Now that we have settled into this new COVID reality, and we begin to understand that this will be with us for quite some time, we have slowly learned to adjust the way we do things. From working at home, shopping with masks, and even keeping a distance from friends and family. We have made new routines that fit into this unusual time and this includes our wellness routines.
Many of us were reluctant to embrace the switch to an online yoga practice; including me. (You can read more about my thoughts in this blog post). But as each week and month passes, I am realizing that online yoga is here to stay. Sadly, I am not sure that our group classes will return to “normal” for quite some time. And although that thought can be upsetting, I am beginning to embrace the benefits of online yoga and how it can still be supportive and inspiring to all students. This is my shortlist of benefits that I see for our students…
1. Practice anytime, anywhere!
By far, the best part of on-demand yoga classes is their flexibility. Literally, every student is able to practice whenever it fits with their schedule and from any corner of the world. Right now we have students practicing with our CSY on-demand yoga classes in Europe, across Canada, and in the US. Online yoga is travel friendly and this benefits students who travel frequently for business and pleasure. Our classes can reach the docks of Muskoka, the condos in Toronto, and the beaches on the East and West coasts. We can practice first thing in the morning with bed heads and pj’s or late at night when sleep is elusive. This flexibility is invaluable!
2. Your practice, your needs, your choice!
Since you are in control, you get to pick your class according to your needs at the moment. Early morning, late night, tight hips, active, quiet, and meditative…you choose! And as you practice, you only need to focus on yourself. No distractions from your fellow students breathing too loud, falling asleep during savasana, or commanding too much attention of the teacher. Your practice is private and all about you.
3. Personalize your practice space.
This can be fun. You get to create your own private sanctuary and this doesn’t mean you need a lot of space. Just enough room to roll out a yoga mat and move your arms around. Place a plant beside your mat and light a candle before you practice. Keep a practice journal close by or inspiring books and poetry. Infuse your favorite scent, keep your props handy, and treat yourself to some self-care time.
4. Hit the pause button.
This is a huge perk and an important feature of the on-demand classes. This pause button gives you the power to stay with a pose, a meditation, or a savasana for as long as you need and want. It gives you the power to rewind and rework or modify a sequence so that you can adapt it to your body. In addition to the pause button, you are able to replay and redo the classes that you love. This technology allows you to curate your own home practice.
5. No commute.
I know that many students work long hours, then navigate through the rush hour traffic and finally make it to the yoga studio (usually out of breath and stressed because traffic was heavier than usual). The beauty of an online practice is that the commute is only as far as your mat in the house. This is especially welcomed on bad weather days of rain, snow, and ice. No parking, no commute is a PERK!
6. Invite family members to join you!
Are you one of those yoga students who have enjoyed the benefits of consistent practice and had suggested to your husband, teen, your mother, etc that they should also try it out? This is the perfect opportunity to have your husband or other family member practice alongside you at home. It is a great low-pressure introduction to gentle movement practice and they may just get hooked? This is also an easy gift option to set up and send to your fav friend or relative so that they can enjoy the benefits of practice in their own homes! (Ask me for gift details).
7. Save money.
The cost of a monthly on-demand membership is equivalent to three in-studio group classes per month. Think of the savings if you were to enjoy a daily or two or three private yoga classes per week!!! Another perk of the CSY on-demand monthly membership is that once set up, it is an automatic renewal, and no-hassle cancel at any time.
8. It is still possible to connect with your CSY teachers.
This was something that I was concerned about as a teacher since our connection at Creating Space Yoga studio is so important with each student. While we are filming our CSY on-demand classes, we are really mindful of our CSY student base. The classes are for you! The feedback we have received from our students after practicing with the videos was that indeed they still felt the connection and support through the class (screen or no screen). This was a relief.
We are still ourselves while teaching. Our personalities come out. We fumble with words, we laugh at ourselves and we are with you in our minds while guiding the class. We also love to receive class requests for upcoming video classes. We are grateful that we can safely connect with the space between us!
9. Expand your practice!
Online classes are an absolute opportunity to expand your practice. One type of movement practice does not encompass all the benefits that come with a varied practice and this is where online yoga shines. In our CSY class library, we are mindfully curating classes that move the body and the mind in all ways. A student can enjoy a yoga practice followed by a guided meditation one day. The next, it may be a Pilates class and a gentle stretch. Two days later they may need a quiet restorative pose while guided through an iRest Yoga Nidra meditation. Remember…your practice, your needs, your choice!
10. Extend your meditation/savasana.
I love this benefit! Have you ever wanted to linger in a savasana at the beginning or the end of class and sadly the class moves on when you wanted to rest longer? I know this feeling and I love the fact that with the on-demand classes you can begin or end with an extended meditation or savasana for however long makes sense for you (just hit that pause button)! Enjoy the quiet time. The world is full of noise and our practice is a respite, so let it linger!
This list could go on. Let me know if you have discovered any other benefits that are not listed here. I would love to hear how you are benefitting from your online yoga practice. And of course…in the future, it will be necessary for a follow-up post on the "The Benefits Of A Group Class". I hope we can gather again soon in person and online!