If there’s one good thing to come out of being in lockdown (I actually think there’s quite a few – you can read my full list here), it’s the boom in the online fitness world. It’s become such a movement (no pun intended, haha…) that it almost makes me wonder whether anyone will want to keep paying for their gym membership once this is all over!
I’m not going to lie, when coronavirus first hit, the amount of zoom workout classes, instagram live videos and everyone talking about how they were going to get their “quarantine bodies” was pretty anxiety-inducing. But after a while (aka, once the initial corona-craziness subsided) things calmed down and it actually just became amazing to see the amount of resources that people were sharing. I saw people around me who never used to workout suddenly taking daily classes online and finding all sorts of great ways to keep moving at home, keeping themselves occupied and using fitness as a way to keep them feeling good through such a tough time.
It would be easy for us all to just do nothing and binge watch Netflix (don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely done my fair share of that too), but suddenly social media became an amazing place where every one was sharing their skills, hosting free classes and generally just helping each other to get through the lockdown with movement!
As a long-time yogi and yoga teacher I’ve always believed in the way that movement helps me – and has the potential to help everyone – to not only feel better physically but also emotionally. It’s not just about fitness or feeling better about your body, even smaller more relaxing amounts of daily movement can make such a huge difference to my mental wellbeing.
That’s what I love about yoga – it’s not just about getting strong or flexible, sweating on your mat or being able get into an instagrammable pose – the real yoga is just moving with how your body feels from day to day – moment to moment – and using the way you move to shift your energy, emotions and anything that’s making you feel ‘stuck’.
For me, this was the biggest help in lockdown. We were all feeling trapped, stuck in the house, cut off from our communities, our favourite yoga studios or workout classes, and there’s nothing like sitting around all day, not getting outside and not getting exercise to make all of those feelings worse! Making sure that I got on to my mat every day, even if I was feeling low and all I did was a few minutes of slow easy movements or stretching, made such a big difference.
I think the lockdown made us all more aware of what was really important to us. The things we really needed in our lives (and the things we didn’t) and the ways that we could take care of ourselves more easily to get what we needed. It was like we all began to really notice the little things that we loved, and felt more grateful for the small things that made a difference to our days – like getting outside and having green spaces to visit, being able to move and do our workouts online even though we were cooped up inside, or finding new skills to learn and ways to occupy ourselves (banana bread, anyone?!) when our usual lives of busy work, commuting and socialising were stripped away.
One of the most interesting things about this time has been to discover what really matters and what you can’t live without when the life you’re used to is taken away.
For me, movement was one of the biggest things I discovered that mattered. Whether that was doing yoga at home or in my back garden, or going for my daily run along the beach. Those were the things that kept me going and gave me normality through the strangeness! When the beaches were first closed, I wasn’t sure how I would survive without my daily does of nature!
That realisation, and the time I’ve also had during all this to realise what really matters to me in terms of how I want to spend my time and energy in work and life for the future, as well as the things I want to create and share with the world, has also given me the push I needed to become part of this new world, and start teaching and sharing my own online (and offline) yoga, meditation and sound healing full time!
I’m so excited to share my love of movement with you all on a bigger scale, and be part of this shift in how we’re all looking after ourselves, as well as bringing such a healing and helpful practice to people in this crazy time in the world when we all need it the most!
You can find out more about my class schedule on my instagram here – I hope you’ll join me for a session soon!
So here’s my list of the things that have helped, and are continuing to help, keep me sane through lockdown. What were the things you discovered you needed the most?
Spending time outside in the morning
I like to get outside first thing to move with an online yoga class, meditate, or just sit and drink my morning cuppa in the fresh air.
Having a steady routine
This is one of the biggest thing that has been carrying me through all the uncertainty and helping me to keep functioning! You can read more about mine in this post.
Finding online classes that you love
The beauty of having classes online is that you can try out different ones to see what you like the best! I love what SURE have done with their move more at home hub, where they’ve collaborated with 11 amazing fitness professionals to offer at-home workouts to help you move more – from HIIT to kobox, to disco pilates (!) and self-love yoga. They’ve got it all! You can also join their 7-day workout plan to help you move more at home and get into your own workout routine during lockdown!
For me, another pro of being in lockdown is that it’s forced me to work harder at keeping my friendships alive. Zoom might have stressed me out at first with the pressure to be on constant group chats, pub quiz sessions and online drinks parties, but actually having to schedule regular time to catch up with my friends and family, and doing it face-to-face online has made sure that I stay in touch with people more regularly than I even did pre-covid! Connection in my friendships has been something I’ve really realised has been so important to me – this time has given me the opportunity to become way closer with the people who are actually around physically (I mean, we have no choice but to spend all our time with each other indoors!) as well as staying in touch with people online too.
I’d love to hear the things that you’ve learnt while in lockdown – let me know in the comments! Even though the world is starting to open back up, i can’t but feel we’ve all moved. Something has shifted in the system, in our mindsets and I don’t think things will go back to exactly the way they were before. For me at least, it means moving into a new chapter of my life…one that I couldn’t be more excited for! I hope you’ll all come join me on my yoga and meditation journey and I look forward to teaching you all online on IG live soon!
This post was written in collaboration with SURE. Check out their Move More at Home initiative here and I hope you enjoy their selection of classes and tips to help you keep moving even while we’re all still staying still at home!