My Quarantine Routine: Rachel, a yoga instructor who is now teaching onlineApril 11, 2020
With the outbreak of coronavirus and the world in lockdown, we’re doing things virtually more than ever.
Everyone is video chatting and some businesses are trying to adapt their model to work online.
For My Quarantine Routine today, we’re chatting to Rachel Windsor, a self-employed yoga teacher who is now offering classes online and updating her pupils through her Instagram @yoga.chronicles.
The 32-year-old lives in a flat in South West London with her partner, Ross, where they are ‘social distancing’ together.
This is how they spent 23 March, the day we went into lockdown.
I wake up after the longest sleep. I have been social distancing now for ten days and have woken up at 7.30 am every morning but last night after a busy day of teaching yoga from home, I started to feel a bit fatigued, so I decided not to set my alarm and to see what happens. I’m feeling much better after a good lie in.
I have a chronic illness and mornings have always been a slow time for me, but I’m enjoying the sunshine through the windows of my London flat.
I sit on the sofa with my fiancé, Ross, eating cereal and starting the day’s admin. I’ve had a note from the Post Office about a parcel that needs collecting.
I’ve been reading a lot on social media this morning about this being the most important week to stay home so I really don’t know whether I should be collecting the parcel. Is it okay to go to the post office?
Ross points out that I could ask to have the parcel redelivered. Genius! Although I feel a bit guilty about sending the postal worker back again. I’m sure they’d be staying home too if they could.
I’m still on the sofa and still in my pjs, scheduling social media posts for the yoga studio. The studio is in Newbury but I live in London.
I usually teach in Newbury the first few days of the week and stay with my parents, and then spend the second half of the week working from my flat in London doing admin for the studio and for my own teaching business.
It feels so weird not travelling to Newbury on a Monday morning. I can’t keep track of what day it is.
We are getting a lot of messages from students, asking how to book the online classes. It’s quite overwhelming! Seems people are desperate to do yoga at home and it’s so easy to set yourself up.
I bought most of my equipment from Gumtree a few months ago as there’s loads of gear for sale on there.
Yoga equipment can be expensive and I’m really not a fan of encouraging students to buy things new, as it’s just not sustainable. Second hand is definitely the way to go if we want to save the planet.
We are both feeling a bit sluggish and realise it’s been a few days now since we had any fresh food, so we decide to venture out.
I have a quick shower and throw on my favourite dungarees, with a pashmina to use as a makeshift face mask and we head out into the fresh air. We plan our route in advance to avoid as many people as possible.
The parks in London have been very busy these last few days and it’s making me feel a bit anxious.
So we put on our scruffy trainers and decide to walk across the muddy field, instead of sticking to the footpath and trying to squeeze around all the other walkers, runners, bikes, kids and dogs.
We arrive back home with three tote bags of groceries. The supermarket had a bit more stock than last week and there weren’t too many people in there.
We are having to think slightly outside the box with our meal plans and I am not able to be as healthy as I would like to be, but we are chuffed that, for the first time in the three and a half years we’ve been together, we appear to have done a big shop. Maybe even a week’s worth of food. Like proper adults (I’m 32). Usually we’d be lucky if we had enough food in for one meal. A whole week is completely unheard of.
We have some lunch and watch an episode of Derry Girls
Ross heads into the bedroom and I stay in the living room. This seems to have become our routine now. Meeting for meals and evening tv but spending the rest of our day in separate rooms with the doors closed.
We are very used to spending a lot of time apart so being isolated together brings a whole new challenge to our relationship! One evening we even went to our separate rooms, each with a drink and texted each other to bring a bit of normality into the relationship.
I feel lucky to be isolated with a long-term partner though. I worry so much about people who are isolating alone, or with people they don’t feel safe or comfortable with. I use some time to reach out to a few friends and yoga students to make sure they’re okay.
My head is spinning from the constant messaging across all my social media platforms, emails, texts etc. I decide to make another cup of tea and settle on my sofa for an hour of tv time.
I start an episode of Orange is the New Black when my phone rings. I end up spending half an hour on the phone to Abi, my friend, colleague and owner of the yoga studio, chatting about life and how we are going to make this online yoga thing work.
I finish the call and press play on my tv and then remember that I was supposed to call my dad. My mum is having difficulty explaining to him that he can’t go out like normal.
He thinks she is overreacting and just enjoying bossing him around. So I call to see if I can persuade him to stay home. Luckily it appears he’s had a total change of heart and mum no longer needs my assistance.
I make myself a snack. The ‘emergency’ biscuits we bought earlier are calling out to me, but I stay strong and grab an easy peeler. Got to try to stay healthy. I then have a packet of crisps. And some chocolate.
I head into the bedroom to visit Ross. He is having a group video chat with his entire family, consisting of five kids and seven adults across four households, all trying to figure out how to use their cameras. It’s completely nuts.
I start to prepare for my evening yoga class. I change into my yoga clothes and put makeup on. I’m not sure why I’m putting makeup on, but I feel like it’s the professional thing to do.
I actually feel strangely nervous about teaching tonight. Even though I’ve taught a few classes online already, I worry about technical glitches. I email my students the link to the class and also the playlist I’ve made especially for them.
I prepare my ‘home studio’ which involves moving all signs of human life just out of shot and moving all of my houseplants into the shot. I’m trying to create a calm vibe, but I fear it looks like I’m teaching in a garden centre.
I spend some time on my yoga mat before the class to calm down with some breathing exercises and gentle stretches. I make a few notes of themes I’d like to include in the class.
I have suggested that the students wear their pyjamas, so we are nice and cosy like an online sleepover. It’s quite overwhelming having 21 people join me for class as I’m only used to teaching a maximum of 12 at a time.
I’ve managed to buy a fancy tripod which is much easier than trying to stack my tablet on furniture and books to get the perfect shot. Once lockdown has been lifted, I’m going to look on Gumtree to see if I can find a head mic to improve the sound quality.
The class is going well. Everyone logged in without any technical glitches. I love being able to see them on my screen. I especially enjoy seeing their pets coming up to the screen to see what’s going on. Lots of cats just sit and stare at me. It’s a bit unnerving.
It does feel very odd to be in the corner of my kitchen, talking out loud to a tiny screen in the distance. I can’t even have music on so it’s a bit eerie. At the end of class, we all turn our microphones on so we can see and speak to each other and say thank you.
I think this is a really important part of the class. It keeps the sense of community that we have in class and makes it more personal than doing a prerecorded yoga class on your own.
Ross makes dinner while I check my emails and post a few snaps of my class on social media. We don’t usually eat this late but with me teaching live in the kitchen, I can’t have Ross cooking in the background, especially not in his underwear!
We sit down to eat together in front of an episode of Derry Girls. When we first started isolating, I thought I’d have so much time to watch tv and read books, but so far I’ve been busier than ever. I’ve heard more from my friends and family this week than I have done all year. It’s great to be in touch, especially during challenging times, but I must remember to relax as well.
I have a bath and read my book. It’s probably the first time today that I haven’t been on my phone or my tablet.
Must remember to read more. I get out of the bath and lay on my bed in a towel for a full thirty minutes mindlessly scrolling through social media.
I try to go to bed. I’m such a night owl that my mind is often racing at this time. I try to focus on my book but I’m not really taking in the words.
We have received the news that the UK is pretty much going on lockdown for three weeks. I feel relieved. I like rules.
I’ve been pretty anxious these last few weeks with the constantly changing news and trying to make the most responsible choices.
I set my alarm for 7.30am, ready to teach my morning online class and finally fall asleep by midnight, thinking that this is just the weirdest thing that has ever happened.