The greatest gift yoga gives you is the ability to be more in tune with yourself. Your body will tell you when it’s energized and when it needs to rest. Thus, learning the resting poses is just as important as mastering the standing or seated series.
Child’s pose is a position available to you at any time during a class. If you feel overheated or dizzy, this position will offer instant relief. It opens the hips and elongates the back, which relieves tension. Benefits: Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest, and lengthens the spine; alleviates stress and anxiety.
There’s no sweeter—or more challenging—pose in yoga than corpse pose, and it comes at the end of a class. Lying on your back, you get a chance to reflect on what your body has just accomplished. Bringing the body to stillness is just as hard as any of the other asanas, and you’ll find that calming the mind poses its own challenges. But yoga is a practice—you can do it again the next day and the day after that. Benefits: Relieves stress and relaxes the body; helps lower blood pressure.
This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.
“A lot of Black folks were looking for a space to be in [the yoga community],” Adelé said. “A lot of people didn’t know how much rest they needed until they slowed down. There’s a lot of emotional processing that happens on a deeper level when we give ourselves the time to slow down and breathe.”
Dolberry said that to be welcoming to all kinds of people as a yoga studio, it’s not enough to post a Black Lives Matter message on Instagram, develop a quarterly event series for diversity, or hire “some Black folks.” The real work for inclusion can often be harder, like creating an internal accountability group for white employees or having conversations about blind spots, she said.
“You have to look at what the real mission of your studio is and ask yourself if it’s really aligned with centering and uplifting people of color,” said Dolberry, who teaches the POC Yoga class at Studio 34 Yoga. “What was really nice about June was that for us, as owners, we could just hold the space for our community members and instructors because people knew us already as folks who have been doing the work. It didn’t feel like we had to be reactive or performative, because people already knew we were ready to be there for them.”