One Year of Zoom Yoga
By Jackie Tilston
This week it’s been one full year since I started doing yoga regularly a few times a week. A year ago this week my friend Natasha Singh started running daily half hour sessions on Zoom at the beginning of Covid.
One Year of Yoga
Picture: Yoga classes via Zoom have helped relieve the isolation of Covid / Credit: Digital Yoga Academy
Nothing dispels anxiety like moving your body. As I move through the poses and breathe more deeply, I can literally feel the cortisol dispersing and layers of stress peeling away.
Checking in with a community, however “lite” that check-in might be, is soul-enriching. Logging in to Zoom just before half eight most mornings, there’s only a couple of minutes for everybody to say hi.
But somehow, just seeing the same human faces pop up each morning has helped in minimising the confusion and fear of living through this time of massive upheaval. I don’t think any of us knew at the beginning how much we would come to rely on the sessions for our mental health.
I no longer have lower back pain. Yoga is brilliant for the inevitable back pain that comes from sitting a lot. Side bends, back twists, cat and cow, child’s pose. My favourite poses are the ones where I feel my lower back stretch.
Picture: David Hoff showing off his Zoom planking skills after being part of a Covid Zoom Planking friendship group / Credit: David Hoff
It’s a bit of a running joke in our class how many planks our ex-personal-trainer yoga teacher makes us do. We love planks because they make us stronger and we wouldn’t do them unless watched over by someone telling us to do them!
It’s not always easy to prioritise activities that we know are good for us. I still, even after a year, feel a little resistance. My laziness threatens to dominate me with the voice, “What excuse can I find to not do this?”. On the days I overcome my resistance, I find it motivates me (via the mechanism of self-efficacy) to do other goal-oriented tasks.
Self-efficacy, a concept coined by psychologist Albert Bandura, is a personal judgment of how well or poorly a person is able to cope with a given situation based on the skills they have and the circumstances they face.
In summary, doing a short yoga class most days has had a positive effect on my wellbeing in a number of ways and it’s a habit I want to continue.