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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Zoom yoga offers healing and connection in virtual term

Zoom yoga offers healing and connection in virtual term

Kristina Hope practicing yoga in her space set up to teach her Knox Zoom classes. (Courtesy of Kristina Hope)

Kristina Hope practicing yoga in her space set up to teach her Knox Zoom classes. (Courtesy of Kristina Hope)

Kristina Hope offers two zoom yoga sessions a week for all Knox students and faculty on Sunday mornings from 10:30 am to 11:30 am and Wednesday nights from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm.

Connections have continued through yoga sessions with Food Systems Coordinator Kristina Hope, even in the virtual format. After feeling hesitant to begin Zoom Yoga, Hope has found that even though each person attending is in entirely different spaces, the social element and accountability that her sessions bring have helped students and faculty socialize during the quarantine.

“I was actually a little tentative to start. I was not sure how the interaction would be, in that we’re not together, and so much about yoga is about connection,” Hope said, “What I’m coming to see is that some people are really happy with it, you know, being able to practice in their home. They can set up a little space. Once you have that space set up, then you have this space set up for your everyday practice, not just when we meet on a zoom.”

With two class sessions set up for winter term, both students and faculty are invited to join all together on Sunday mornings for slow flow yoga, or Wednesday night for a little more intense practice. Hope mentions that with the virtual format, participants can really just practice how they want to practice, doing whatever feels good in their body. 

“What’s nice about the Zoom is that if you don’t feel like doing some of those poses, if they are not suiting you…this is what people are telling me, ‘I just do something that feels good in my body,’ or ‘I just watch and breathe and think that I’ll be able to do that someday.’ I love that. I love that people are doing it and engaging in different ways that work for them,” Hope said.

Hope noticed that as a teacher, she is practicing much differently than she would be if she were in person. To adhere to everyone’s needs, she is now fully in the movements and demonstrating them for the class while also making sure her instructions are accessible for those who do not want to look at their computers.

“It’s helping me to be even better with my instructions and my queues, and so that’s good. As a teacher, I’m learning that,” Hope said, “You have to be in good shape to be in the practice and talking really loudly and clearly so that the audio is good for people.”

Even though Hope is making the most of these virtual gatherings, she still wishes for the in-person connection. During the fall term, she held small yoga sessions for few people upon sign up. All participants stayed socially distanced, masked and were required to get cleared by the fitness center before entering the space. 

Hope mentioned that these small yoga sessions, though difficult with the masked aspect when focusing on breathing, offered healing for some who had very few moments of socialization throughout the week. 

“There were several points at the end of class, and we were all distanced ten to twelve feet away on the mats afterward, and people would open up and share and be moved to tears because, just all of this has been a lot to deal with. And it kind of helped them just release and be okay with [that] it’s okay to be sad about it,” Hope said. 

In these 60 to 75-minute yoga sessions, Hope keeps her focus on the group’s breathing and their connection to the body, offering healing and relaxation. She encourages those who have never tried yoga to come to the Zoom sessions as an introduction to the practice. Cameras can be on or off.

“I think yoga is really a practice that everyone can do. We just have to do it in the way that works for us,” Hope said, “The practice can be such a healing practice if we engage it with that intention.”

For more information or questions about all things yoga, email Tina Hope at [email protected]

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