Almost 9 months of home working being the norm and most of us agree we’ll never go back to the way things were entirely. There are, undoubtedly, many things we miss. Things that were central to our daily routine, like chatting to a local barista on the commute to work or the simple pleasure of coming home each evening. As the season changes, though, this might be the first time we can remember that we’re no longer required to wrap up and strike out into the increasing cold and darkness (UK audience). We can at least be grateful for that.
This got me thinking about these three powerful benefits of workplace yoga that are actually being amplified in the virtual setting.
Ego be gone!
In live classes we say “focus on your own mat” to mean try not to be distracted by what a pose looks like in another body. Keep the focus on your own experience and adopt an attitude of curiosity rather than striving to achieve a certain outward impression. It’s easier to say than do. Particularly when we’re new to yoga. It’s tempting to peek around the room and see how everyone else is moving and question whether we are doing it ‘right’.One of the fundamental lessons of yoga is to really get to know your own body. To feel it from the inside out. When we remove the visuals, it becomes a lot easier, and more natural, to close the eyes and truly take the focus inwards. We tend to make a lot more progress and building that self-awareness is a lesson that serves just as well off the yoga mat.
Be here now.
This past year has required a lot of adjustment for everyone. It’s been somewhat polarising – some of us faced with extreme and unprecedented isolation and others unable to get even a minute to ourselves as homes become offices, schools, play areas and more. Let’s be clear – we all need connection and we all need space. Our personal point on that spectrum will vary but nobody thrives at either of those extremes. The joy of yoga is the balance it brings. Each day on the mat is different and some days we come with a need for quiet. To work out tension and create the space in our minds and bodies we need to stay centred. Other days we find connection on the mat by tuning in to the bigger picture, noticing the part we play in a larger whole. Wherever we are on that spectrum, over the last few months or just today, closing the eyes and connecting with the breath can help to move you closer to the centre.
Work with what you’ve got.
In the old world full of gorgeous, fully stocked yoga studios, we could release deeper or reach farther with different props. Although our workplace classes were not very prop heavy (we come to you at work so everything is transportable), it felt like a compromise to no longer have the option of belts or blocks if needed.
It turns out, we’ve really enjoyed the creativity of making use of common household items to add a different dimension to some of our work. (If you’re curious how we’ve incorporated dressing gown belts, towels and walls, give us a call)! We’ve always taught that yoga is about working with what we’ve got – whether that’s the body we’ve got, the space we have available or even the time we can allow – the adaptability of the practice has become more true than ever in 2020.
I, for one, definitely miss going to yoga classes out of the home. No question. But observing how this practice has stayed with me and evolved as the world and my life has shifted so significantly this year, has been comforting. I know that however the next months and years will ebb and flow, my yoga practice will be there with me. That gives me the confidence to trust that everything else will adapt too.