yoga

Five different types of yoga to practise virtually

Staying active while under lockdown can be a challenge, but there are plenty of ways to get moving at home. Yoga is a low-impact option that won’t have you bumping into furniture, and all you need is a mat and an internet connection. That being said, the country where yoga originated from thousands of years ago — India — is currently experiencing a crisis during its second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic after a week of consecutive record-high days of new infections topping 300,000. So as you dive into your yoga practice, consider giving to charities that are on the ground in India providing medical equipment and care to those in need such as Mission Oxygen (providing oxygen concentrators to hospitals), Give India (supporting families who have lost loved ones), Care for Caregivers (providing PPE in rural centres) or Enrich Lives Foundation (providing food and supplies to those in need).

As a longstanding tradition beginning in India thousands of years ago, yoga has evolved as both a spiritual path and functional form of exercise. Today, there are countless varieties to try; here are five that are perfect for a virtual class.

1. Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga has been practised for thousands of years in India as a powerful tool for transformation and enlightenment. If you’re looking to tap into your spiritual side, this form of yoga can help you expand your awareness and realize your full potential through integrated breathing, physical movements, chanting and mudras or specific hand positions. Check out a class at blissyogaanywhere.net.

2. Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa flow is the ideal practice for athletes seeking a form of movement that is equal parts active, challenging and mindful. If you consider yourself a more advanced yogi or regularly run, play sports or lift weights, this form of yoga could be the perfect complement to your current workout routine. Try it at downwarddog.com.

3. Yin Yoga

In Chinese philosophy, “yin” refers to the passive, feminine side of the yin and yang concept. Yin yoga helps you tap into this divine, feminine version of yourself through passive stretching, slow movement and long, deep breathing. Be ready to feel slightly uncomfortable — in yin yoga, poses are usually held for two to seven minutes. Try it at yogatree.ca.

4. Eye Yoga

With many of us spending hours sitting in front of screens, eye and neck strain is a real concern. Using various techniques such as upward gazing, focusing, near and distant viewing, as well as palming which helps to relax the muscles of the eyes by giving them a rest from light stimulation, eye yoga can help to improve focus while reducing irritation and fatigue. Try it at karmashala.ca.

5. Wine Yoga

Many forms of yoga now incorporate animals or even booze. Though they do stray very far from the traditional Indian practice, many people use these activities as a fun way to connect with other practitioners and relax after a long day of work. In wine yoga, the participant can sip on a glass of wine mindfully before, after and even during the class, or simply take part in the gentle movement session sans booze. Try virtual wine down Wednesdays at modoyoga.com.

Article exclusive to TRNTO