• Barbara Newman

2020 Virtual Yoga and Meditation

Virtual yoga has become a natural way to practice in a short time. Connecting with yogis online is now routine. People say they enjoy doing yoga from the comfort and safety of their homes, whether it’s in the house or outside in nature. Some even note it feels like a private class. Gathering props such as a scarf instead of a yoga strap, a book rather than a block, and a blanket or towel is easy.

As a yoga teacher, I look on my monitor and see many boxes filled with yogis following directions to "inhale your arms up" and "exhale your arms down." It’s amazing to watch everyone following along. Verbal cues are provided to guide yogis through breathing exercises, healthy alignment, sequences, poses and meditation. A few are unable to connect video due to a low band network, or they opt to turn off their video. They see me, complete the practice, and get the benefits. Seen or unseen, people are comforted into meditation. Bowls are played for sound healing. Then people awaken as the practice is concluded. Smiles abound at the end of class as we reconnect online for moment.

My yoga room at home has become a new sanctuary and is filling with lots of positive memories. It’s an indescribable feeling to guide yogis through a practice and know they are receiving the benefits of yoga as a result of cyberspace. People write afterwards to report they feel more relaxed, can move more this week than the previous, believe what I read was life changing, and are grateful for the class.

It’s amazing what we can do, when put to the test of change. Yoga is about breath, movement, relaxation, meditation, connecting to the inner self, and transformation. It is a physical activity that requires only a mat and perhaps props, such as scarves, books and blankets that can be located at home. No gym is needed, but a quiet space is required. The entire family including children, dogs and cats can join and share the benefits. Pets love being on or near the mat. They feel the positive energy being created, and their nervous systems are also calmed.

Many classes are available online. Finding the class that is right may take trial and error. Once you discover the one that works for you, consistency helps you become grounded, balanced and centered. Stretching, breathing, flowing, and meditating have been shown to improve circulation, the immune system, and the nervous system. Yoga is good for one’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. For many, it offers a spiritual connection. Starting a practice by thanking yourself for arriving on your mat is a great way to show gratitude to yourself. Why not be present regularly on your mat! Think of the memories you will create in your very own space.

Barbara Newman 6/8/2020

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