Online yoga keeping our community together

The lunchtime yoga classes have become a fixture at Perseverance Works, and we haven’t let a little social distancing stop us!

In our first month of online yoga, 200 people connected to the 11 classes on offer, with some saying how nice it was to finally meet those familiar faces they’d seen around the courtyard.

“It feels like these classes have been a great way for some new people to try yoga from the comfort of their own home, and I’m really pleased that we’ve actually increased the attendance of the classes,” said Kate. “Each week it’s so great to see familiar and new faces and we’re continuing to build on the sense of community that we had at Perseverance Works. People are practicing with their partners, with their kids, or with siblings, so even though we’re all physically distant it’s still bringing people together in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”

And the beauty of digital yoga is you can set up your personal practice space any way you like: outdoors in the sun, in a cosy room with incense and candles, or wherever the yoga mat will fit…

If you’d like to join our online yoga classes, this post gives you all the information you’ll need.

Benefits of yoga

Yoga is good for our mental health

Scientific studies have shown that practicing yoga can decrease stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep quality and may even help fight depression. Even if you don’t feel you are affected by any of these, yoga will help you maintain your mental health.

Yoga is good for flexibility – and for strength

We’ve all seen the bendy-yogi-pretzels. That is not the goal of this class. However, if you practice sports or other fitness modalities where you are continuously contracting your muscles, yoga will help lengthen and stretch them. This can improve your performance, help prevent injuries, and increase range of motion.

The strength you can build from yoga is often overlooked. Supporting your weight on your hands (whether in downward facing dog or a handstand) requires strength. I also include a particular focus on strengthening the back of the body, which helps counteract the oh-so-common “desk-worker hunch”.

Yoga improves posture

The head is heavy – if you are often letting it lean forward (while reading your phone, say), this will fatigue the muscles in your neck and back. Practicing yoga will help you be more aware of your posture, find good posture more quickly, and relieve tension from poor posture.

Breathing is so good for you

We know that we can’t live without our breath. But how often do you really think about your breathing? Try this simple exercise wherever you are right now:

Feel your feet on the floor.

Slowly inhale for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of four. Slowly exhale for a count of four. Hold your breath out for a count of four.

Repeat this pattern 3 more times.

Do you feel calmer? Imagine breathing like that for 45 minutes. Breathing deeply calms your nervous system and encourages your body to relax. Over time, your lung capacity will increase.