Business & Real Estate

Amid pandemic, local yoga teacher shifts to Zoom-based workout classes

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Courtesy of Doris Yoga
Yoga instructor Doris of the Los Altos-based Doris Yoga has switched to online classes via Zoom to keep clients engaged during the pandemic.

Since the shelter-in-place orders took effect in March, some local residents have pursued online opportunities to fulfill their fitness fix.

Doris Yoga, run by the Los Altos-based yoga instructor who brands herself simply as “Doris,” offers virtual yoga classes Mondays through Saturdays, starting as early as 6:30 a.m.

Doris’ classes emphasize body awareness and control, actively engaging muscles students may not be accustomed to engaging, and strengthening them so they can live pain-free, improve their balance and build core stability and strength.

The yoga business has been tough for teachers amid the pandemic. Many were furloughed in March, due to gym and studio closures. To survive, they are reinventing themselves and their businesses. Some are learning new skills, and others are adopting technology and transforming their homes into virtual studios.

Although Doris has gone from teaching 18 classes at seven locations a week to teaching from home, there are positives, she said, including saving travel time and conserving gas.

Another benefit? Students from afar can now join her online classes. In addition to her local practitioners, Doris’ students hail from Oregon, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and internationally from France, the United Kingdom, Denmark and South Korea.

“I’m digging this Zoom thing,” she said. “It’s exciting connecting with students around the world.”

Doris’ international following stems from leading annual trips to Nepal. She has an Italian trip lined up, deferred due to the pandemic.

“Self-care is important as we face unforeseen challenges,” she said. “I’m grateful we’re staying connected via technology. It’s a privilege to share my teachings with students daily, even while sheltering in place. It provides comfort and joy amid uncertainty.”

Positive results

After weeks of participating in Doris’ classes, students report experiencing physical, mental and emotional shifts.

“I’ve noticed my right hip improving,” said one participant. “I note new back muscle definition. I’m able to coordinate big muscle groups.”

Added another student: “As I became increasingly sedentary during quarantine, I noticed old injuries cropping up in my hip and shoulder, making sleep and sitting difficult. After consistently practicing Doris Yoga for weeks,

I’ve gained stability in those joints. In addition to healing my injuries and sleeping better, I have improved posture, and a more muscular tush.”

Doris also teaches meditation classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. For 15 minutes, she guides students through visualization and breathing techniques aimed at reducing anxiety, decreasing pain, improving sleep and increasing positive energy, resulting in mental and physical balance.

Classes cost $10-$20; Doris offers a donation-based Align and Flow class 4:45 p.m. Fridays.

For a class schedule and more information on Doris Yoga, visit dorisyoga.com.

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