“Pushing out the stressful energy right from home.”
We believe mental health is just as important as your physical health. There’s never been a better time to take a deep breath and do some stretching. Try this….Yes, that means you, RIGHT NOW. Unclench your jaw. Move your shoulders around a little. Turn your head from side to side a few times.
If that feels good, you should start thinking about doing some yoga at home. In fact, right now it’s more important than ever to be doing activities like yoga, says Alli Simon, a yoga and meditation facilitator from South L.A.
“When the world around us is feeling chaotic, we can have a space to go inward, to notice the emotions and the feelings that are coming up in the body,” Simon said. Even people who are beginners or have never tried yoga at all can do a home practice — and it might even be a better way to start out than going to a yoga studio where you’re surrounded by limber pros confidently launching into handstands. (Not that that is even an option right now during this time of self-isolation.)
“In a studio space, beginners often shy away, because they think they can’t do that. When you’re able to just turn on the video or watch it, you can go at your own pace,” Simon said. “You’re not worried about what you look like. You’re just in your own practice.”
You have a lot of yoga options right now, including ones that support local businesses. There are free videos from YouTube and other sites, there are apps, and many L.A.-area yoga studios and teachers offering streaming classes on Instagram and on Zoom. (Full disclosure: Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is an investor in Zoom.) Simon offers guided meditation sessions twice daily at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Pacific on her Instagram @omgirlalli.
There’s no specific type of yoga routine to be looking for right now, she said. Listen to your body and try to figure out what it’s telling you that you need. Maybe it’s a deep stretch for the hips and back. Maybe you need to turn off your brain for a little by being focused on an intense core workout.
If you have limited mobility or want to take your practice at a more mellow pace, search for things like “restorative yoga” or “chair yoga” to find gentler routines that are more focused on stretching than strength-building.
If you’re feeling cramped from hunching over a laptop or tensed up from reading the news, Simon recommends taking a quick break to do some cat/cow poses and seated pigeon pose just to keep your shoulders, back, chest and hips loose.
When you’re ready to tackle a full routine, here are some of your options:
Video streaming sites
YouTube and other video streaming sites offer a wealth of yoga opportunities, including free and paid options. Most of your options will be pre-recorded, not live. Unlike streaming classes (see below for more on that), you won’t see anyone else around you doing yoga, and the instructor won’t be available to answer your questions.
Yoga With Adriene
Adriene Mishler is one of the most popular yoga YouTubers for a reason. Her channel has just about every type of workout you could imagine: Yoga for beginners. Yoga for text neck. A video playlist of “Yoga for Uncertain Times” includes routines created specifically for loneliness, anxiety and “yoga for after disaster.”
If you need a quick shake-out after a long day at your home office, there’s a 10-minute routine for the shoulders, neck and upper back. To get a little deeper, try the 45-minute total body deep stretch.
Edyn Loves Life
Edyn Jacks focuses more on gentle and restorative routines, including yoga geared toward plus-sized practitioners. Get started with 10-minute beginner-friendly plus size yoga. Relax with a gentle back flexibility flow or 30-minute restorative yoga.
Apps generally offer customizable routines based on what you feel like doing. Since they’re on your phone, it’s easy to set it up and do yoga anywhere. (Anywhere in your apartment, that is.)
Hopefully some of these tips and suggestions can help you keep your mind clear and peaceful during this challenging time. You can always visit us on Facebook or instagram for more communication.
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