Essay: Online yoga

The Yoga Seed Collective is offering online classes during the coronavirus crisis. (Photo courtesy of The Yoga Seed Collective)

There was no question that we needed to close our doors, but we also know that mindfulness and active healing are more critical now than ever.

By Alexandra Wilderness

Today, as we face a global pandemic, our community’s collective anxiety has reached a fever pitch. Social distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, but it can also be incredibly isolating.

As a studio which works extensively on trauma-informed and condition-specific yoga, we know that the role we play in Sacramento’s health and healing ecosystem remains important today. There was no question that we needed to close our doors, but we also know that mindfulness and active healing are more critical now than ever.

We have found that our best path forward through this was to move online. Now, we’re uploading yoga, wellness and mindfulness classes on our YouTube channel, giving folks in the community a way to stay active and keep both mentally and physically well in their own homes during the stay at home order.

Not everyone has a network at home to rely on, and the underserved members of our community will be some of the most impacted by the effects of isolation. We are continuing to work with those in need through by connecting our online classes with psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, recovery shelters, transitional housing centers and even youth detention facilities for exploited and at-risk teens.

As a donations-based nonprofit, a crisis like this could be a major financial blow to our practice and our employees. However, by moving online, our clients can continue supporting the studio, and we can allow our staff to keep working in a protected environment, ensuring they are both employed and safe.

Alexandra Wilderness is executive director of The Yoga Seed Collective.

We have relied on free online business and data storage programs, such as Google Suite, to quickly pull our entire team on board and get them up to speed on our coronavirus response. Nonprofits like ours depend on these tools; our ability to adapt to and overcome shocks such as the coronavirus will be directly impacted by regulations on the tech industry.

Many lawmakers have ramped up their scrutiny of tech companies, but instead of looking at the impact of regulating tech hubs in Silicon Valley, California legislators should consider how potential regulations could hurt the nonprofits in their own backyard. Even here, blocks from the state Capitol, we can’t overlook how new and affordable technologies have allowed us to safely and immediately navigate a major public health emergency.

We invite our lawmakers to head to YouTube and take a digital class with us today, so they can see how these innovative tools have enabled a new level of connection, safety and community outreach.

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