Washington, Apr 14 (PTI) Health conscious Americans, under stay-at-home order for the past several weeks due to the severe outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, are enthusiastically responding to the free online yoga classes being organised by the Indian embassy here.
The Indian mission started the yoga classes from March 30 for the millions of Americans to keep them ''healthy'' and ''cheerful'' while they are forced to stay indoors and work from home.
Yoga is an ancient Indian system of physical exercise and meditation.
"The practice of yoga, as Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has emphasised, offers a holistic way of keeping mentally and physically fit during these challenging times," India''s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu told PTI.
There has been “a very encouraging response from the US audience to the online yoga classes that the embassy started two weeks ago,” the Indian diplomat said.
Every day hundreds of yoga enthusiasts join free online yoga classes by Moxraj, Teacher of Indian Culture.
In the first week, he conducted Yogasana and in the second week he taught Pranayama aimed at strengthening the respiratory and immune system.
In a fortnight the number of views of his yoga classes has crossed 100,000, reflecting the interest of health enthusiasts in such a move by the Indian Embassy here.
Early this month, Ivanka Trump, who is a senior advisor to the US President Donald Trump, described the “Yoga Nidra” video tweeted by Prime Minister Modi as wonderful.
“This is wonderful! Thank you @narendramod! #TogetherApart,” she said.
In fact, top American universities and physicians have encouraged Americans to practice yoga and meditation during their days of stay at home. And online yoga classes have become popular during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Baltimore Sun, carried a photo feature of yoga instructor Jayne Bernasconi teaching class using FaceTime because gyms have been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Corepower Yoga, which has shut down all its nearly 20 yoga studios in the Washington DC metropolitan area, has started online yoga classes through mobile app.
The classes range from one minute to 60 minutes.
Joshua Gordon, Director, national Institute of Mental Health, in his tip to Americans on mental health during the coronavirus pandemic has suggested “exploring wellness programmes, like meditation, yoga, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises.”
Many nationwide fitness studious like YMCA, Gold’s Gym and Peloton, which have been shut down are offering online yoga classes.
At the start of the social mitigation measures, Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell in an email to her constituents asked them to take care of their body, which she said important for health and mood.
“Figure out how to keep active and moving. Even in a small space you can do yoga or use exercise apps,” she said.
Yoga is being used by healthcare workers too.
An Instagram photo showed nurses from across the University of Washington system pause for a brief yoga session between drive-thru testing of coronavirus.
The local Daily Caller from Colorado recently reported that Boulder-based virtual yoga, meditation and workouts have been thriving in the wake of coronavirus.
“Taking the great leap into the virtual landscape felt disheartening at first, but since then my perspective has shifted,” Yoga instructor Lauren Gennett Lewis was quoted as saying by the local media outlet.
“As I opened my first Zoom classroom, students faces popped up not only from our Boulder community but from all across the country and beyond,” she said.
“Today, all one needs to keep up an exercise routine and a spiritual practice is a strong Wi-Fi connection and an even stronger desire to not fall victim to the couch during these slow-paced days of solitude and snacking,” Daily Camera reported.
Yoga Loft Studios in Chicago, Oak Park and Forest Park are offering daily virtual classes for students of all levels, local ABC7 news channel said.
As people turn to exercising indoors during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, many fitness studios are offering virtual classes so people can stay active, the local ABC affiliate from Chicago said.
In Boston, Yoga teacher Rebecca is offering 20 minute nightly meditations via Instagram Live. Given the unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves, feeling anxious is a very human and understandable response,” she told Boston.Com.
The United States has more than 550,000 confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus. It has recorded 1,509 deaths related to the pandemic over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally at 23,529, the most of any country. PTI LKJ AMS AKJ AMS