Since the first lockdown in March, people have started practicing online yoga en masse.
Juliette Vinay, owner of the Youtube channel Yogamoov, saw the number of subscribers to her channel rise from a hundred to 4000 during the first lockdown. The account of the Frenchwoman now has 5,690 subscribers.
“It’s the best decision I ever made,” Vinay says about closing her yoga school and switching to teaching fully online.
But why did yoga gain so much popularity during the Corona crisis? Vinay thinks it is because people are looking for a way to stay calm during the pandemic. She also thinks people search for different ways to do sports now that access to most sporting venues is restricted.
She explains that it helps herself stay calm as well: “Last March, yoga really saved my life. I didn’t know if closing my yoga school was the right thing to do, I had problems with money and tensions with my boyfriend, I felt like a boat in a storm. But I did two hours of yoga every day and I can really say it saved my life.”
Anouk Tepperik, yoga teacher at Yin Sneek, also sees an increase in yoga students. In physical classes she has around 16 students, whereas during her zoom classes up to 40 people are participating.
“When I do yoga, I sometimes notice tensions in places of which I thought they didn’t bother me anymore,” Tepperik says. She believes that yoga can help you locate which things still trouble you subconsciously, even though you might not notice this at first glance. “Tension doesn’t just exist in your head, it is very important to work on the tensions in your body as well.”
Besides staying active and gaining peace of mind, yoga helps to give a sense of community in this time of social isolation, according to Iwana Bosman, an amateur yogi who recently started a 30-day yoga challenge on YouTube.
She says that it’s a really great feeling that you do it together with others, even if you’re not physically together.
“There’s a whole community behind yoga and there are so many positive comments under those videos, that just makes me very happy. I sometimes read that people start crying during a session. I don’t experience that myself, but I think it’s really beautiful that it helps people in such a way,” Bosman says.
She does warn aspiring yogis to manage their expectations. “It is not as if yoga suddenly solves all your problems. And you shouldn’t expect to immediately learn how to do the splits.”
Yet Vinay believes yoga can have a significant impact: “it is the solution for this epidemic crisis.”