WHF Yoga Can Help You Breathe Normalcy Back Into Your Pandemic Life
With a fourth wave of coronavirus infections underway, normal likely feels further away. But, there’s a four-letter answer to pandemic woes that can help: yoga.
One in three Americans has tried yoga, the 2016 Yoga In America Study reported. Unfortunately, many steer clear of yoga because they think they need to be fit and flexible. Yoga is what many of us could use right now.
“I would say this is a good time because people need healing and stress relief,” said WHF Yoga instructor Nicole Evans, who became a 200-hour registered yoga teacher (RYT) in 2015. “People need relief now in many ways – spiritually, physically, emotionally – and that’s what yoga can provide, a means to produce a release of stress.”
Following are three ways that yoga can help you get your pandemic life back on track.
Lose pandemic pounds
We’ve nicknamed it the “Quarantine 15,” those unwanted pounds many began packing on after the pandemic began. Roughly, 42% of American adults gained unintended weight, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) “Stress in America” report. The group reported gaining 29 pounds on average, and 10% added more than 50 pounds.
If you want to slim down, a new study shows yoga can help you lose significant weight. Fifty adults participated in either restorative Hatha or Vinyasa yoga as part of a six-month behavioral weight loss program.
Yoga is also a great way to ease back into fitness routines, WHF Yoga instructor Christy Cheever, who earned her 200-hour RYT certification in 2006, said. A beginner class or a gentle yoga class is a great place to start, she said. “[It] will help people get their mobility back, especially if they’ve been sitting,” she explained.
Current stressors could impact our physical and mental health, even after the pandemic ends, APA warned. In APA’s survey of Americans:
67% said they are sleeping more or less than they wanted to since the pandemic began.
48% of parents said the level of stress in their life has increased, compared with before the pandemic
23% reported drinking more alcohol to cope with their stress during the pandemic
31% reported their mental health has worsened compared with before the pandemic
Yoga helps your body and mind, WHF Yoga instructor Angela Cherill noted. Numerous studies have shown yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. A lot of people go for the physicality of yoga. But, leave with a lot more, Cherill said. “Yoga is a lot about reminding you to take the time for yourself to pause and reflect. When you learn to breathe on your mat, you’re on your own, but you realize you’re not alone. It takes you out of that dark place we’ve been in.”
After months of hunkering down at home, many with “Zoom Fatigue” long for social connections, which yoga provides, Cheever said. “They are looking for a supportive atmosphere,” Cheever said. “I find the yoga class setting is a great place.”
Because WHF limits its yoga classes to 10 participants, everyone gets to know each other quickly, Cheever said. Instructors are also able to accommodate all levels of experience. “It’s almost more like an intimate workshop as opposed to a big anonymous group,” Cheever explained.
Yoga slows you down. It allows you to not only connect with yourself. But, with others, Cherill said. “I think a lot of people don’t think they have the time to add one more thing. The good thing about yoga is you don’t need a lot of time. You can take five minutes a day.”
WHF is currently offering yoga classes six days a week. If you are a newcomer, the first class is free. We hope you join us soon!