What I’ve Learned About My Yoga Practice During Quarantine

This Started Out as a Post About My Experience Doing the Yoga with Adriene Home Series…

Starting the Yoga with Adriene Home series has helped me really delve into my relationship with my yoga practice over my time at home so far with the quarantine. I came across Adriene Mishler at the beginning of the coronavirus quarantine and started doing the Home series. I’ve not been doing it daily, like it’s intended; instead, I’ve been doing a video every other day or so. Because of my modified schedule with it, I’m about halfway through the series now, as I write this, and am enjoying the sensations and mobility the course has provided. I have found the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel — particularly the Home series, a 30 day yoga journey — to be very user friendly, and the process has definitely had me reevaluate my relationship with yoga.

Practicing yoga at home has also allowed me and Olivia to have extra bonding time! She loves to help me practice.

My Relationship with Yoga Generally

Generally speaking, I love yoga. I love how regular practice makes me feel. I like how impactful yoga is on my physical and mental health without requiring grueling sprints or burpees. I’ve never been a fan of burpees.

That being said, I find my relationship with yoga goes in waves. There are periods where all I want to do is practice, and then there are periods where I can’t bring myself to lay out the mat.

Before finding the Yoga with Adriene channel, I related the shallow waves of not feeling motivated to practice with the cost of a local yoga studio membership. It’s easy to blame a pricy class schedule that doesn’t really align with your own wants and desires for your yoga journey for why you aren’t practicing.

What I’ve Learned About My Yoga Practice During Quarantine

I never really knew about online yoga videos. Sure, I figured they existed, but I do really enjoy in-person classes. When I’m in a room with other people and a qualified instructor, I feel safer and more able to push myself to try new poses, or to go deeper into difficult postures.

What Happened When I Stopped Going to In-Person Classes

When I realized I wasn’t loving the classes I was going to — the content or the price, really — I just stopped practicing all together. The vinyasa classes I had been attending were challenging and fun, in a way, but often went for about two hours and left me exhausted. Without noticing, I put on weight because I’d get home famished and eat way too much to recover. The time commitment, the cost per class, and side effects felt like too much, so I stopped going. I stopped practicing all together. I felt like, if I didn’t have someone instructing me in person, then I couldn’t practice yoga at all. Quarantine has taught me this isn’t the case.

After a few months of not practicing yoga at all, especially combined with working from home with an old desk chair that didn’t give the support I needed, I began to feel especially out of shape.

Running, which I had forced myself to get into in undergrad, has never been a favorite hobby of mine. I more or less stopped doing treadmill workouts because I wasn’t enjoying them, and because the mental effort (to say nothing of physical stamina) to do them felt like too much. I had fallen out of weight lifting since bruising my tailbone before law school, and getting back into it felt overwhelming, especially when using our little apartment gym.

Days of not really doing much moved into weeks until I realized I felt out of shape in a new way — stiff, achy, and unmotivated. I hadn’t realized how much impact yoga had had on my physical health.

Reevaluating with the Quarantine Shut Down

Then came quarantine and social distancing. I had actually gone back to the local yoga studio with the intention of starting back up, dealing with the aspects of it that I didn’t like, because I didn’t like how I was feeling physically. I had gotten two classes in before everything shut down.

The apartment complex shut down our gym — understandably, but it is still a frustration — and obviously the yoga studios around me are closed. It became even more clear to me just how many hours I sat at my desk or on the couch. Even with my new standing desk, I felt particularly stagnate and motionless. I believe this is a sentiment many of us have felt during this time.

Starting An At Home Workout

So, I began to look for ways to workout at home. I thought to myself, we have some hand weights, I have a yoga mat, and the internet exists.

I turned to My Peak Challenge, a program I am familiar with and have previously enjoyed. This was what inspired me to write my at home workout article. I enjoyed the workouts I did from this — modified as they were to be less intense — but felt overwhelmed by how out of shape I felt. Then I began to feel bad for not wanting to keep going with it.

I think if we weren’t in quarantine, and my mental state wasn’t so wonky with the social distancing, I would have kept with it. But, like I mentioned earlier with the running workouts and starting back with weightlifting, it began to feel like it took too much mental effort to even get myself to start.

When I found out about Yoga with Adriene, I decided to interweave the videos with the My Peak Challenge workouts. This quickly fell into me just doing the Yoga with Adriene videos, particularly since Brett and I started to take long walks around this time as a way to get some fresh air and get out of the apartment while still practicing social distancing. For the most part, I’m alternating days of walking and yoga (although yesterday we did do some intervals outside, which reminded me just how hot Florida is).

Thoughts on Yoga with Adriene’s Home Practice, a 30 Day Yoga Journey

The Home practice is really a great all-levels option, whether you have yoga experience or not. I have found myself feeling like I want to do more, since some of the classes are on the shorter side. Some days, I’ll do a few vinyasa rounds afterwards on my own, or do some other poses that I feel like my body needs in the moment, but, on others, I’ll stick with the gentle 18 to 27 minute videos.

There’s a fine line between pushing one’s self and simple self-berating. Particularly in light of the global pandemic, and all the uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID-19, I’m realizing a little bit of yoga is far better than no yoga. If there ever was a time to be gentle with one’s self, this is it.

If you are craving simple, manageable movement, I recommend trying out the Home videos. Or maybe try a different series from Adriene’s channel. I’m sure your mind and body will thank you.