There’s never been a better time to start a yoga home practice than right now.
Just like you, I’ve been spending a majority of my time at home lately thanks to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. I get out in my neighborhood for a walk each day with the dog and make the occasional dash to the store to pick up groceries. Other than that, my butt has been at home, cooped up in the house, wondering (like everyone else) when all this craziness and uncertainty will be behind us.
Right now, we’re all stuck at home for the unforeseeable future because of this damn virus. Social gatherings have been banned. School has been cancelled. Many businesses, including bars, restaurants, gyms, yoga studios and recreational facilities have been ordered to shut down temporarily. The travel industry has come to a halt. A lot of us have either lost our jobs or are working a reduced number of hours from home. Even state and national parks have been closed for the time being. Some of you might even be working on the front lines as a health care professional or essential worker (*High Fives* to all of you!) and don’t have the option or luxury to be “stuck” at home during this crisis.
COVID-19 has affected each of us in one way or another. Now more than ever, we need yoga. Every single one of us. If there was ever a perfect time, now’s the time to start a yoga home practice.
Over the last 22 days I’ve been quarantined at home, I’ve noticed a tremendous increase in online fitness and yoga offerings for those looking to practice at home. Yoga studios and instructors have been taking their classes out of the studio and moving them online via YouTube, Zoom, Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Even the big studios like CorePower Yoga have opened up their online yoga classes, Corepower Yoga On Demand and made a number of those classes free for anyone to take while their studios are closed.
If you’ve been thinking about starting up a yoga practice or have heard yourself talking about how you should practice yoga, NOW is the best time to start. Why? For one, you probably have more free time than usual. Two, you don’t have anywhere to go (at least you’re not supposed to unless if you’re an essential worker or going out for an essential activity.) Now more than ever, it’s super easy to practice yoga at home thanks to all of the studios and instructors who are streaming their classes online.
Diving into my yoga home practice every single morning while being quarantined has been keeping me happy and sane over the last three weeks. I already knew yoga was good for me (Hello, Kathleen Loves Yoga!), but now with the world filled with fear, sickness, unemployment and uncertainty thanks to this pandemic, yoga has been critical in helping me mentally and physically be able to navigate through my day. Yoga puts me in a positive head space. It helps keep stress at bay. Yoga is also an incredible way to train both the mind and body and help keep me in shape for all of my favorite outdoor activities like hiking, snowshoeing and urban hiking around my neighborhood. Yoga is so good for life!
Here’s a list of places you can go online to help kickstart your yoga home practice right now. Most of these options are either free or on a pay-what-you-can/donation basis. Some of these classes are hosted live virtually, but many of them are available 24/7 throughout the week, making them super convenient to access for any schedule:
Sealevel Hot Yoga (on YouTube)
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I saw that my yoga studio, Sealevel Hot Yoga had created a YouTube Channel and put a few of their classes up online. Now I can continue my Bikram Yoga practice at home, in my room, in front of a space heater with some of my favorite instructors. They’ve got everything on their channel from three different 90-minute Bikram Yoga classes and a 60-minute Bikram Yoga class to a Salute Series featuring Salute to the Gods and Goddesses, Salute to the Sun and Salute to the Moon. These classes are free to access, but if you don’t have a current membership with the studio and would like to give a little back to support them during this difficult time, be sure to visit their GoFundMe page and make a donation.
Bikram Yoga West Seattle
Bikram Yoga West Seattle is another local studio I love and support, even though I don’t live in West Seattle. They have two options for classes – a free community class and live virtually hosted classes via Zoom.
Bikram Yoga West Seattle’s free community class can be accessed on their website via Facebook, or click on the video above.
If you want to attend one of their live classes virtually hosted via Zoom, you’ll need to set up an account with Mindbody through their website to reserve your spot in class. These classes are free and donations are welcome. Once you’ve signed up for a class, you’ll have the option of taking the live class and/or getting access to the pre-recorded classes. Donations can be made through their website and through Venmo (also on their website.)
To access the live, virtual classes, you’ll need to click on the COVID-19 tab from the Main Menu on the Bikram Yoga West Seattle website. From here, you’ll be taken to the class links and donation options for the live, virtual classes.
Hot Yoga Renton
Visit the Hot Yoga Renton YouTube Channel to access their free online yoga classes. Be sure to subscribe to their channel to be notified anytime they add a new class online. Currently there are three different classes being offered on their channel:
Yin Yoga with Mary
75-Minute Hatha Yoga with Jessica
Yoga Nidra for Deep Sleep (a 40-minute guided mediation and Yoga Nidra)
A few of Hot Yoga Renton’s instructors are also offering live Zoom online yoga classes throughout the month of April that are on a donation/pay-what-you-can scale. Be sure to Like Hot Yoga Renton’s Facebook Page to see when these live classes are being offered by their instructors.
Even the bigger yoga studios understand how now, more than ever we all need more yoga in our lives. CorePower Yoga is giving yogis practicing at home, two options:
FREE ONLINE CLASSES
While their yoga studios are closed due to COVID-19, CorePower Yoga is giving EVERYONE free access to a collection of online classes every week. Click here to access CorePower Yoga On Demand. You can also access their live streamed classes each day for free. Click here for the live streamed classes schedule.
For $19.99/month, you can subscribe to have unlimited access to their full collection of 250+ classes on CorePower Yoga On Demand.
Looking to take your home practice up a notch, in addition to yoga? Shakedown Movement is a core focused series of floor Barre, mat Pilates and Dance cardio, packaged in a combination of low impact, high intensity flows, led by Megan Goddard, a certified NCPT Pilates and Barre instructor. These exercises promote strength, length, coordination, balance and rhythm in the body.
Join the SHAKEDOWN MOVEMENT Facebook Group to access Megan’s free 45-minute live classes every Saturday morning at 10am. Not able to join live on Saturdays? Sign up for her newsletter to access free, 10-minute online workouts each week that can be practiced as many times as you like, on your own schedule, any time of the day or week.
Done with your class and looking for comic relief and daily inspiration? Follow me on Instagram and join me for my own quirky Quarantine Challenge, 31 Days of Yoga Pants. A few days into being quarantined I discovered a box of yoga pants I had abandoned after I taught my last yoga class in 2018 and left to thru-hike the PCT. Since a lot of us are more than likely spending a majority of our day in quarantine wearing some sort of athletic wear, whether we’re being active or not, COVID-19 has inspired me to bring each of my yoga pants back to life by wearing a new pair each and every day. Search under the hashtag, #31DaysOfYogaPants to see all of the posts in my funny, off-the-wall and sometimes inspiring Quarantine Challenge. Yoga.Pants.Every.Damn.Day.
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Great article Kathleen! I may have to finally give hot yoga a try at home 🙂
Thanks Maurice! You should try hot yoga at home. Who knows, you might fall in love with it. Here I am 11 years later and it’s still one of my favorite forms of exercise.