Doing sports is not that easy when the whole country is in lockdown. While some are lucky to go out of the house without having to fill in paperwork, others live under harsh corona measures. But for yoga, even the narrowest room is sufficient, and an internet connection is not always required.
Ioana Macovei, 25, is a yoga instructor in Birmingham, UK. Because of the severe lockdown measures adopted by the Johnson administration, she teaches online. Her participants come from all over Europe. Ioana connects with them by overcoming challenges, be them from yoga or the Coronavirus.
In the beginning, the shift towards the online medium was challenging. The limits of the screen and a poor internet connection were making it difficult for Ioana to notice if her students were making mistakes that could harm them. But she trusts them. “I noticed at the beginning the fear on their faces, that oh, God, my body cannot do this,” she says. “Now it’s just excitement”.
Robin van Gammeren, 23, is a journalist student living in Groningen, the Netherlands. She started doing yoga at the beginning of the lockdown, with a YouTuber’s 30 days yoga challenge. “It really helps me to find a calm and peaceful place within myself,” says Robin. “I know that that place is always there, but sometimes it’s very difficult to find it, especially when there’s a lot going on inside your head.”
Even when it comes to the lockdown, some like to see the glass half full. Living also in Groningen, Diego Catelli, 27, stresses the importance of practising by yourself and of using this imposed solitude to connect with your body. For him, it is very important to adopt this mindset, to cope with the current stress and negativity.
For some, yoga is more than a sport. “It’s a practice,” says Edson Brevett, 41, living in Canada. What Edson is after is mindfulness. He achieves this by harmonizing his breath with the movement. Edson is interested in the benefits of meditation, which help him keep going forword despite the depressive thoughts caused by COVID-19.
There are numerous kinds of yoga. Some are still similar to traditional religious forms. Others are more sport-oriented. And others, such as beer yoga and pizza yoga, are just a fun way to spend time with friends.