Get your yoga on at home

I’ve been thinking about how much we have all had to adapt this year and how so many of us have switched over to the virtual world, not only for work but for education and recreation too. Liam and I have been teaching online yoga, breath-work and strength and fitness classes since March and I think in the beginning we complained about it as not being the same as the in person experience and no it’s really not the same but in many ways it’s actually better. While online classes were only supposed to be a temporary fix in response to this pandemic I do believe they are are here to stay. We love teaching online now, we have a great community of people from all over the world joining our yoga and breath-work classes and we love taking classes online too I mean now we get the chance to take classes with some of our favorite teachers from all over the world from the comfort of our own home.

I began teaching live online from the Moon Shala at Suryalila Retreat Center back in March

An online class takes seconds to get started, you can wear what you want (pyjamas are great) and it’s not nearly as nerve wrecking as walking into a studio for the first time. Signing up for live classes, you are more inclined to show up. Recorded classes are great too but personally I much prefer the live experience where the teacher can see you. My top tips are to mark the classes you want to do in your diary and make this time a priority. Create a space at home, your practice area with your yoga mat if you have one or just lay out a blanket to practice on and have your props nearby; cushions, blocks or hardback books, strap or scarf and you’re good to go. Just make a space that is tidy and inviting and you could light some candles or incense if you like too. One last thing if you live in a busy house like me, ask your family not to disturb you when it’s your yoga time. I know that’s easier said than done and I do laugh when I see participants on my screen when their children come in to jump on them in child’s pose, pop their head up on screen to say hi to me or when the dog gets all excited and licks their face half way through. They will get used to it eventually and you also learn how to tune out of all that’s going on around you too which is another good reason to practice regularly.

Practicing yoga is a great way to de-stress, build strength, become more flexible, get in tune with your body and really boost your overall well-being. You don’t have to be flexible or fit to start and it’s never too late to start. A yoga class usually begins with a short meditation or breathing practice to bring students focus to the mat, preparing the mind, body and breath for the physical practice to follow. After this, students are guided through a series of movements and sequences called asanas. Asanas (postures) used in a class will vary from teacher to teacher and the sequences will depend on the abilities of the students and the style of yoga being taught. The aim of the physical practise is not how far you can stretch but to find steadiness (stira) and ease (sukha) within each pose and sequence. Each asana or yoga pose has its own purpose and benefits and the more you do it the more you become aware of your body, any tensions you’re holding on to and you learn how to release them. Even if you are not used to exercising, you can practice yoga. Many people assume that yoga is all about flexibility but it’s so much more. While it is a physical practice, yoga will inevitably touch on your spiritual side and the magic of yoga is that you can work from the outside in. We do the physical practice of yoga to become more in tune with the breath which allows energy to flow freely and finish class in a final resting pose (savasana) to calm the mind and assimilate the effects of the physical practice leaving us feeling blissed out and re-energised.

The right teacher makes a huge difference and will reduce your chances of injury. Certified teachers undergo up to 500 hours of training to qualify for Yoga Alliance recognised certification. It’s important to always make sure you are dealing with a fully qualified and insured yoga teacher and don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve been studying yoga for two years and practicing for many more. I am fully qualified, certified and insured with the Yoga Alliance. Liam too is a Yoga Alliance certified breathing instructor as well as an advanced Oxygen Advantage breath-work coach. Click here to see reviews from some of our amazing participants this year.

I live and breathe yoga, it has been life changing for me and it has completely transformed my relationship with myself. It’s my intention to keep you coming back to your mat over and over again by making practicing yoga enjoyable. I encourage everybody in my classes to make their practice their own, to forget about whatever shapes that I or anyone else is doing and be more compassionate towards ourselves and each other. There is no such thing as a perfect pose and nobody in the whole world compares to you and through yoga we learn to accept ourselves just as we are, acknowledging all of our limitations and needs. Your yoga, whether its for the workout or the spiritual practice or both can be a huge release for your body and by building a practice you will not only feel the benefits in your physical body but your mental and emotional bodies too.

Liam & I can’t wait to get back to teaching our group classes online and we have been putting together six week courses, (six weeks of classes, two weeks off) which is a good enough time for you to see progress and feel the benefits of a regular practise. The next course begins on January 4th and runs right through to February 12th with three to four yoga classes programmed each week, Liam’s breathwork classes are back every Wednesday evening and there will be two yoga masterclasses and workshops scheduled during each block of classes. The best way to stay up to date is to sign up to our mailing list. I send out an email each Sunday for the duration of the course with class details and other snippets of yoga and breath-work information, inspiration and resources. Sign up to the mailing list by clicking here

Check out the page linked below for class details and pricing. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns. Hope to see you soon on zoom. Namaste.

Published by Niamh & Liam Colfer

Niamh & Liam Colfer currently livin' on the Hook peninsula in County Wexford offering yoga and breath-work classes, personal training and hike the Hook walking tours. All about healthy balanced lifestyle, home schooling, travel, outdoor life, sea swims and on the Hook / off the Hook adventures.

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