Do you have a new or existing subscription to online yoga and a niggling feeling you are not getting the most out of it? Our wordsmith maven, Rakhee Jasani shares her secrets for getting the most out of Movement for Modern Life and how yoga can be sweeter online.
I first subscribed to online yoga almost a decade ago. I was a little sceptical. and wasn’t sure how much I would use my subscription. Did I have the discipline to roll out my yoga mat at home? I wasn’t sure if it was for me at all: What would happen about the sense of community? (never mind that I never really talked to anyone); I treasured that sound of bodies breathing and moving together. Would the benefits of online yoga work for me?
I didn’t think that doing yoga at home would give me that same sense of sanctuary or purpose. Boy, was I wrong! I’ve grown to love online yoga and never looked back and fast forward a bit and I find myself working for Movement for Modern Life which is dedicated to bringing the best teachers to you, anytime.
It took me some time though, to really figure out how to make online yoga a part of my life and to really benefit from my subscription, to fully embrace my online yoga practice. The turning point for me was a time when I found myself juggling far too much and didn’t have time for a treasured weekly yoga class which was time specific and involved travel. I began to dabble with scheduling classes for myself at home. I want to share what I’ve learnt over the years so you can make the most of the benefits of online yoga and to share some of the hidden gems you can find from the MFML archive.
Online yoga is great for beginners
Starting yoga at home or using your online subscription to get to grips with yoga basics is a brilliant way to develop your yoga practice at your own pace. On MFML we have a whole section dedicated to beginners. You can work through the basics by following a beginners classes, or you might just want to work on your downward dog or cobra. Our foundation pose tutorials are a great way for you to get used to the shapes and what they are called replaying these as many times as you need or to refer back to. Online yoga is a great place for a beginner to start to explore or indeed to use alongside a studio class, so you can practice and feel confident with what you are doing.
As you begin to develop your practice you might want to try out something different our Begin (Again) 7-day course is a great way to get to grips with vinyasa flow. My top tip for beginners is to keep going. If one class doesn’t suit, try a different one with a different teacher. Eventually you will find what fits for your body. We are all unique, don’t feel that there is something wrong with you, but rather that you haven’t yet found the right fit. Finally keep breathing. Yoga is a breathing practice that is you move mindfully whilst you breathe consciously. Our FAQs for Beginners from MFML’s founder Kat Farrants will give you more insights into beginning yoga.
Developing a yoga practice
Yoga is a practice; yet it can be difficult to form a daily habit if you need to pay sometimes close to £20 to do so. Yet the benefits of frequent practice are immense. So, how do you form the habit? The way I did it was to schedule in classes and to be realistic about how much time I had. I began to schedule in short classes and found that I was able to ‘make’ more time and that I had formed a habit.
Doing something little and often makes it easier. By committing to doing some yoga every day you are laying down a healthy new pattern and in the long term, you will find this is more effective than doing a two-hour class once a fortnight. By carving out time for yourself which you guard, you are prioritising your wellbeing and setting yourself up for success.
If you had bought a class at your local gym or yoga studio, chances are you would make yourself attend – do the same for yourself at home. Finally, don’t wait for the perfect time, moment in life or environment. Our lives are messy and complicated. Just do your best, carve out some time and space. You can schedule classes on MFML. Click on a class and the clock above the video to schedule in your class. You can read more about the psychology behind habit forming in this article by Kat Farrants.
Accessibility and Different Styles
One of the things I found most liberating about practicing online yoga is that I could try new things. I could try styles I hadn’t before and I discovered that this helped me gain fresh insights and retain a beginner’s mind. You can read more about my discoveries in this article about the different styles we feature on Movement for Modern Life.
One of the best things, though about practicing yoga online is how accessible it makes yoga. Yoga is a healing tool but it is often when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable that we can find it most difficult to access the yoga that we need. Online yoga has been a life-saver when I’ve been unwell and still want to move.
Our gentle yoga classes are a perfect pick me-up and bring yoga to where you are. And we have classes to suit all sorts of specific needs. Kate Blake suggests how yoga can support you through times of grief in this article including the classes that supported her through a bereavement and you can also read which morning classes Kate chose and how she adapted her practice to support her Chronic Fatigue in this article. MFML also has classes which can support you through illness. Barbara Gallani writes about how yoga can help with cancer and also has a series of cancer care classes.
The blogs, podcasts and courses and challenges on MFML fuel my inspiration. I love using the search function on the blog as a way to find articles about my areas of interest. Whether it’s philosophy like in this fascinating article from Lucy McCarthy on how we might incorporate philosophy into our daily lives or nutrition or book recommendations, there is always something to pique my interest.
Every podcast brings new insight. Hearing people talk about what matters to them and how they have changed is a source of consistent wonder. I loved hearing Vera Farrants talk about how she learned to let go in her seventies and Dan Peppiatt on simple living and contentment. Finally, there are over forty courses to help with everything. Whether you want to find more seasonal contentment with this winter course; finding wellbeing through yoga; using yoga to support study; postnatal yoga or series with favourite teachers. There really is something for everyone. I find working through a course keeps me on track and with pre-selected classes, I can focus on developing my practice. I also love the fact that I can start courses whenever it suits me or I can join a featured course and have the support and accountability of the MFML community.
I was surprised by the very strong community that I found at MFML. The MFML movers group provides a consistent source of inspiration, accountability, friendship, advice and knowledge.
About Rakhee Jasani:
Rakhee Jasani is MFML’s wordsmith maven, bringing together the blogs and courses on the site. When not immersed in words, Rakhee teaches breath-led vinyasa yoga to teenagers and adults focussing on those who might otherwise not do yoga.