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Five incredible benefits of a yoga practice in difficult times

It is no secret that, for most of us, life has felt very unsettled lately. As we are learning to live and work in new ways, the only certainty seems to be a sense of perpetual unpredictability. Finding our way through the maze of this new landscape, we often feel frazzled, more easily tired, and regularly overwhelmed.

You know the idea of a computer running with too many tabs open? That’s similar to how our minds are working at the moment and over time, keeping so many plates spinning can become exhausting. It doesn’t help that socialising and our usual recreational activities are restricted – we have to look for other ways to recharge our batteries.

A big silver lining of these difficult past few months has been the surge in online yoga classes. We all agree that in person yoga is magic, but being able to continue a regular practice through the turmoil of the past seven months has been incredibly beneficial to many of us.

1. Staying in touch through regular yoga keeps communities connected. My groups enjoy a lovely chat and a catch up before classes almost as much as the practice itself. In many ways, supporting each other through these difficult times has brought us closer together. We share each other’s ups and downs and offer comfort in these times of hardship.

2. Yoga classes provide us with regular physical exercise, from the comfort and safety of our homes. This is especially welcome when you don’t have to leave your mat following a nice melty relaxation at the end of a class! There is no need to travel, and you can switch from work to yoga within minutes. Those who are shielding know they can practice safely – and as an added benefit, we get to see each other’s pets, too!

3. Yoga is a powerful tool in maintaining good mental health. Through movement and relaxation, we work out the stresses of the body and mind, bring ourselves back to a calm, balanced and happy state. The effects are accumulative, so the more regularly we practice, the more pronounced the benefits become. Yoga is a powerful way to help manage stress levels, which are currently higher than usual.

4. Practising yoga regularly gives us structure. The value of this benefit is not to be underestimated when most other areas of life are so uncertain. Online classes can and will continue, no matter what life throws at us. By making the commitment to turn up to yoga regularly, we put our health and well-being first, which is much needed at this time.

5. Prioritising self-care can feel very empowering in a world where many of us feel there is little we can control. Right now, as the days get shorter and colder, and in the lack of some of our usual creature comforts, joining an online yoga class can be a welcome hub of warmth and cosiness.

So whether you are looking to start up your yoga practice or to take it to the next level, you will never regret taking time to roll out your mat during these difficult times.

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