Updated: Apr 15, 2020
Home Yoga How-To & Navigating Online Classes
It seems like overnight that our home yoga practice became more important than ever to keep us grounded and ease our anxiety. Additionally, our Yoga may be the training and capacity building for this unprecedented time that will help us through with more ease.
On March 13, 2020 Tyson and I were disinfecting the entire yoga studio and had created a policy around not attending classes while sick, cleaning up after every class, and posting information on hand washing and limiting the spread of Covid-19.
Four public classes later, by March 16, 2020 we had made the decision to temporarily close, two days before the Saskatchewan Government declared a state of emergency which included a mandated shut down of group fitness classes.
By March 23, 2020 we had our first live online class and launched our online audio and video library for Bliss Pass holders.
And now we are practicing alone or online “with” others in the live classes. We have had so much positive feedback about both. We are supporting people in giving them something to look forward to, an opportunity to continue practicing the tools of yoga that assist us to feel more grounded, settled, and a felt sense of safety.
Yoga students and teachers are feeling a sense of connection even though we can’t be together in physical space. When we start the live class we welcome students as they enter, it is so nice to hear some familiar voices (and different from the ones we are home with)!
Only the teacher’s video is on in order to save bandwidth and so that participants feel more comfortable as to not be on video. Our dog Luna will make an appearance sometimes and we have gotten to see the pets of students attending the class. After class there is time for questions or feedback or more chatting. It feels a little bit normal, or at least a new normal.
Here are some tips for setting yourself up for a home practice (keep in mind these situations are ideal and if you can’t do them it doesn’t really matter in a time of crisis):
Choose a space
You may have an extra room in your home but maybe not depending on where and with whom you live. It may be as simple as finding a sunny spot in front of a window. It is optimal to practice on a non-carpeted floor as your mat will better be able to grip to the floor however you may not have access to that and that is okay. As you choose the space it is ideal to leave your yoga gear set up or at least the ability to pile it up and leave it in the area. You may have a basket or bin to store your props or prop substitutes.
Part of what may be soothing to you in the studio space is the minimalist environment. If possible you may want to put away clutter and clean the floor you are on. If you aren’t able to control this you can use this as an opportunity to practice pratayhara, withdrawal of the senses. You can practice turning in and ignoring what is around you.
If you have a mat it helps however if you use a hardwood floor or similar surfaces for standing and balanced postures and a blanket for seated or reclined postures that is a good substitute. You may have some yoga props at home such as an eye pillow, blocks, or a bolster. Use items that bring you comfort; your favourite blanket, slippers, hoodie during relaxation practices and Savasana. This may improve the quality of your experience.
If you are accustomed to using props in your practice you can substitute props with everyday items. Rolled up blankets or towels for bolsters, stacks of books or Tupperware containers for blocks, and a men’s tie or belt for a strap. Bliss Pass holders you can watch our tutorial on how to use items around your home as props in the Bliss Library of video and audio that you have exclusive access to.
In our live classes we are teaching with minimal props.
Remember these suggestions are completely optional. You can consider having lighting that is soothing, perhaps a lamp or salt lamp. You may want to bring special items into the space, for example a photo of someone you love, a house plant, a quote that brings you comfort, or items from nature. Baskets to hold your props are a nice touch.
The Nuts & Bolts
If you want to practice online with the yoga teachers of both Tapestry Yoga (in Prince Albert) and Indigo Yoga Co. (in Melfort) we are offering seven live online classes a week plus pop-up specialty classes.
We have a monthly Bliss Pass that is $79 per month where you have access to unlimited classes PLUS an on-demand video and audio library. You get 10% off retail and workshops, one guest pass a month for someone to attend a live online (or studio) class with you, and other special offers and invitations.
For any Bliss Pass purchase we will also gift one to either someone who lost their job as a result of Covid-19 or a grocery store employee. The pass renews automatically however you can cancel anytime, it is regularly $99 but now $79, you can purchase here and please use the case sensitive promo code “yogabliss.”
For a more casual approach to attending online classes we also sell a drop-in for $14 and a 5 Class Pass for $45, you can also purchase in our online store or contact us at 306.981.5027 to arrange other forms of payment besides credit card. All passes purchased for online classes will be honoured in studio once we are able to reopen.
Once you have credits in your account it is a great idea to figure out a routine. Our schedule is set up so that classes happen at the same times every day Mondays to Thursdays. You may want to attend on Monday and Wednesday, Tuesday and Thursday, or maybe you’ll really go for it and pick a class every day!
Book your live online classes just as you would at the studio via our free app called “Studiobookings,” search the app store and then add Tapestry as your location. You log in using your email and password. It a good idea to put your classes in your calendar. When you book in the app it give you the option to put the event in your smart phone if you like! You may want to set an alarm as a reminder when sometimes the days run into each other.
If you are living with others currently you may want to let them know when you will be practicing. If they aren't joining in with you it does help if they are aware therefore don't disturb you during the practice. Get our free "do not disturb" sign here.
However if you don’t currently access to a printer we encourage you to make your own with what you have at home. It could be a fun creative project even!
Please book an hour before the class time at the latest. We send a link to you email to join the live class via your device or computer.
Time to Practice!
Now that you are all ready to go the final step is getting onto your mat! If you need some support and encouragement joining a live class may help you to feel more motivated.
In my 200 hour yoga teacher training we had an assignment to roll out our mat, sit or stand on it and take 3 breaths. Some days you may not have energy to practice – have extra self-compassion at this time when we may be in a freeze-like state due to all the activation in our nervous system due to the threat and perceived threat of danger.
This is also a good time to practice Savasana (final relaxation) as it gives us an opportunity to turn inward, quiet some of the noise from the world around us, and activate rest and digest, the parasympathetic nervous system.
One final thing to support you in your home practice – a playlists with some of my favourite songs. Many of you who attended studio classes will recognize these songs. I miss teaching with music but it cannot be done right now with the system from online classes. Enjoy this playlist!
If you have any feedback, questions, or comments please share them below. If I missed anything I’d love to hear what you find supports you to get on your mat in your home practice!