Thinking about working some yoga, meditation or mindfulness into your routine but not sure where to start? Here are our recommendations.
Before I began practising yoga, meditation and mindfulness, they were areas that intimidated me. I’ve never been hugely interested in sports, so have always had to seek out less conventional ways to keep myself fit. And because of that, I’ve also always been a bit more self-conscious about my physical activities.
Perhaps one of the silver linings about having to stay at home and physically distance yourself from others is having more time to explore new hobbies, but also to dip your toe in their waters in the safety and privacy of your own space.
That’s where online resources have shone for me. I used to fit in one yoga class per week, and while I enjoyed going to the class and interacting with the other yogis and my teacher, I’ve been finding that practising at home suits me down to the ground. I now fit in up to four sessions a week and, when the weather is nice enough, I can do it outside in my back garden.
So, my first recommendation is my own teacher who has transitioned to online classes in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Check out that and some other suggestions from the team at Silicon Republic below.
I began my yoga journey with Forest Yoga about a year ago, having had no experience in the practice beyond what I used to do on the Wii Fit in my parents’ living room. Nowadays, I’m taking part in her live classes through Zoom, which range from Electro Flow to a lovely Morning Stretch on Sundays.
If you’re looking for sessions that focus on meditation and mindfulness alongside the yogic movements, check these classes out. Starting and ending every session with a peaceful Savasna, AKA corpse pose, makes a huge difference.
Yoga with Adriene
If you’d prefer to practise yoga in your own time rather than take part in live sessions, there are also instructors who post their content on YouTube. Yoga with Adriene, for example, has plenty of videos online, including a 30-Day Yoga Journey.
Both our senior journalist Colm and AV operator Luke have been taking part in it and gave an honourable mention to Adriene’s dog who pops up now and again.
For anyone with children, Cosmic Kids incorporates yoga practices with kid-friendly stories and characters, such as Alan the Camel and Popcorn the Dolphin. You can access different lesson plans on the website for various age groups, from pre-school up to 12-year-olds.
Cosmic Kids offers a free sample pack of lessons to try out and is currently is offering two weeks of its subscription service for free.
This one is a podcast. It’s not a mindfulness or a meditative walkthrough, but more a talk show featuring guests who speak about mindfulness and meditation from their own perspective.
If you’re new to the concept of meditation or wondering whether it’s for you, I recommend giving this a listen to help you find out.
If you’re seeking out mindfulness practice without the added movements associated with yoga, there are plenty of resources to choose from. One is Mindful, which I treat as a sort of one-stop-shop for all things mindfulness and meditation.
It’s a website curated by people with experience in the field and includes useful guides, courses and magazine and newsletter subscription options, among other things.
The Chopra Centre
For a more structured listen, you can visit the Chopra Centre’s website to avail of its free guided meditations. What this means is that a professional will take you through every step of the meditation process from start to finish, helping you stay focused on your practice – a notoriously difficult thing to achieve!
A crucial part of yoga, meditation and mindfulness that’s sometimes overlooked is breath work. It’s actually central to many of the movements involved in yoga, helping you to control your balance and find pockets of space to extend into. But, again, there are options for getting in some breath work without necessarily having to dive into any of those wider practices.
One suggestion is Breathe2Relax, but there are many other options out there that feature a voice guiding you through breathing cycles. It’s simple, but very effective.
Finally, a tried-and-tested favourite for many of us is Headspace. This one is particularly useful for people who, despite working at home, haven’t seen any increase in their breathing space and continue to work long, busy days. Self-described as “mindfulness for your everyday life”, the Headspace app is valuable for both meditation newbies and those with more experience.
It even has a programme dedicated specifically to work teams, meaning managers can encourage their colleagues to look after their wellbeing.
New to meditation??
Here are some tips on getting started here: https://t.co/iBlmxtfq2I
— Headspace (@Headspace) April 16, 2020