Nizha Periaswamy

The COVID-19 outbreak is not "officially" over but the government has chosen to loosen restrictions in some sectors, and activities, such as gyms and yoga studios.

However, the reopening of these sectors does not mean that we can get back to the situation before the pandemic broke. It is wise for us to follow the instructions set for the safety of all.

Besides wearing a face mask and keeping a one-metre distance between one another, washing hands frequently, here are some other tips for a safer yoga practice.

1) Avoid physical contact

A yoga pose often needs help from an instructor to assume, and maintain. However, during these times, it is best to refrain from any physical contact, be it among instructor and students, but also among fellow students. Please keep a distance of one metre from the next person, or two metres if you are engaging in high-intensity yoga, which would involve a lot huffing and puffing and sweating, which may end up spreading a virus through an infected person's saliva or sweat.

2) Clean the studio, disinfect props

Practitioners should clean and spray their yoga mats before and after using it in the studio. Yoga studio owners should also wipe down the work space with disinfectant wipes, becase the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive for hours on certain surfaces. If using disinfectant using a session is not practical, wear gloves. These will come in handy when you are touching water bottles, your phone, or towel during practice. Remove your gloves when you have access to water and soap, or going to the shower.

3. Choose a well-ventilated area

Pick an open space to have your classes in, or choose a studio with good ventilation to avoid COVID-19 risks. A closed, humid and poorly-ventilated area could increase the chance of the virus' spread. Besides a well-ventilated space, having less students in a class, would also give them more space to move around.

4. Bring your own yoga mat, props

This should go without saying - avoid borrowing a yoga mat from others. If you don't have one, it's time to get one. Yoga stuido owners should not encourage students to rent mats, and other yoga props. Instead, encourage all students to bring their own. Yoga mats should be sanitized by washing them in hot water, and dried under the hot sun.

5. Follow the SOPs

The National Security Council has set standard operating procedures on sports and recreational activities, including yoga. Among them ate sanitizing the activity space three times a day, providing hand sanitizers, and conducting temperature checks at entrances and the common areas.

Though your yoga session will not look "normal" as long as this pandemic is still around, these rules and regulations have been given to help everyone navigate around them while being, and sustaining their livelihoods at the same time. So, let's bear this in mind, and be safe.

Nizha Periaswamy is a freelance writer and yoga teacher.

Photo source: Pixabay