After a few days or maybe a week of self-quarantine, most people get edgy. There are no more cookies to bake or board games to play, and the phrase “Netflix and chill” has turned from a light-hearted suggestion to a last-ditch chance at entertainment. And whether you’re hunkered down completely alone or with a few family members, it’s unquestionably an intense experience.
Need some simple relief without leaving home? Try incorporating these simple home yoga techniques into your daily routine, and you’ll be well on your way to getting some much-needed inner peace.
Being cooped up is stressful. Even if you’re normally a homebody, there’s a big difference between choosing to stay home and being mandated to do so. Add to that the constantly monitoring everyone in your home for signs of illness, worrying about running out of food and other essentials, and people bickering over everything, and you have a perfect recipe for stress so intense it can make you physically ill.
Setting the Stage
You don’t need a yoga room to get results — all you need is a space large enough to hold a yoga mat. Choose one you’re comfortable in, like a nook, cranny, or closet where you could curl up with a blanket and sleep as soundly as a tired baby. Make sure it’s quiet so you can hear yourself breathe. The temperature should also be comfortable for the clothes you’ll be wearing, which themselves will usually be light and breathable. Lighting should be low, maybe nothing more than daylight streaming in through the windows or a couple of candles.
Timing is Everything
Home yoga isn’t the same as a class, nor are the sessions typically as long. Start off with five to 10 minutes and build as you get comfortable with more positions. Remember that you’re striving for quality, not quantity.
The Benefits of Yoga
Instead of imagining yourself surrounded by a glowing aura while gently inhaling the aroma of exotic incense, try striving for these four things:
Focus on soothing yourself. This is more of an inside-out exercise. Concentrate on steady, even breathing from your toes to your nose. Some describe this feeling as slowly submerging yourself in a pool of warm water. Nothing shocking, one cell at a time, just an overall feeling of submission to that inner peace you know is there for the taking. Use yoga to understand that you really are in control, whether it’s a for a few seconds or a few minutes.
Deliberate on what you’re feeling, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Identify what you can, both positive and negative. Let the positivity flow and slowly let a little negativity dissipate in the current. This process can’t be rushed, so don’t become frustrated if it takes multiple tries before you actually feel the relief of letting go of a simple strand of negativity.
Celebrate the self-indulgence. Whether it’s five minutes or 30 minutes, home yoga will eventually enhance the rest of your day. You must commit to giving this time to yourself without guilt or remorse over not completing a task or chore. Just concentrate on the end result.
Realize the ascending benefits. This is not a miracle cure or a one-stop fix-it fad. The more you go through the exercises physically, mentally, and emotionally, the more inner peace you’ll achieve. Practicing every day is ideal, but if that’s too much, at least strive for four out of seven days a week. That makes it a genuine routine.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you try to incorporate a dozen poses in the beginning, you’ll likely grow frustrated at your lack of progress. Start off with these three simple poses. They’re the easiest to master and set the stage for success and progress. Plus, simple stillness and quiet let you see how your body and mind react, the solid foundation you need to proceed.
Choose a direction. You can start with really short sessions and progress to longer ones. Or if you’re on a roll, start big. Just listen to your body and follow what it tells you. Honestly and frequently assess your needs. Focus on standing poses if you seek stability, or try a few backbends if you’re feeling tired and listless.
Center on specific body parts. If you feel cramped inside, concentrate on creating a feeling of openness in that area. When a certain pose creates anxiety, make a mental note of it and slowly address it until it eases.
Play favorites with your poses. This is not a time to challenge your body to the point of losing self-confidence. Choose a handful of poses that make your body and soul smile and perfect them. Chances are you’ll naturally know when it’s time to add a challenge to the mix, whether it be in a week or a month.
Use as many body parts as possible. While you may favor all the downward poses, you should still add another direction every now and then like leaning side to side, turning upside-down, etc. Don’t force them to the point of wanting to quit, but understand that the more directions your body moves in, the more complete and successful your routine will be.
Yoga is a great way to handle stressful, times, but it’s even more fun and beneficial when the crises subside. Once you experience the benefits, you’ll be hooked…and so much more at peace with yourself.