‘Finding Balance’, by Alice
A huge part of the practice of yoga is all about finding balance, right? Balance between doing and receiving, moving and stillness, active and passive, yin and yang. We now have another balance to strike, to keep practicing at home and to navigate back into the studio.
Many of you have asked how you can keep a regular, affordable practice with some sense of our previous normality? What is the key to striking a balance between the online and offline world?
Commitment to practice
The practice of yoga requires a regular and consistent commitment to ourselves, to show up, to be present and to learn. Over the past few months, we have had to carve out that same consistent practice without the structure of the four LANO walls, and with online classes being so readily available, both live and pre recorded, a regular practice has logistically become more achievable than ever before. Maybe you have even managed to carve out a small but sacred space in your home that feels like a mini slice of LANO.
We have loved watching you share your yoga space with cats, dogs, children and partners, perhaps opening them up to the world may have once been foreign to them. Many of you have said you could try things you may not have had the confidence to do in the studio, or listened to your bodies and taken those longs breaks when needed without feeling the need to ‘keep up’ with others. The sense of pure joy of rolling off your mat after Slow and straight in to bed or practicing in the quiet of your own home can bring you some solace when you need it the most. Delicious.
These are all wonderful enhancements to your practice, helping us to form healthy habits and rituals, Samskaras. As we all navigate through a shifting landscape, it is these new habits that we want you to keep!
Home vs Studio
The world of yoga at home can present some challenges. Perhaps distraction is more present than ever, noticing all of those crevices that need a good hoover out or instead of listening to the wisdom of your teacher, you’ve counted all of the books left unread on your shelves. Yes we have all been there! Maybe the most tangibly is the missed connection to other bodies in the space, drawing you along with their energy when yours begins to waiver.
So, for many of us, we felt the deep calling of the studio. A space that has intentionally and mindfully been crafted for the sole purpose of your enhancing your practice. No crevices, no clutter or piles of washing to sort. You are encouraged to carve out time in your day for this one purpose – connecting to your inner world. You have time during your walk or drive to the studio to mentally set yourself up and then time post class to let the hard work settle in before the chaos of the day resumes.
When you are in class there are no phones, TV’s, kids, partners or animals to offer you a distraction from what you are feeling and experiencing. You can be held more accountable for your practice, keeping your focus one pointed, rather than sharing it with whatever is happening in your home. You have the live energy of a teacher in front of you, offering you specific cue’s that may not have translated through a screen. You can be purely selfish in the best way possible.
And the heat – oh how we have missed the heat!
We understand that practicing in the studio looks very different, and it may require more sacrifice to enable you to join us. What this challenge is calling us to do, is to question where we rest our priorities and sometimes encourages us to shift them around so we can make sure we are continuing to look after number one in a way that offers both a slice of comfort and room for growth. It also calls us to bravely move with the changing times, and the hard lesson that the only consistency in life is change.
So, our question to you, could you find more balance between yoga in the studio and yoga at home?
Here is how one of our wonderful LANO students Jason has navigated his practice:
“It’s incredible to think that we are approaching six months since lockdown was declared. Prior to that I was attending three studio classes a week, so LANO had become an important part of my weekly routine. Post lockdown, the online sessions not only provided wonderful classes, but also gave a sense of community and connection. I’m still enjoying the variety of yoga that the online classes give me access to, but I really missed being in the studio and was excited when the email came announcing that live classes were back on.
Protecting each other must be our priority and the LANO team have put in measures to make things as safe as possible. I time my arrival to be at the studio about 10 minutes before the start of class and already dressed to go straight in. After a temperature check, it’s shoes off and into the studio through the one-way system. The two rooms in Southsea have now been turned into one big room and the floor is clearly marked to ensure mats are placed well apart from each other.
I’m happy to admit that I was a little nervous returning to my first studio class, but was quickly reassured that things are being made as safe as possible. I now look forward to being back in the studio once a week as well as joining online classes. Thank you to the LANO team for all that you do and to all of you that share your practice either in the studio or online”
And it might be that the balance needs to shift in the opposite direction. Maybe you need to give online another go to keep your practice consistent. When time is short and you cannot get into class, take your mat to work, find a quiet corner and drop in online. Or, next week rather than going for lunch, bring your friend to the studio and grab a coffee after!