Chances are that your neighbourhood yoga studio, or your favourite yoga teacher have called off classes indefinitely, which, like it or not, is the right thing to do while we're in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic.
While it might seem like staying away from yoga class will adversely affect your yoga practice
Social Distancing Can Actually Help Improve Your Practice.
Read on to know how.
While you might feel like this state of self-quarantine will cause your yoga practice to suffer, we think it could be a great opportunity to help your practice grow.
1. Encouraging Self Discovery:
Practicing yoga by yourself is an extremely powerful tool. Allow yourself to hold, repeat and revisit yoga asanas; pay attention to the intricacies of your practice and document these observations (a yoga journal comes super handy!) Use this information to analyse, make adjustments, and grow. Self practice gives you the opportunity to understand your strengths and weaknesses, helps you explore your boundaries and discover the path to growth.
2. Bringing Awareness To Your Practice:
Practicing in isolation ensures that you pay more attention to the details, like your breath, the alignment of your asanas, how smooth your transitions are, etc. This is extremely difficult to do in a yoga class setting, when you’re constantly trying to listen to the instructor or looking at the person next to you for guidance. Being aware of the little things you may not notice in a group class goes a long way in building a solid foundation.
3. Making Your Practice Truly Personal:
Self practice gives you tremendous freedom. You’re free from the time restrictions and patterns of a yoga class. Free to hold that warrior pose for as long as you need, free to find the best way to get into bakasana; even free to take an extra long savasana! This freedom from structure is guaranteed to strengthen your connection with your yoga practice.
4. Improving Focus:
Practicing without having the encouragement of your teacher or fellow practitioners makes self-practice extremely hard to do. But practicing without these reinforcements forces you to focus on your practice. There is no space for judgements, no comparisons with the progress others have made, just unwavering focus on your practice.
5. Inculcating Discipline:
Finding motivation to get on your mat, all by yourself is not as easy as it seems. But conscious, continuous and committed self practice, will bring discipline to your life, improving not only to your Yoga practice, but also every other aspect of your life.
While self-practice surely has its benefits, there are a few things you must keep in mind
Be Disciplined & Accountable:
Approach every practice with a certain degree of seriousness and responsibility
Prepare Your Environment
Make sure you keep a dedicated space for your practice. That means there should be no clutter, no partners watching tv, etc. (occasional kisses by your pets are allowed :) )
Do not attempt poses that you can’t already do.
Remember that your yoga teacher is a trained professional who knows the correct way to help you learn new poses. Be patient and attempt advanced asanas only once you’re back to class.
While we hope that everything goes back to normal soon, right now the best thing we can do is stay home and practice social distancing. Till then, practice daily for the health of your mind and body. #yogaeverydamnday
About the Author: This article is written by Harneet Jayakar, a certified Yoga Instructor and co-founder at Kosha Yoga Co. Follow her yoga journey on @harneetjayakar on Instagram