Routines have been interrupted, and things feel very surreal while we adjust to life amidst a pandemic. It's natural for stress to increase during times of uncertainty, but despite what may be going on in your life, you can tap into the power of yoga and meditation to manage and reduce your stress response - for free, and in the comfort of your own home. You may be missing the energy of a real-life yoga class, but there's no reason why you can't have a blissful yoga experience alone. Many yogis prefer the intimacy and privacy of practising in their own space.
Create your studio
Now's not the time to worry too much about having the perfect set-up or yoga outfit; work with what you've got, and take note of the items you'd like to add to your collection at a later date. If you only have a mat, choose online classes that don't require bolsters or other accessories.
If you have the space in your home, choose an area where you can create a permanent home studio. Roll out your mat, choose a cushion and a blanket for meditation, and adorn your studio space with candles, incense, crystals, greenery, artwork and whatever else makes you happy and promotes a sense of calm. If you're short on room, keep your studio supplies stored neatly in a corner in plain sight to remind you to set up each day.
You'll need to find a convenient spot for your laptop or device for online classes - or connect to your TV if you can do so. You may be comfortable creating your own flow from memory if you're a yoga aficionado.
Dress comfortably in clothing that allows you to stretch and move every which way, and depending on your yoga style, be prepared to lose a layer as you work up a sweat!
For more home practice inspiration, our friends at Manduka are sharing some beautiful content. Head over to their Instagram to learn more, and be sure to check out their home yoga hashtag, #practiceon.
Many New Zealand yoga studios are offering online classes during the lockdown; check in with your regular studio to see what they have available so you can support your local teachers.
Here are a few we’ve been recommended, some of which are offering free yoga via Instagram or their dedicated website:
Kia Kaha Studios
East West Yoga
Living Yoga Taupo
Karina Farry Pilates & Yoga
Have your own recommendation or favourite? Let us know and we'll share it.
Now for some New Zealand and International yoga websites that regularly top the popularity charts:
This New Zealand made online yoga site is a beautiful platform designed to cultivate mindfulness and calm among its community. At NZ$6.99 per month, it’s very cost-effective, and there are some free classes available to try before you sign up.
14 day free-trial, and some free classes available
NZ$6.99 per month for any new clients during the Level 4 lockdown period
With 6.7 million subscribers, Texas-born Adriene Mishler is the biggest yoga star on YouTube. Her classes are perfect for all levels and focus on mindfulness and healing, and she has a warm and gentle teaching style. Check out her recent 30 days of yoga challenge – perfect to boost motivation while at home, and it won’t cost you.
Do Yoga With Me
Do Yoga With Me is a comprehensive website covering all yoga styles and levels. Though not as slick and luxe-looking as some of the paid options below, DYWM is an excellent option for those after quality, free classes.
100% free, with the option to buy downloads for your device.
From beginner to advanced, YogiApproved cover all styles of yoga in their high-quality videos and have some excellent programs available that lead you through a series of relevant classes. They have a 30-day free trial available at the moment - perfect for the current lockdown in New Zealand.
Best of all, for every yoga class you take, they plant a food-producing tree in Africa in association with Trees For The Future.
30-day free trial with code STAYHOME
US$14 per month / NZ$23.65 or drop-in for the day for US$5 / NZ$8.45
With its minimalist, easy to use interface, Glo encompasses yoga, meditation, and Pilates, with classes from as little as five-minutes long for the busy among us.
The themed collections are thoughtfully curated, with categories like "Immune Boost" and "Sweat At Home." Glo is hugely popular, and it's easy to see why. Try a two-week free trial to see if it's right for you.
15-day free trial
US$18 per month / NZ$30.40
We're incredibly lucky to have the world of yoga at our fingertips online. If you feel like moving your body, tune in and listen to what you need: Is it a restorative Yin class? A simple meditation in Shavasana? Or a dynamic Vinyasa flow?
If you're not keeping up with your regular routine, don't fret. It’s perfectly okay to be less than productive at the moment. When things feel too much, the phrases from a simple loving-kindness (Metta) meditation might bring some comfort:
May I be happy
May I be well
May I be safe
May I be peaceful and at ease
May you be happy
May you be well
May you be safe
May you be peaceful and at ease