As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and on, it’s more important than ever before to take care of both our mental, as well as physical, health. Yoga devotees enthuse that during times of stress, anxiety, and fear, yoga is a source of comfort and strength. And, hard science supports this claim!
“There is a growing body of research to back up yoga’s mental health benefits. Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system,” says Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. in the Psychology Today article “Take a Stand for Yoga Today.”
So, if you are understandably worried about contracting the virus, chafing at the significant changes to your daily life, facing the new realities of working from home while helping kids with online learning, and missing daily contact with family members, friends, and colleagues, yoga can help.
Here’s how. Your Brain on Yoga is a short film (under 30 minutes) produced by Yoga Pose. The film explores the mental health benefits of yoga and meditation. A must-watch for novices and experts alike!
Yoga Poses that Support Mental Health
Getting a yoga program started is as easy as turning on your laptop.
Yoga Pose is an incredible free digital library of yoga poses. You can search various yoga poses based on level of difficulty or by whatever issue you are experiencing. Search “yoga for anxiety” for example, and a slew of options appears, from Cobra Pose, to Upward Salute, to Child’s Pose, plus many more.
Each pose listing contains a helpful, short video of how to perform it successfully, step by step instructions with photos, health benefits, cautions, and modifications.
Searching for poses by symptoms or situations also turns up a slew of helpful articles. The site features a mix of inspirational and informational content, written from both personal experiences and based on medical research. A few examples include “Restorative Yoga & How it Can Help Relieve Stress,” “The Root Chakra & Its Role in Helping Us Stay Grounded,” and “How to Start Meditating in Less Than 5 Minutes a Day.”
Yoga Where You Are: 99¢ Pay Per Practice
Yoga Pose also offers online classes, which are led by certified yoga instructors from around the world. These instructors all have their own vibe and the classes are taught from their homes. So, it’s a more casual and very personal type of instruction – not at all intimidating. (For example, a kitty named Gremlin makes an appearance in one of Elyse Jung-Vrymoed’s videos, which provided some much-needed comic relief to my attempts at some of her poses!)
And, these online classes are available for just 99¢ per class. Especially now, during the current limitations on in-person classes, this is a lifesaver. Practice where you are, when you want.
Best of all, before you purchase, you can see the various poses contained within the class. For example, my first class was the Gentle Yoga Class with Mika Nishimura. As a complete novice, I was attracted to the simple movements, which even I could perform.
For each class, all of the poses contained within that session are outlined and explained. So, it was easy to choose the right class, with the correct level of difficulty.
There’s even a bio of the incredible instructors, so you can get to “know” them a bit! For example, I learned that Mika has taught in the USA, Japan, Indonesia, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and China, and she holds a BS in Exercise and Sports Science, an MA in Yoga Studies.
If you’re ready to get started on the path to physical and mental health, I suggest you begin your journey at Yoga Pose!
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