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Yoga Lab: How to be more present now

In part one of our three-part Yoga Lab series with instructor Elena Romero, discover a calming routine to help you stay in the moment

The last few weeks have been challenging for all of us. We have had to adjust and adapt to something we probably thought we would never see in our lifetime.

As we all learn to modify our lives to comply with new rules on social distancing and self-isolation, it can be confusing, challenging and even frightening for very many of us.

Our stress levels are most likely high, our sleeping and eating habits might be suffering, and not seeing the ones we love may be impacting on our emotional wellbeing.

Therefore, there has never been a better or more important time for self care. At The Irish Times Content Studio we have teamed up with yoga instructor Elena Romero, of Practice Yoga in the Anu Centre in Herbert Place, Dublin, to create Yoga Lab. You'll discover three online tutorials to help you find a moment of peace - a space where you can slow down and connect with your body and your breath.


“While I understand screens are a poor alternative to the physical class atmosphere, it is a way to engage, connect and share a practice together – which is very important, especially at this time,” says Romero.

“I believe it is reassuring and comforting to know that you are sharing that space and time with your fellow students and this might be enough to make you feel less distant. I sincerely believe that yoga has the power to make our lives better, more so in times like this,” she says.

To complement the video, Elena has given us some tips to keep us all stay more grounded and stress free during this time.

Elena’s tips: four pieces of advice to get you through the next few weeks

And breathe

It is important to care for your body and mind, every day. It might just be 10 or 15 minutes, but find small pockets here and there where you can check in with yourself and your breath. Are you breathing through your nose or mouth? You should always breathe through your nose.

Nothing is something

Understand that it is ok to do nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is the most productive thing you can do.  When was the last time you experienced a moment of absolute silence? When was the last time you simply did nothing; no mobiles phone, no TV? New ideas and creativity need space.

Set boundaries

I also think it is important to be mindful of not giving our time and energy away on things that don't really add value to our lives – for example spending too much time on social media. For this reason it is important to set boundaries – choose where and how you spend the time.

Work on focus

If you do decide to do something, for example painting the garden chairs, decluttering a drawer, answering emails, cooking dinner, writing a report or bathing the dog –  whatever that is ­– then really focus on that task at hand. Give it your full attention and do it with joy. Engage with it full-heartedly and be absolutely present with it. Let the doing of the task to be the aim, rather than the end result.

As with all exercise programs, when using our Yoga Lab videos, you need to use common sense. To reduce/avoid injury, please check with your doctor before beginning any fitness program. By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk.
For more information, visit practiceyoga.ie, and follow Practice Yoga on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Practice Yoga now has online classes:

  • Early morning; Wake up Yoga: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8am - 8.45am   
  • Mid-morning; Gentle Yoga: Thursday from 10am - 11am 
  • Evening; Strength, Flexibility & Balance: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6pm - 7pm  
  • Weekend; Yoga with a Smile: Saturday from 9.30am - 10.30am