The coronavirus crisis has been a wake-up call for all of us, bringing with it unhealthy levels of anxiety and stress. We completely understand why our members are being cautious as they consider how to reintegrate working out and practicing yoga into their daily lives. Yoga benefits the mind and the body, and it also gives a boost to your immune system. Here’s how the Village Clubs is taking safety precautions and welcoming members back so they can get back to the benefits of yoga.
Members’ Safety Comes First
As part of our safety-focused, phased re-opening of Village Clubs, several of our most popular yoga classes will be offered in June. These include: Power Yoga, Yoga Sculpt, Yoga Flow, Deep Stretch & Meditation, Restorative Yoga/Deep Stretch, and Yoga-inspired Stretch. It’s a perfect time for our members to reboot their yoga practice and safely reconnect with fellow students. For newcomers, taking just one yoga class will automatically lift your mood simply due to the excitement that comes when trying something unique, fun, and new!
We’re taking every possible precaution to make yoga classes the safest experience for our members. For example, we have removed all props and labeled all exercise floors with markings to ensure proper social distancing. Members are encouraged to bring and wipe their mats and instructors will wipe all Village mats before and after classes. Our classes are limited to 10 members, who will need to sign up in advance using our app or through our website.
Remember Why Yoga is So Important
Yoga is a time-tested approach to managing stress and supporting balance in our lives. From a physical workout to a mental break, and even a spiritual experience, the benefits of yoga are quite the list.
The Harvard Medical School advised in its latest health guidelines that yoga, meditation, and controlled breathing are “some tried and true ways to relax.” Practicing yoga releases more GABA (gamma-aminobutryic acid) in a part of the brain known as the thalamus. This lowers anxiety and stress and focuses the mind, while increasing levels of happiness.
Yoga helps loosen tight muscles and fascia, adding stability, flexibility, and balance. Regular practice reduces aches and pains as tight muscles heal and relax. It’s called a practice because it’s a journey to understand, improve, and master the poses. You’ll build muscle, increase your endurance, boost your lung capacity, and improve your bone density.
Strengthen Your Immunity
During this crisis, experts have advised that poor mental health conditions like stress and depression may increase the risk of acute respiratory infections. It’s natural for many of us to feel increased stress and anxiety as we listen to the news and worry about possible illness. The shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines may contribute to widespread loneliness and depressive feelings. Regular exercise and yoga are powerful ways to counter these effects.
Many, if not all, poses across all of our yoga classes help increase blood circulation, which helps decrease inflammation. Poses which involve bending forward and even simple inversions like “legs up the wall” support the body’s digestive processes and stimulate the lymphatic system. These activities directly help us remove waste and toxins from our bloodstream, acting as a natural immune booster.
Restorative poses, deep stretching, and meditation can be incredibly helpful, not only for mindfulness but hormonal balance. These styles of yoga are effective at lowering brainwave activity to help the body naturally restore itself. The body also experiences increased levels of serotonin, oxytocin and human growth hormone (and GABA!). Research studies on yoga practitioners have shown reductions in cortisol in their blood, resulting in lowered stress levels.
Practicing yoga and meditation helps us as we safely engage in our communities and create a more positive health environment. These are deeply rooted traditional practices which may help protect us from infection and its associated risks. Your Village yoga teachers are very excited to welcome you back in class and determined to help you maintain your physical and mental health at their highest levels!
Anil Phull has taught for the Village Health Club and Spa for more than three years. He holds a 500-hour experienced yoga teacher certification from Yoga Alliance, 200-hour Kundalini Yoga certification from KRI, 50-hour Aerial Yoga certification from The Village, a 100-hour Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) certification from Amrit Yoga and plays the Symphonic Gong in all his classes.