GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — All four of the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse studios across West Michigan shut down this past week after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered gyms and fitness centers to shut down as a way to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. But the Eastown-based yoga studio is still offering classes through a Facebook live stream. 

“We had actually been having conversation for awhile. What’s best for the community, what’s best for our staff, and as social distancing was becoming a thing, I wanted to be cognizant of it," says Yoga Director Larissa Link. "There’s no distance in a yoga studio so how do we offer people the benefit of yoga?"

On the Funky Buddah Yoga Hothouse Facebook page, which has more than 20,000 followers, West Michigan yogis as well as yogis from all across the world can tune into a Facebook Livestream version of Link's yoga class.

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“A lot of people are in their homes for long periods of time and yoga is something you can do with your kids, with your family. It doesn’t require weights; there is nothing special that you need," Link says. "If you have never done yoga before you can just pop on, no one is watching you.”

And it's not just something to keep you busy during these social distancing days, Link says that yoga is a good practice to manage stress and anxiety.

“Movement is so important," says Link. "There are studies that show that movement can boost the immune system and it can really be any exercise but for me especially when we’re in stress cycle, the worry cycle that happens, its easy for us to go up into our minds but when we start to move our body it’s a little bit easy to be present.”

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According to the Mayo Clinic, "Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. And almost anyone can do it."

An important practice that Link suggests to incorporate into a daily lifestyle to combat stress is a gratitude practice. 

“One of my favorite gratitude practices is to follow the path and basically what that means is 'oh my arm moves to grab my favorite snack. What’s in that snack? Can I be grateful for the farmers that helped put it together.' Physically we want to shut down but that reminder of like I’m in my house right now, I might be going a little bit stir crazy, but I’m grateful to be in this space rhat is comfortable. You know, taking the moment of gratitude whatever that may be for you.”

To virtually attend the next Funky Buddah Yoga Hothouse class, tune into Facebook Live on Monday, March 23 at 5:30 p.m. And check the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse website and social media platforms for the upcoming class schedule. 

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