- This winter, I decided to commit to 30 days of yoga in a bid to fight off digital fatigue and boost my mental health.
- Yoga has been reported to have profound health effects on the brain and body, with certain practices even raising the body’s levels of feel-good hormones.
- While I was motivated in the beginning, I found myself struggling to stay focused and enjoy a slower-paced workout.
- But with time, I found support through the online yoga community and was able to ease up on the expectations I had set for myself.
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The last time I did yoga I got a nosebleed.
In a dimly lit room filled with steam, I noticed droplets of blood hitting my mat as I folded myself forward. I jolted to my feet and began weaving through sweaty bodies, eventually slipping out of the studio while gripping a white hand towel speckled with blood.
About a week later, on March 15, 2020, that same yoga studio emailed to inform me that all of their New York City locations would be closing until further notice due to the coronavirus. Since March, dozens of yoga studios have closed permanently, from chain locations to smaller, boutique studios, the New York Times reported in September.
The yoga community quickly pivoted, launching a new wave of pandemic yoga. As the Times wrote, “Yoga requires only a clear mind and a few square feet of space, so it is easily converted to remote instruction.” Loyal yogis quickly followed along, with Mindbody, a booking software company for the wellness industry, reporting: “Last year, one in five users said they had taken streamed or prerecorded classes, but by this June, more than four of five said they were doing so.”
I, however, did not follow suit.
In an effort to fight off digital fatigue earlier this year, I began taking long walks or runs after work instead. But eventually daylight savings time caught up to me, and it was pitch black by the time I logged off each night. Feeling open-minded and even a bit vulnerable as I tried to fend off seasonal depression, I decided to revisit yoga — nosebleeds be damned.
Practicing yoga is reported to have physical and mental health benefits, and I wanted to incorporate these into my work-from-home routine
Mentally, yoga has also been reported to reduce stress and boost “feel-good hormones.” Business Insider reported in 2019 that “yoga may reduce stress by interfering with the central nervous system’s ability to release stress hormones.” Citing a 2011 study, Business Insider also reported that participants said they felt “significantly less” lower back pain after completing just six to 12 yoga sessions.
I decided to commit to 30 minutes every day for a month and landed on an abundance of videos by “Yoga with Adriene,” a YouTuber with 8.89 million subscribers, a soothing voice, and an adorable dog named Benji. Amidst an endlessly stressful news cycle, working from home, and plenty of social media distractions, I hoped that…