TAMPA, Fla. -- As COVID-19 cases increase, many people feel their stress and anxiety on the rise as well.
But yoga may just be the answer to helping you manage that stress and decide what's important to you.
"Thoughts, words and deeds are essentially the pillars of our lives. What you think becomes what you speak, and what you speak becomes action," said Annette Scott, founder of Kodawari Studios on Henderson Boulevard in Tampa.
Scott says just by moving the body and controlling your breath, you can experience stillness and clarity within the mind.
"Yoga, as a complete practice, is a tool set to find out how to be more peaceful, how to offer it, how to facilitate it, how to be steadier, be easier in the mind, in the body and in our relationships," she explained.
And with the number of coronavirus cases going up daily, Scott says practicing yoga regularly can decrease your anxiety and stress, helping you focus on what's important in life.
"We can start to organize around what it is we want more of and less of," she said.
While "practicing hard" in yoga often involves holding challenging poses and raising your heart rate, Scott says it's just as important to be "practicing soft."
"'Practicing soft' is letting the belly soften, letting your bottom relax, letting your legs relax, letting your shoulders relax," she explained.
And if you think you can't do yoga? Think again!
"The irony is the people who say 'Oh, I'm not flexible. I can't possibly do yoga.' Those are the people that need it the most! A lack of flexibility in the body might also be reflective of some rigidity in the mind," Scott explained.
And as you let go of that rigidity, Scott recites a prayer at the end of each class and she starts with the hands together in prayer on the forehead.
"May all our thoughts today lean into peace, to kindness and to compassion. (Thumbs come to the lips) May all the words we speak today reverberate and resonate with peace with kindness and with compassion. (Thumbs come to the heart). May the radiance of our being give evidence in action to peace, to kindness, and to compassion. May there be a great peace within you. May we bring peace to one another and until we're lucky enough to come together to practice again. Peace be with you. Namaste."
If you're still not feeling comfortable going to a yoga studio right now, you can join many online platforms so you can practice at home.
Kodawari has two classes a day that are live on Facebook. For more information, go to their website: http://kodawariyoga.com/
And Annette Scott also does a meditation on Instagram every morning at 7:30 a.m. https://www.instagram.com/kodawariyoga/
Below is the address for Kodawari Studios:
3965 S. Henderson Blvd Suite C
Tampa, FL 33629