Sangha Session 27: "What gifts has this year brought you?"

As we collectively begin to shift forward into our “new normal” , we have an opportuity to pause and reflect on the gifts and shifts this past year has brought into our life.

In this Sangha Session we want to know:

-How has your home practice helped you natigate this past year?
-What changes have taken place this past year that you might keep in place even as things
begin to return to “normal”?

I am excited to see what has come forward for all of you and to share what has shifted for me!


My home practice during the pandemic helped me so much that I could write a book! A few key points:

  • Taking 1/2 hr to gently move, and focus on breathing deeply, helped calm my anxiety
  • For a “challenge”, I decided to do a morning practice every single day, using DYWM. By doing that, I learned a bit of self-care, that nurturing myself first thing in the morning, helped me approach the troubles of the day in a better frame of mind.
  • In order to prevent paralysis by having to make a choice of class, I followed many of the DYWM challenges, some of them several times. Not having to make a decision, just press on the next class in the series, was very helpful.
  • For quite some time, I used primarily Melissa’s and Guy’s classes. I found out that I was kinder to myself during the day, repeating to myself words that I heard in the morning’s yoga class “only do what you can do”, and fondly, I found myself saying "It’s okay, it’s only [fill in the blank], as Guy would say “It’s only yoga”. I found myself saying it’s only a report, I can finish it tomorrow, etc. etc. Saying “it’s okay” numerous times throughout the day calmed me.
  • A really fun thing too, since I did some classes several times, I noticed I got stronger. On days I could do those awful knee dips of Guy’s, or stay in W2 as long as Melissa, that would be a victory! The rest of the world could feel like it was crashing down, but I cheered on an accomplishment.

Needless to say, I’m keeping my morning yoga practice !! In fact, it’s expanded to a lovely morning routine of “habit-stacking”: journaling + yoga + prayer. I enjoy it so much that one day I had to take my car in for servicing and I set my alarm for 4am just so I could do my new morning routine before my early departure.

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Thank you for sharing this Aneita! It does sound like your morning practice became the positive and steady foundation that kept you rooted during these uncertain times. I love the idea of creating a mental/energetic balance by focusing on the new growth and accomplishments, not just seeing want was being lost in the external world. I am happy the challenges were a useful tool, I know what you mean about getting stuck trying to choose a class!


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The gift the year has brought is being back with the Do Yoga With Me community. I had stopped using DYWM for several of years because a new studio had opened up in my hometown. I really liked the instructor and was actively going to class. Then in November 2019 before the pandemic hit, she closed the studio, and then the state closed all the studio’s to contain the pandemic.

It was then that I returned to DYWM. I had always enjoyed your classes Figi. Practicing at home I had the opportunity to branch out and practice with other instructors but also try meditation which I am starting to do regularly. The practice has helped me to stay grounded, especially when things got really challenging from being laid off of work.

Although things are somewhat back to normal, I am still practicing with Do Yoga With Me. I like being able to practice anytime I want. I may go back to a studio at some point, but I will continue with DYWM. You’ve built a great community, and I am grateful to be a part of it. Namaste!

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Hi Scott,

Thank you for sharing this! I am happy to hear you came back to us and now are able to practice both in person and online. I love the combination of both and find that having the option to do either helps to keep me on my mat no matter what!

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This year has brought many challenges and many beautiful gifts, all supported by my home yoga practice (I’ve been using DYWM for, oh gosh – six years now?).

I was pregnant for the latter half of 2020 and we welcomed our second daughter, Violet Isabella, in February of this year. Having a home practice with DYWM throughout my whole pregnancy certainly helped me cope with the loneliness, isolation, fear (I had a difficult birth with my first daughter) and lack of community I felt as a soon-to-be mom to two and a then an actual mom to two (under two, no less!). Something particular that comes to mind is commenting on one of Julia’s new prenatal classes and having a lovely response from her which truly made me feel less alone at a time in my life where I really missed being able to celebrate my pregnancy with others.

As for changes that I might keep in place as things return to “normal”… commenting on videos and forums like this! Putting myself out there in the DYWM community, where I have always felt heard, has been such a lovely gift throughout the pandemic and one I am eager to maintain as the world opens up once again.

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