This year has flipped a lot of our worlds upside down. Not only can we not see many of our friends any family due to COVID-19, but many of us our unemployed or underemployed, and many of our mental health strategies have been taken from us with various closures.
Toronto, Peel and Ottawa region have all just gone backwards in COVID stages, returning us back to closures of gyms and in person studio classes. Myself personally, I never went back to the studios or my local gym when they opened up. I was unsure about teaching or taking classes around other people as masks were not mandatory IN the studios themselves during classes, only in the hallways. So over the summer I walked everywhere and taught the occasional yoga and dance class… but as winter heads this way and Seasonal depression sneaks back into my life, I’m diving back into online classes.
If you haven’t taken an online class and are nervous about where to start, there are TONS of things being offered that you can access, especially these days! Many studios are offering decently priced online memberships, instagram is flooded with free or pay what you can classes, and youtube has always been a great place to find free, fun, at home work outs.
In the last couple months I have found a new appreciation for online classes. I have been teaching virtual yoga (and the occasional dance classes) through The Pink Studio Toronto, which has honestly been such a joy. My Sunday evening yoga classes are chill, and somehow I can feel the energy of the people in the class (even though most people keep their cameras off – so if you’re nervous about zoom classes, this is a safe space!). I’ve also found some great youtube classes to follow along with whenever I need to move my body without leaving the house.
My number one tip when doing yoga at home is to make sure you listen to your body. Since you don’t have the teacher there to ask questions, you need to know when something is too much for your body – note, in yoga pain DOES NOT equal gain… a challenging stretch is good, but pain is bad and if you feel pain BACK OUT OF THE STRETCH. Modifications aren’t only for beginners or for people with injuries, they are also for people who might feel sore from a previous workout, for people who’s anatomy is not built for certain poses (I can’t do a middle straddle for the life of me no matter how much I try), or for people who are just plain old tired. Whether you’re a beginner or have practiced yoga every day for your entire life, be humble and simplify or skip a pose if your body doesn’t feel it can do it safely that day. Many people don’t realize this and are surprised to hear it because yoga is supposed to be this gentle movement, but yoga injuries are REAL and VERY common. So be safe, listen to your body, and if your body doesn’t like a pose find an alternative or skip it all together.
If you have specific questions about your body, it’s limitations, injuries, or modifications for a pose, please feel free to reach out. I have taught yoga to people of all different abilities, levels and have worked with many to create a safe version of a stretch. I am always eager to help people feel good in movement while staying safe!
I’ve added my own youtube yoga class, as well as some of my favourite youtube yoga teachers! 🙂 Enjoy!
This is me and my slow flow class – this is similar to what I teach at The Pink Studio Toronto 🙂 My classes don’t require blocks or props unless you really want them for comfort or safety!
Haley is physiotherapist, yoga instructor and fitness instructor. She is incredible and her variety of yoga classes are probably my favourite to follow on youtube! Her classes are less spiritual, more anatomy and athletic based, but still relaxing and powerful (my favourite kind of yoga)
Yoga with Adriene is another great channel especially to start your youtube yoga journey. She has yoga videos of all lengths (like this 11 minute one linked below) and has a great variety of styles of practice.
And this last one is for the parents and teachers (and pediatric occupational therapists) out there! Cosmic yoga is a fun yoga channel that leads your children through a movement based story! She has everything from general stories in forests or underwater, to themed yoga like Frozen! My mom uses this in her kindergarten classroom and her kids love it