Bringing Yoga & Meditation Home

By Marisa DiPaolo | March 14, 2020
Graduate Assistant for Health Promotion Programming
Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200)


I’m one of the Graduate Assistants for Health Promotion Programming at the Office of Health Promotion, a master’s student at the Rollins School of Public Health, and I am also a yoga teacher. I wanted to take this opportunity to put on my “yoga teacher hat” for a few moments and share my advice for incorporating yoga & meditation practices into your Quarantine Self-Care Routine.


feet on yoga mat

During this new and uncertain time of social distancing and adjusting to life as a work-from-home grad student, daily yoga and meditation practice has been key for me to maintain a regular morning routine and start each day on the right foot. I came to yoga as an anxiety management tool many years ago, and while it took me a lot of time to develop any positive feelings toward meditation, I have been feeling more grateful for meditation these days than anything else. To sit, and breathe, and be present in the moment is especially important right now, as we adjust to this new reality that includes a lot of uncertainty about the future.

Needless to say, I highly recommend trying out yoga and meditation if you’re struggling with feeling stuck at home, managing anxiety or depression, experiencing loneliness or isolation, looking for a way to make the most of this time, or just wanting to try something new (or return to an old habit!). One of my favorite parts of yoga is its invitation to study yourself, to really get to know you, and staying in all the time is certainly as good a time as any to do just that!


Before I dive into some specific tips, I want to make sure everyone knows that when I say “yoga” I am referring to so much more than just a movement practice. Asana, or the physical yoga poses that we in the West tend to refer to as “yoga” is actually only one of eight limbs on the Eight Limbed Path of Yoga. 1/8! (Meditation and breath work are 2 more). That means if you’re looking to add some yoga into your life, you aren’t limited to taking a movement class. It might mean sitting and breathing, it might mean journaling, practicing gratitude and mindfulness, or maybe even reading a book about yoga philosophy. There are so many ways to dive into a yoga practice right now, so don’t limit yourself. If you’re looking for a book to learn more about yoga, I’ll share a list of some I recommend at the bottom of this post.


Online yoga resources have been exploding on the internet these past few weeks, and there are more free or low-cost options available to dive into a yoga practice from the comfort of your home than ever before! From YouTube videos to yoga studios offering recorded classes and live Zoom classes, there are so many ways to practice while social distancing. Check out the list of resources at the bottom of this post to find what you’re looking for.


Here are my tips for getting the most out of your at-home yoga practice:

  1. Stick to a routine. The only person you are accountable to on your yoga journey is yourself. Think of it as scheduling in your “me-time,” and soon it will start to become a habit. Build in an accountability system for yourself if you need it, whether that’s signing up for a “30-day challenge” on YouTube or Instagram or setting the same alarm every morning to get up at the same time and practice.
  2. Create a neat & tidy space to practice. Even if it’s just a corner of your room, maintaining a clean space where you’ll practice yoga is key to success in an at-home practice. Being in a space where you can see your clutter or look at visual representations of your to do list scattered about the house isn’t going to help you quite your mind. Find one place you can dedicate to your little home studio, and as long as it’s big enough for safe movement on your mat, you’re all set!
  3. Search for some at-home yoga props! Props are helpful to everyone who practices yoga, not just beginners. They can help you to move more safely, support you in relaxing postures, and help you sit comfortably for meditation. And you can find them around the house! Gather a couple of blankets, maybe a pillow or two, a strap or belt, and some yoga blocks (books or sturdy shoe boxes also work).
  4. Let go of your idea of what a yoga practice “should” look like. When you get on your mat to practice, it’s important that you’re doing it for you –not because your friend said you should try it, not because you’re desperate to touch your toes– but because you actually want to see what it can do for your authentic wellbeing. That means letting go of expectations! Some days your practice might look like a gentle stretching class, some days it might mean a power yoga class, and some days you might just need to sit and breathe.
  5. Be intentional. Reflect on the real reason you’re looking to add yoga and meditation to your life during this time. Do you want to ease anxiety? Do you want to get stronger? Are you seeking a new spiritual practice? Try setting an intention each time you practice, to help center you in the moment and motivate you to get what you actually want to get out of your time practicing.
  6. Be kind to yourself. One of the most important, guiding principles of yoga is ahimsa, or nonviolence. One of my favorite applications of this term is the importance of shining love onto ourselves and acknowledging that we are already whole as we are. If we project anger, frustration, disappointment, or any other negative emotions onto ourselves, these are tiny acts of violence that accumulate negative consequences over time. Now, more than ever, we must remember to be kind, loving and forgiving towards ourselves if we are to survive all the uncertainty around us. It’s okay if your routine doesn’t go as planned. It’s okay if you’re not doing handstands in a month! If you’re breathing, living in the present moment as much as you can, and treating yourself with kindness and love, I believe you are practicing plenty of yoga already.


Namaste, yogis!

yoga block, band, and mat

Online Yoga & Meditation Resources:


Note: There are many resources out there, and this is in no way a comprehensive list. These are just recommendations and are in no way endorsed by Emory University or the Office of Health Promotion.


*Free Online Classes:

Yoga Journal:

Core Power Yoga:



YouTube Yoga Channels (with free classes):

Yoga with Adrienne

Brett Larkin Yoga

Sarah Beth Yoga

Yoga with Kassandra


Temporary Free Trial Periods Available at:


Free guided meditations:

Free guided meditations with Tara Brach:

Guided Meditations from UCLA Health:

Insight Meditation Society:

UCSD Center for Mindfulness guided meditations:

UCSD Center for Mindfulness live meditation practice sessions:


Meditation Apps:


Insight Timer



Want to learn more about Yoga & Meditation?  


The Science of Yoga (pt 1- Meditation)

The Science of Yoga (pt 2- Posture)

Ted Talk about 10 Minutes of Mindfulness: 



Note: These are my own personal recommendations or books recommended to me by my own teachers.

How Yoga Works by Michael Roche

Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi

Meditations on Intention and Being by Rolf Gates

Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson

Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice by T.K.V. Desikachar


If you’re looking for additional support during this time, Emory CAPS is still open and operating via telehealth! For more information:


*A note for those who are able to pay for online classes: I would recommend searching for local yoga studios or teachers near you, checking out their online class offerings, and paying or making a donating for the class if you are able. Who knows, you might even find your favorite local yoga teacher to keep going back to when social distancing ends! This supports local teachers and studios who may be struggling financially in this time and could help you connect with a yoga community in your area.