We are in unprecedented times, where we are faced with the reality that COVID is going to be with us for an extended period of time. We’ve made it through the summer, and we’re entering into fall. The weather is going to get colder, and we’re going to have to face the reality of being indoors more frequently.
I have been practicing yoga for decades, and it is my exercise of choice, it’s my go-to, and its my longstanding support. Now that I am in a position to teach, I have been faced with finding ways of being creative to hold safe classes while being conscious of COVID. I have chosen to hold outdoor classes, which is wonderful in the late summer to early fall. What happens as the weather gets colder though, how will it look to hold class in 50 or 40 degree weather. Is it worth it, I have asked myself this. My answer is yes.
I don’t want to hold class indoors, I don’t think its good protocol with a group of people breathing heavily in a confined area. It takes one person who may be carrying it to pass infection on, and there’s no definitive way to know at this point if everyone is clear of COVID or not. Therefore, I have decided to commit to holding outdoor yoga class for as long as I possibly can throughout the fall, winter and spring. That being said, its not easy for me to manage the winter weather, and now is the time to get innovative about solutions. I have some ideas I want to share with you for how to manage the cold.
Firstly, I want to remind us all that we are going to be generating heat in our own bodies by practicing yoga. The style of yoga I teach is vinyasa, which means it is active, and heat generating throughout the entire practice (even the wind-down holds the active nature of the practice.
Secondly, I encourage those of us who want to join me in practice to use layers, and use new or innovative options for clothing. For example, there are yoga socks and gloves that have slip-resistant padding on the bottom of them. You can get socks or gloves that cover your entire foot or hand, or that leave the fingers and toes exposed, depending on your preference, and the weather. Leg warmers, and ear coverings too will create a barrier to the cold that will help us through the practice. And of course, jackets will be a great help.
I have further ideas to help make the experience more than bearable, for example I plan to look into outdoor heaters for when I am holding classes on the deck.
Ultimately I do believe that an outdoor yoga practice through all (or most) of the seasons will not be for the “faint of heart”, but I also believe it will build a stamina that we may have not realized we had and because of that I actually think it will help us to build new neural pathways by doing such a new and novel thing. And no doubt, it will also be good for our mental health to get outside several times a week, and practice in the beautiful outdoors.
I hope you will join me as the months pass by. Please see my other pages on yoga classes for dates and times, and contact me for details on location (in Radnor).