Hi all! I’m Izzy, and I’m hiding out in my apartment in Urbana for the foreseeable future. When this whole “stay-at-home” thing first started, I was ambitious. In addition to working remotely and continuing to take classes, I wanted to use this time to work on new hobbies and activities. The list included baking, hiking, learning to play guitar, learning a new language, crocheting, finishing a puzzle, and yoga.
A few weeks later (I have truly lost count), the list remains largely untouched. It has been much harder to stay motivated and focused than I was expecting, so most of my energy goes to work and school and making sure I get enough to eat. My blueberry lemon bars turned into more of a crumble. Attempts to crochet concluded with yarn throwing in frustration. But the one recreational activity that has been easy to keep up has been yoga, all because of my friend Adriene.
When people talk about doing yoga online, they are usually talking about Yoga with Adriene. This YouTube channel, with almost 7 million subscribers and a seemingly endless number of videos, is one of the first things that pops up when you Google “yoga.” Adriene’s yoga instruction videos are perfect for just about everyone. You can find videos for beginners, for specific moods you might be in, or even to compliment activities you may like to do, like yoga for runners or writers. And best of all, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, so her videos are fun and lighthearted while getting the job done. She really does feel like a pal, and she manages to make these asynchronous classes feel like a community. And the best part is her dog Benji, who regularly makes appearances.
When I do have the attention to do something a bit more cerebral, there are a lot of choices out there right now, especially through the University Library. One of the options I’m most excited about is MIT Press. They are offering free online access to their catalog of e-books to libraries until May 31st. Whether you’re in need of some additional research for a course, or you just want to learn something new, they’ve got a huge selection of titles on just about every subject you could imagine. I recommend starting with their Essential Knowledge Series, which gives concise overviews on a variety of topics from “Irony and Sarcasm” to “Extraterrestrials.”
In between all the yoga and reading, I’m still finding time to fit in TV watching, staring at walls, and plenty of existential dread. Who knows how long this will last, and in the meantime, I’m staying busy.