OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The past several months have been stressful for many people. Between pandemics and protests in the Omaha area, many people are starting to turn to an ancient way of stress relief - yoga.
Yoga Now is the oldest yoga studio in Omaha. Since 1983, the studio’s founder, Susi Amendola, has been hosting classes of around 25 people at the Benson business.
“It’s mat to mat, and that’s usually our weekend classes. Some of our teacher training are really close quarters sometimes,” she said.
Because of the smaller space, the studio decided to take its classes online. For several months, teachers have hosted donation-based classes twice a day through Zoom.
“There’s some really wonderful things that came along with that for people. We heard from people that they really liked to do yoga in the security and safety and privacy of their own home,” Amendola said.
Amendola said she also has been able to reach more people through Zoom than could have fit in her studio, with some participants coming from other states.
The practice can help with both mental and physical health, sometimes by taking time to reflect on current issues.
“There’s a lot of collective suffering right now, and so people are really struggling with a lot of issues,” Amendola said. “Yoga is really helpful. In the struggle with COVID, we’re doing specific practices to help build immunity. We’re also doing a lot of just sharing feelings about the black lives matter movement.”
Yoga Now is also planning to host some pop up yoga classes in the parks over the next few months.
The studio is also planning on hosting its certifications course this fall, as it has done for over 30 years. But there will likely be some changes for those learning to teach yoga.
“There’s a little bit more hands on with certification,” Amendola said. “Actually it was a very high-touch program that we’ve had to kind of modify. We’ve gotten really creative. One of the things I think a lot of people will say about COVID is that it’s made people incredibly creative.”
While many studios in the Omaha area are closed right now, there’s still plenty of opportunity to practice online, or in a park to have a sense of community while getting a little bit of that stress out.