before going to bed at night or if you’re having trouble falling asleep.
Yoga helps you to create a refreshed and balanced approach to the realities of the world we live in and in these current times we need to strengthen our ability to master our mindset and make the most of this time that we have been given to nourish ourselves and develop our yoga and meditation practices. So light yourself a candle, find your favourite digital yogi and get practicing, because yoga is important during Covid-19 and its restrictions.