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How some Memphians are focusing on the positive through yoga

"It's like we have to charge up our phones, coming to yoga is charging up our brains and our bodies,” said Olivia Rokotnitz, Co-Owner of Delta Groove Yoga Studio.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We all need a break at some point, and how we choose to take that break is up to us.

Many Memphians have taken to yoga and meditation as a way to get away from the stress of the world around them, if only for a moment.

"It's like we have to charge up our phones, coming to yoga is charging up our brains and our bodies. Coming to the present moment, practicing meditation, mindfulness,” said Olivia Rokotnitz, Co-Owner of Delta Groove Yoga Studio. "It's a total recharge, recalibration for these beautiful brains of ours."

The folks at Delta Groove Yoga Studio said not only can it help your mind – it can help your body in many ways.

"I have more strength. I have more flexibility. I have more just general joy and vitality,” said Valentine Leonard, Co-Owner of Delta Groove Yoga Studio. "The ways that yoga affects mental health is that it helps you calm down and focus."

"There is a way to start focusing more on the positive and find more joy in life. But we have to work at it,” said Rokotnitz.

"You start to be able to focus from within,” added Leonard. "And when you're able to start to look from within because it feels safer to be within, then you can really become yourself, fully."

Students agree.

"It feels good in my body and it feels good in my mind,” said Jennifer Jones-Boyd.

So what got Jones-Boyd interested in yoga?

"I was walking by the studio because I live in the neighborhood and decided to pop in and picked up some information and thought give it a try. That's all it took."

"Doing the postures on the mat correlates to me to being sometimes uncomfortable in our every day. You learn to breathe through it. You breathe through it. So mentally it helps me to quiet my mind and get out of my own way,” she said.

"So you want to start with gentle practice that is mindfulness-based, focused on what your body is doing. How it feels to be doing those things. And that is always grounding. It's always helping to just calm and focus on being in the present rather than your mind just going in every which way,” said Leonard.

"The physical body is the beginning,” said Rokotnitz. "Then the breath and then this learning to go inwards to really sense inwardly rather than to rely on the external. And that takes you into meditation, mindfulness and awareness of your own mental health. "

She added, "People are realizing that yoga is essentially about balance And it's not just balance of the physical body. It's balance of the mental and also just energy. "

"Give it a try,” said Jones-Boyd. "There's no wrong."

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Posted by Delta Groove Yoga on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

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