Health & Fitness

Yoga in Times of Coronavirus

sonia

Sonia Birdi, the founder of Hot Yoga Nairobi at the Two Rivers Mall on March 21, 2020. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NMG

On a normal day, Sonia Birdi, a former Jubilee Party nominated Member of Parliament, would have a class full of hot yoga lovers sweating in a heated room with temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius.

For fitness enthusiasts, this type of yoga is the go-to exercise to relieve stress, ease depression, nourish the skin, and improve flexibility.

At her yoga studio in Nairobi’s Two Rivers banking mall, she is now streaming the sessions live through Zoom to people’s homes with a few clients coming in. Most yoga trainers have gone online as some clients opt to stay home amid coronavirus fears.

Sonia’s online sessions, she says, has attracted hundreds of followers who practice yoga at the comfort of their homes.

“I have some clients who visit the studio, but we ensure social distancing, have masks on and ensure everyone has sanitised,” she says.

Sonia takes the trainees through meditation, then 26 different poses and two breathing exercises.

“Hot yoga when practiced in a heated room burns more calories than usual. It is more suitable for people who want to lose weight and those with health complications such as depression. It also helps one to warm up tight muscles and this helps one to stretch more than one usually does,” she says.

“It has an added advantage of giving the heart, lungs, and muscles a more intense workout,” she adds.

For beginners, Sonia advises that one needs to hydrate well by drinking a lot of water before engaging in the exercise.

During the workout, one is encouraged to keep sipping the water to avoid dehydration. Also, take a light meal three to four hours before engaging in yoga and wear comfortable clothes.

“Yoga is for everyone, practising it has become a necessity and helps one to slow down from their busy schedule,” says Ms Birdi.