For many, the struggles of working or studying during COVID-19 lockdown are all too common: stiff muscles from sitting while hunched over a laptop or smartphone, not getting enough exercise and feeling bored or isolated.
It may be time to take in a deep breath, connect through movement and loosen up those tight shoulders, neck or whatever else ails you.
That’s why Christel Bartelse, Toronto Film School Faculty, hopes her all-levels yoga and meditation Zoom drop-in class provides all the benefits to get students up and moving without the effects associated with virtual meeting spaces.
“This would be much better if it were done in person, but we don’t have that ability right now. The positive is if you want to come, it won’t be sitting in a chair,” says Bartelse, who teaches Movement 3: Clown and Physical Theatre in the Acting for Film, TV & The Theatre program.
From Boredom To Stiff Muscles, Stretches And Poses Can Offer Stress Relief
Mind-body practices such as yoga and meditation, are proven stress-reduction techniques and have gained increasing popularity for dealing with wellness and physical health issues. This could prove helpful during these challenging times.
“We are stuck in chairs way too much and we are stuck online and we are not getting up and moving as much as possible,” says Bartelse, a certified yoga instructor having completed a 500-hour training certification from Octopus Garden Yoga Studio in 2018.
“Then there’s the mental health aspect of it as well, she says. “This has been very tough for people; everyone’s going through their own struggle for so many reasons.”
No Yoga Experience Necessary
The classes will focus on moving through different postures, poses, breath work and meditation to calm the mind and move the body.
The classes will be held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. (EST) from March 9 to April 20 with each session running for 45 minutes. There’s no signup, you just drop in. If you don’t have a yoga mat, you can use your carpet or a towel.
To join, visit the Zoom link: https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/92242115292.
“Whether you are new or experienced, it’s just going to be a place where there’s no pressure and we are going to do a bit of meditation … and just find those five to 10 minutes for yourself where you abandon all the worries and darkness of what’s going on,” says Bartelse. It is an opportunity to “just connect with yourself and move your body so you are not stuck. Movement cures so many things.”
As a performer specializing in physical comedy, Bartelse is no stranger to movement. She is known for creating, writing, producing and performing solo shows and performing at festivals and theatres all over Canada, the U.S. and U.K.
“As a physical performer that did physically intense shows, (yoga) was always my warmup so I wouldn’t get injured,” says Bartelse.
“If you are new to it, this is a great time to try it. With the pandemic, it’s a time to try new skills and a time to get out of the routine and try something new.”